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How To Make A Festival Totem How To Make A Festival Totem


How To Make A Festival Totem

Written by: Clarinda Bland

Learn how to make a festival totem for your next music or arts event. Get creative with our step-by-step guide and make your festival experience unforgettable.

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Attending a festival is an exhilarating experience filled with music, dancing, and community. One way to stand out and make your mark in the crowd is by creating your own festival totem. A festival totem is a unique and eye-catching object that you can hold up high above the crowd, making it easier for your friends to find you and adding to the overall fun and excitement of the event.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of making your very own festival totem. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a first-timer, this step-by-step guide will help you create a totem that is both creative and functional. So let’s dive in and start bringing your festival totem to life!

To start, you will need a few materials and tools. Don’t worry, the list is easily attainable, and you may already have some of the items at home. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:


Materials and Tools Needed

Before you begin your festival totem project, make sure you have the following materials and tools on hand:

  • 1. PVC pipe: Look for a lightweight and sturdy PVC pipe that is around 6 to 8 feet long. You can find these at your local hardware store.
  • 2. Foam pool noodle: This will serve as the padding for the top of your totem. Choose a brightly colored noodle to make your totem more visible.
  • 3. Decorative materials: Get creative with your totem decorations! Consider using colorful electrical tape, LED lights, feathers, ribbons, or decorative stickers.
  • 4. Zip ties or strong tape: You’ll need these to secure your decorations to the PVC pipe.
  • 5. Utility knife: Use this to cut the foam pool noodle and make any necessary adjustments to the PVC pipe.
  • 6. Scissors: Handy for cutting ribbons, feathers, and other decorative materials.
  • 7. Permanent markers or paint: Use these to add designs, patterns, or personalized messages to your totem.
  • 8. Safety goggles and gloves: To protect your eyes and hands during the cutting and decorating process.

Remember to gather all these materials before you begin, so you have everything you need for the project. Once you have everything ready, you can move on to the next step: choosing a design for your totem.


Step 1: Choosing a Design

Now that you have your materials and tools ready, it’s time to choose a design for your festival totem. This is where your creativity shines! Consider the following factors when deciding on a design:

  • 1. Theme: Think about the overall theme or vibe of the festival you’ll be attending. Is it a music festival, an arts festival, or something else? Your totem design can reflect the theme and add to the festive atmosphere.
  • 2. Visibility: Remember, the purpose of a festival totem is to make yourself easily identifiable in a crowd. Choose colors, patterns, and decorations that stand out and can be seen from a distance.
  • 3. Personalization: Make your totem unique to you. Consider incorporating your favorite symbols, icons, or inside jokes that represent your personality or group.
  • 4. Practicality: Think about the size and weight of your totem. You’ll be carrying it around for extended periods, so make sure it’s comfortable and manageable.

Once you have an idea of the design you want, you can start gathering inspiration from different sources. Browse online for totem ideas, check out festival forums or social media groups, and draw inspiration from the artists and performers who will be at the event. Collect images and sketches that resonate with you and use them as a reference for your own design.

Remember, there are no limits when it comes to choosing a design for your festival totem. Let your imagination run wild and have fun with the process. In the next step, we’ll guide you through gathering the materials for your totem.


Step 2: Gathering Your Materials

Now that you have chosen a design for your festival totem, it’s time to gather the materials you will need to bring your vision to life. Refer to the list of materials mentioned earlier and make sure you have everything ready before proceeding.

If you still need to acquire some of the materials, take a trip to your local hardware store or craft supply shop. Look for a PVC pipe that is the appropriate length and thickness for your totem. Choose a foam pool noodle in a vibrant color that will add visibility and make your totem more eye-catching. Consider getting additional decorative materials such as electrical tape, LED lights, feathers, ribbons, or stickers that align with your chosen design.

While gathering your materials, keep in mind the practicality and safety of your totem. Ensure that the materials you choose are light enough for you to hold for long periods without causing discomfort or fatigue. Also, be mindful of the festival’s rules and regulations regarding totems. Some events may have restrictions on the size or materials used for totems, so it’s important to check beforehand to avoid any issues.

Once you have gathered all your materials, organize them in a workspace where you’ll have plenty of room to work and lay out your design. Having your materials ready will make the next steps of the process much smoother. In the next section, we’ll move on to preparing the base of your totem.


