It's Tailgate Time: DIY Game Day Ideas

We are full on into football season. Whether your allegiances lie with college, pro, or both kinds of teams, I've got some fun ideas to bring to your tailgate! 

Prefer watching from the couch?! Any of these ideas can be modified for the indoor fan!


Helmet Stirrers 

It isn't tailgate without some game day drinks! I've been having some fun with mini helmets this year! Earlier this year, I used a mix of NFL teams to decorate cupcakes for my husband's "Never Draft Drunk" fantasy football party. This time, I found a bag of all Vikings helmets (we live in Minnesota) at a road side flea market for $1! I just knew I had to have them. If you don't get that lucky, Amazon has an assortment of team helmets available to order.

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You can add these DIY cocktail stirrers to any game day drink. All you need is the mini helmets, paper straws, and a hot glue gun. Glue the straw into the helmet and ensure the straw stays straight. I propped mine up against a box to dry.

These look adorable in plastic football cups from my lovely friend and fellow Minnesota gal Jackie of Sprinkles & Confetti. She's curated a wonderful collection of tailgate goodies showcased throughout the post. It makes planning for tailgate a breeze! 

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Turf Coasters 

Coasters are another easy way to add some DIY fun to you tailgate setup! They don't take up much room in the car, but they add some instant pizzazz.  To start, I grabbed some free turf samples at Menards. Many home improvement stores offer free samples of these and don't mind if you grab a few to take home. I used a thinner turf to cut 4 squares. I then used some Waverly White Chalk Paint from Walmart to paint on some hash marks. This paint dries quickly, so they are ready in minutes.


I paired DIY coasters with a set of Tailgate Time coasters featuring football plays from the Sprinkles & Confetti collection.

Tailgate Tic Tac Toe

Let's be honest. You need a little entertainment before the game! I love traditional tailgate games like Cornhole. You can check out my DIY tutorial here. But, I wanted to try something a little more table-sized.

Using another free turf samples -- this one a little longer in grass length -- I painted a tic tac toe grid using the same chalk paint.


Additional Vikings mini helmets serve as the game pieces for one player and a fun football candy find serves as the game pieces for the other player. