1) Define a region in your theme. This region will allow blocks to be added to it. Surround the region in an div that has an ID which you can specifically target to make the whole region floating.
For example, in your .info file, you may define it like this:
regions[floating_region] = Floating region
And in your page.tpl.php, you would add the region like this:
<?php print $floating_region; ?>