Step 3: Preparing the Base

With your materials gathered, it’s time to prepare the base of your festival totem. The base will provide structure and stability for your totem, ensuring that it stays upright during the festival. Follow these steps to prepare the base:

  1. 1. Measure and cut the PVC pipe: Using a measuring tape, determine the desired height of your totem. Mark the measurement on the PVC pipe. With a utility knife, carefully cut the pipe to the desired length. Remember to consider any additional length that the foam pool noodle will add to the top of the totem.
  2. 2. Smooth the edges: After cutting the PVC pipe, you may notice rough or sharp edges. Use sandpaper or a file to smooth them out and create a seamless finish.
  3. 3. Cut the foam pool noodle: Measure the circumference of your PVC pipe and use a utility knife to cut the foam pool noodle to the same length. Make a straight cut along the length of the noodle to create an opening that will fit the top of the PVC pipe.
  4. 4. Secure the foam pool noodle: Insert the PVC pipe into the foam pool noodle, ensuring a snug fit. This will serve as the comfortable and protective padding for the top of your totem.

By following these steps, you will have a stable and cushioned base for your festival totem. In the next section, we’ll explore how to bring your totem to life by adding decorations and personal touches.


Step 4: Decorating the Totem

Now that the base of your festival totem is prepared, it’s time to let your creativity shine by decorating it! This step involves adding colors, patterns, and other decorative elements that will make your totem stand out in the crowd. Follow these steps to decorate your totem:

  1. 1. Choose your decorative materials: Take out the decorative materials you gathered earlier, such as colorful electrical tape, LED lights, feathers, ribbons, or stickers.
  2. 2. Plan your design: Before applying any decorations, visualize the design you want to create on your totem. Sketch it out on a piece of paper if you prefer. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you’re happy with the final result.
  3. 3. Apply electrical tape: Electrical tape is a versatile and easy-to-use material for decorating your totem. Use it to create patterns, shapes, or wrap it around the PVC pipe. You can also layer different colors of tape for a multi-dimensional effect.
  4. 4. Attach other decorative elements: Get creative with other decorative materials. Use zip ties or strong tape to attach feathers, ribbons, or LED lights to your totem. Consider incorporating symbols or icons that reflect your chosen design or personalize it with your name or group’s logo.
  5. 5. Personalize with markers or paint: Use permanent markers or paint to add additional designs or messages to your totem. This is a great way to make your totem unique and express your individuality or group identity.

As you decorate your totem, step back occasionally to assess the overall look and make adjustments if needed. Remember to have fun and experiment with different combinations of colors and decorations to create a visually captivating totem that will wow the festival crowd.

Once you’re satisfied with the decorations, move on to the next step to add personal touches and make your totem even more special.


Step 5: Adding Personal Touches

Now that you have decorated your festival totem, it’s time to add personal touches that will make it truly unique and special to you. Personalizing your totem allows you to express your individuality and create a connection with the festival experience. Follow these steps to add personal touches to your totem:

  1. 1. Reflect on your festival journey: Think about what the festival means to you and the memories you hope to create. Consider incorporating elements that represent those sentiments. For example, if you’re attending a music festival, you could add vinyl record cutouts, music notes, or lyrics from your favorite songs.
  2. 2. Photographs and mementos: Attach small photographs or mementos from previous festivals to your totem. These personal items will serve as reminders of the good times you’ve had and add a sentimental touch.
  3. 3. Quotes and affirmations: Add meaningful quotes or affirmations that inspire you or resonate with the festival’s spirit. You can write them directly on the totem with markers or paint, or create small banners or flags with the quotes and attach them to your totem.
  4. 4. Ribbons and charms: Tie colorful ribbons or attach small charms that hold a special meaning to you. This can be symbols of good luck, friendship, or anything that brings you joy.
  5. 5. Collaborate with friends: If you’re attending the festival with a group of friends, consider creating a collaborative totem. Each person can contribute their personal touches, creating a totem that represents the collective energy and bond of your group.

Adding personal touches to your festival totem will not only make it more visually appealing but will also make it a cherished keepsake from the event. It’s a way to infuse your energy and soul into the totem, making it a reflection of your festival experience.

With the personal touches complete, it’s time to move on to the next step: attaching your totem securely for the festival.


