Turning a van into an elephant themed party van

Old 01-24-19, 12:57 PM
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Turning a van into an elephant themed party van

Info: (Can be skipped, but helps to give an understanding about the project)

In Norway we have this time in highschool where we become something called "Russ". Russ is a tradition of celebration for norwegian students in our final spring semester of high school dating back to as far as 1905. These celebrations usually go on from april 20th to may 17th (Norways national day). Close friends then usually team up to make a "Russe gruppe" or Russ group. These groups usually contain 5-7 close friends and have a custom name and theme. They usually create a logo, hoodies with their logo on, party songs. One of the main highlights of the celebration is something called the "russebuss". Each group usually buy their own bus. The bus, or in our case van is then used by its group to drive around and party in. These busses are usually decorated to their groups theme. Our groups name is "Heffalompen" which is the norwegian name for the Heffalump from "Winnie the pooh".

Our project:

Our project revolves around our van. We want to stand out from normal everyday red Russ van. Therefore we want to turn our van into an elephant, that to some degree resembles the Heffalump from Winnie the pooh. Something similar to this would be the "Mutt Cutts" car from the movie "Dumb and Dumber". We dont expect to be able to be near the level of craftsmanship on that car, but something similar is what we strive for. We are planning to add purple fur as an exterior to the car, either only on the front section or on the entire car as a whole. We want to construct elephant ears, either on the side of the front mirrors, or the side of the car, possibly on the doors. On the front of the car we want to add some sort of elephant trunk. It needs to hold its shape without being stiff enough to make it illegal. To top if off we would like to put a small tail at the back of the van.

Pictures of our van: (Car model: Ford 100l)

https://imgur.com/2pj4siv (Front)

https://imgur.com/xMgsAgP (Rear)

https://imgur.com/ZBsjMtv (Left Side)

https://imgur.com/zPf8ngF (Right Side)

Pictures of cars resembeling how we want the car to end up:

https://imgur.com/UFF4lqE https://imgur.com/6QI5D50 ("Muff Cutts car from "Dumb and dumber")

https://imgur.com/HDNLt7m (Posssibly a more reasonable goal to strive for)



Questions we have about turning the van into an elephant:

What type of fur would be optimal for use on a car?

Where can we aquire this type of fur? (A link or site would be fantastic!)

What is the best type of way to attach fur to the side of a car and still be able to get it of without ruining the paint?

Will the car be cleanable with the fur on?

What would be the best way of constructing ears for the side of the car?

Where would be the optimal placement for these ears?

What fabric should the ears be made of? Same fabric as the fur?

Should the ears be able to flutter in the wind, or be somewhat stiff?

How far out from the car can we make the ears?

What would be the best way to construct an elephant trunk at the front of the car?

How can we make it so it holds its shape without being to stiff.

How flexible should the trunk be?

What shape should the trunk be?

Any other things, tips or tricks we should know going into this project? Anything that can help us is greatly appriciated!


Need help turning a van into the elephant "Heffalump" from Winnie the pooh to celebrate norwegian graduation.

Thanks to everyone who read through the entire post and helped us!

Old 01-24-19, 02:56 PM
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I doubt you will get many answers to your questions here. What you are asking is a little out of the realm of what we do here.

You might have better luck Googling "how to make a parade float". Or maybe someone on Youtube has made a video of how they made a float.

I don't think "fur" would be too practical.
Old 01-24-19, 03:40 PM
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Also google Art car parade. It is a big event in Houston. Try also same in Google Advanced Image Search
Old 01-24-19, 04:26 PM
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I hope you don’t want real fur. That would be pretty awful. You want faux fur or maybe some thick fleece would work. Looks more like fleece in your pics.
Old 01-24-19, 04:57 PM
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Where are you located? I have friends in Tromso and Trondheim.

FUR: For the fur here in the USA you can buy fur fabric. It's a somewhat odd item so it has to be ordered but it's available in different colors and in different fur lengths. If you don't have that available in Norway see if you can get flokati rugs (historically Greek in origin). There are many inexpensive, synthetic rugs available and in various sizes. I don't recall ever seeing a gray elephant color but you might be able to dye a white/ivory colored rug.

EARS: I would use a light weight plywood or perhaps rigid foam insulation. Rigid mounting would be the easiest but could make the ears more suseptible to damage. If you can flexibly mount them so they can move a bit with gusts of wind or bumps they might be more durable. For a flexible mount I would consider scraps of old conveyor belting or even a strip of thin metal that can flex.

ATTACHING FUR: Small strong magnets are one option. Thick corn syrup or sugar syrup can provide some stick. Not strong enough to be the only thing holding the fur but it could stick it well enough to hold in position. Rain could be a problem but water can be used to remove it. You can also use adhesive backed velcro. The portion on the fur should be sewn to the fur but the other part can be stuck right to the car. Test a small piece of the adhesive first to make sure it can be removed. For your test attach a small piece to the vehicle and leave in place for several days before trying to remove as it is harder to remove after time.

TRUNK: Look for rigid plastic plumbing piping often used in sewers. Most often this pipe is made from PVC which is easily formed/bent if heated. You just heat it until it softens, bend to the shape you want then hold it in shape until it cools.

You are on your own for the design. Be creative and have fun. If you want my design and construction help I will work for Salmiakki and beer.

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