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Tailgating Ideas

It's officially fall and that means it's time for football!  One of my readers and friends has asked me to write an entry on my ideas for a football/tailgating party.  Even if you're not someone who loves football, this can still be a great way to support your husband and throw a party :) So let the fun begin...

First you'll need to dress up the table for your party.  Pick a tablecloth in one of your team's colors and layer a grass table runner on top.  You need a field for football, right?  If you want to buy a real grass runner like this one, you can spend around $50 dollars.  If you want almost the exact same look for less, pick up a couple of moss table runners at Michaels for around $15.

Now for the part that everyone loves...the food!  You can still use the normal desserts like these store bought brownies, but add a little team spirit by garnishing your treats with your team's colors.  In this case, m&m's as seen on Porterhousedesigns.com.  I also loved the framed "Touch-down!" quote shown in the photo.  You could place different quotes like these all around your table.


If you're longing for something a little more challenging, try these cupcake wrappers featured on Celebrations.com.  The football paper is another thing you can pick up on your trip to Michaels.  


Here are the step-by-step directions.

  • Make a pattern for the cupcake wrap by wrapping white paper (or cardstock) around the cupcake and trimming it to fit.
  • Place the cupcake wrap pattern on the football paper and cut it out.
  • Cut 4 vertical slits into the front of the cupcake wrap for the laces. Make 2 slits on top and 2 slits on the bottom as in the picture.
  • Insert the shoelace tip into a top slit from the backside of the cupcake wrap and gently pull it through to the front (think sewing!). Pull the lace almost to the end leaving about an inch tail.
  • Then, insert the shoelace tip from the front-side of the cupcake wrap into the other top slit that is horizontally across from the first slit and pull the lace through.
  • Repeat the lacing that you just did for the remaining 2 bottom slits. Then bring the lace under the wrap to the front and thread the lace under the horizontal laces that are on the cupcake wrap so it resembles a football.
  • Bring the excess lace over the top rim of the wrap and tape all lace ends into place on the backside of the cupcake wrap. Trim off the excess lace. (Tip: Use the shoelace tip as if it were a needle as the slits can be tricky to thread. If you accidentally cut off the tip, just wrap scotch tape around the shoelace to make the lacing process easier.)
  • Wrap the cupcake in the football wrap and tape the back to keep it closed.

For some more team spirit, purchase a cookie cutter in your team's logo.  Depending on its shape, you can use it for a multitude of purposes-cookies, brownies and even sandwiches. 


If you love deviled eggs as much as my husband, you'll enjoy these as well. Use your own recipe and make the laces with cut chives.  Simple and festive.

Another favorite is the oversized pigs in a blanket.  No assembly is required.  Great for tailgating!

Then there's the spinach dip in a bread bowl (reminiscent of a stadium don't you think?)

Some other food favorites of mine are sausage balls (great for a morning games too), chicken and pepper kabobs and chili (Hormel with no beans) and cream cheese dip served warm with Fritos.

And if it's an early tailgate, I must mention my beloved Krispy Kreme doughnuts again.  Doughnuts and football...what's not to love?

Sliders are so in right now and a favorite of my inquiring friend.  I couldn't agree with her more.  And the good news is you don't have to spend time cutting up a ton of dinner rolls anymore.  Just head down to your local Target and pick up some Pepperidge Farms slider buns.  Yes!  They actually make them now.  For a more personal touch, I would make mini toothpick pennants (like you see on cupcakes) to hold each burger together.  

Picture via Ruffledblog.com (yet another wedding blog full of great ideas)

The pennants can be cut from scrapbook paper or designed on your computer.  Create a horizontal diamond shape design, using the imaginary line splitting it in the middle as the fold line to go around the toothpick.  

And of course I would like to plug the awesome DIY ribbon and letter banners that I mentioned in the baby shower post as well. But to switch it up a bit, I'd change the cutout shape from a circle to a football.

Lastly, once you have all of your goodies in place, create creative name tags for them using your team or opponents name, or football terms.  I'm use my team, Alabama, as an example, "Sack 'em Sliders," "Roll Tide Red Salsa," "Hogs (our opponent this weekend) in Blanket" etc.  

Have fun cheering on your favorite team!

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