Step 6: Attaching the Totem

Now that your festival totem is decorated and personalized, it’s essential to ensure that it is securely attached and easy to maneuver during the festival. Follow these steps to attach your totem:

  1. 1. Choose a handle: Locate a comfortable and sturdy handle for your totem. This can be a foam grip, a rubber handle, or any other material that provides a secure grip for extended use.
  2. 2. Secure the handle: Attach the handle to the bottom of the PVC pipe using zip ties or strong tape. Make sure it is tightly secured and won’t come loose while you’re navigating the festival crowd.
  3. 3. Test the weight: Hold the totem by the handle and make sure it feels balanced and manageable. If the totem feels too heavy or unbalanced, consider adjusting the decorations or removing any unnecessary weight.
  4. 4. Practice maneuvering: Take your totem for a test run in an open space to practice maneuvering it smoothly. Get comfortable with holding it high above your head and moving it around in different directions.

It’s important to note that some festivals may have specific rules and guidelines regarding totem size, decoration materials, or how to securely attach them. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the festival’s regulations and adhere to them to avoid any issues during the event.

By securely attaching your festival totem, you can confidently navigate the festival grounds, ensuring that your totem remains visible and doesn’t become a hindrance to others around you.

In the next step, we’ll discuss the final preparations you need to make before taking your totem to the festival.


Step 7: Bringing Your Totem to the Festival

Congratulations! You’ve completed the process of creating your very own festival totem. Now, it’s time to get ready to bring your totem to the festival and enjoy the experience to the fullest. Here are a few final preparations to consider:

  1. 1. Pack your totem carefully: Make sure to pack your totem securely to protect it from any damage during transport. Use bubble wrap or cushioning material to wrap the decorations and prevent them from getting crushed or bent.
  2. 2. Check festival guidelines: Review the festival’s guidelines one last time to ensure that your totem complies with their regulations. Double-check any restrictions on size, materials, or totem usage within specific festival areas.
  3. 3. Plan your totem usage: Decide when and where you’ll be using your totem during the festival. Consider using it as a meeting point for your friends or raising it high during your favorite performances. Be mindful of others around you and make sure your totem doesn’t obstruct anyone’s view or become a safety hazard.
  4. 4. Share the joy: Festival totems are not just a means of personal identification; they are also an opportunity for connection and community. Share the joy of your totem with others by engaging in positive interactions, taking photos together, and spreading good vibes.

As you bring your totem to the festival, remember that it’s a representation of your creativity and enthusiasm. Embrace the festival atmosphere, dance with your totem above the crowd, and enjoy the moments of finding your friends easily amidst the sea of people.

Lastly, remember to take breaks and be mindful of your totem’s weight and the energy it requires to carry it throughout the day. Pace yourself and enjoy the festival experience in a way that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the music, culture, and community.

Congratulations once again on creating your festival totem! It’s time to get out there and make unforgettable memories at the festival.



Congratulations on completing your very own festival totem! By following these step-by-step instructions, you’ve created a unique and eye-catching accessory that will enhance your festival experience. Your totem will not only make it easier for your friends to find you in the crowd but also add to the fun and vibrancy of the event.

Throughout the process, you unleashed your creativity by choosing a design, gathering materials, decorating and personalizing your totem. By adding your personal touches and ensuring it is securely attached, you’ve transformed a simple PVC pipe into a meaningful symbol of your festival spirit.

As you bring your totem to the festival, keep in mind the guidelines and regulations set by the event organizers. Be considerate of those around you, ensuring that your totem doesn’t obstruct others’ views or become a safety hazard. Use your totem as a way to connect with fellow festival-goers, spreading positive vibes and creating lasting memories.

Remember to pack your totem with care, following the festival guidelines and protecting it from any damage during transport. Be prepared to handle and carry your totem comfortably, allowing you to fully enjoy the festival experience without any hindrance.

Lastly, embrace the festival atmosphere and let your totem become a part of your festival journey. Dance, celebrate, and create unforgettable memories with your totem by your side, capturing the essence of the festival in a unique and personal way.

Now, it’s time to take your festival totem and dive into the excitement of the event. Enjoy the music, the energy, and the sense of community that festivals bring. Let your totem shine bright and contribute to the magic of the festival experience. Have an amazing time!

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