How to Decorate Cars for Parades

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If you're planning to use your car in an upcoming parade, decorating the vehicle makes it seem more like a festive float than a basic vehicle. Streamers, ribbons and designs written on the window glass jazz up your ride with a theme fitting of the celebration -- school colors for a homecoming event or shades of green for a St. Patrick's Day parade, for instance. While you may be tempted to go with outlandish car decor, safety is a key concern; ensure that all decorations attached to the car will stay put or, at the very least, won't cause problems for those driving or marching behind your car.

1 Simple Streamers

Streamers from a party supply store create simple, festive car decorations. Available in an abundance of colors, streamers may be twisted together to help customize the decor for a theme; for instance, use red and gold for a homecoming parade if those are the local school's colors. Unroll lengths of streamer material, tape one end onto a high point on the car with masking tape or secure it beneath the windshield wiper, then twist the streamer many times to give it a more ornamental appearance. Fringe-style streamer material attached at the bumper or front end of the car give it a whimsical appearance. Secure small flags and banners to the car with wire ties and twine to celebrate patriotic holidays.

2 Bold Balloons

Available in many shapes and colors, balloons serve as versatile vehicle-decorating materials. Tie a few small inflated balloons in parade-theme colors to the side mirrors or to an antenna if you're driving a classic car, using twine or twist ties. Craft balloon animal shapes, then tape them to the car's hood, trunk or roof using painter's or magnetic tape. Apply the sticky side of magnetic tape to the balloons, the magnetic side to the car. Smiley-faced balloons give parade-goers a reason to smile as they see your car. Ensure that no balloons obstruct your view or your view of the mirrors for safety.

3 Celebratory Signs

Poster-board signs decorated with paint or colored markers celebrate the event at hand or announce the name of the group or entity your vehicle represents such as a local club or organization. Sketch your idea in chalk, then color it in with paints or markers. Brush a coating of glue over some of the letters or shapes, then sprinkle glitter atop the wet glue for a sparkly parade sign. Adhere the sign to the car with magnetic tape. Attach signs to both sides of the car so people on both sides of the parade route receive your parade message.

4 Chalk It Up

Window chalk or window markers allow you to write messages and draw designs on window glass, perfect for temporary parade decor. Write the message on the side windows or the back window where it does not obstruct the driver's view, even if using the rear-view mirror. Draw an image of Santa or a leprechaun for a specific holiday parade, or write a message such as "Cheer if you love parades." Limit the window-chalk decorations to window glass, as these writing tools may damage the car's paint.

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.