Birthday parade ideas - oversized car party hat - DIY tutorial - drive by celebration decor - How to make - neon / glow in the dark theme

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Since the whole pandemic we've been part of 4 birthday parades. We've made signs, decorated with balloon garland, banners, and the last one I made a giant party hat!!!
The theme was glow in the dark and for an 18th birthday. We decided on all neon and even had some light up balloons and glow sticks. The party hat DOES NOT glow but since the parade was at 8:00pm it was not completely dark yet. They wanted him to see all the people and the glow sticks to still show up.

I used neon poster board I purchased at Walgreens a while back. 

Cut a triangle template.

Traced the template to make three more triangles - 4 total. 

I used the left over foam boards from the 2020 graduation balloon numbers to piece together the backing or support of the poster board triangles.  

Created 4 foam board triangles.

Attached the poster board to the foam board with double sided tape.

Trimmed any excess foam board that was showing. 

Used the excess poster board to make polka dots.

2 inch lever punch from Michael's craft store. Here is a similar one on Amazon

Hot glued the polka dots in place. I tried alternating colors but I really needed one more color for spacing. Two colors were always side by side. I decided to make all the same color for each triangle instead. 

Used packing taped to temporarily hold in place.

The tape helped hold the pieces in place so I could stand it up.

Once the shape was set, I hot glued the edges together. 

For extra support I used empty wrapping paper rolls to the top and bottom of the triangle from the inside. 
Hot glued in place. 

To create the pom pom on top of the party hat I used eight long Qualatex black onyx balloons and one 5" pearl white Qualatex balloon. You can use any color. I didn't have time to order neon long balloons and had these left over from the graduation non-party. Same with the white 5" balloon. It can be any color.  

I tied a deflated long balloon around the base of the 5" balloon. Make sure it's before the knot to keep it in place. Pulled the ends of the long balloon through the top of the party hat.

I inflated the rest of the long balloons and twisted them in the middle. Making a large balloon pom pom for the top of the party hat. 
Then used the ends of the deflated long balloon to attach the pom pom to the hat.  

We pulled off to the side of the road to attach right before the drive by. I'm not sure how fast you can go and it still stay attached. 

I used bungee cords to hook onto each corner of the hat and hooked the other end inside the truck on the handles. I think I could've attached them together inside the truck with an additional bungee cord.

NOTE:  I think if we have another parade I will just remove the poster board and replace with a different color. Thinking primary colors or pinks & purples. I'll update if we use it again. 

One of my favorite cars! Banner, lights, and signs!!

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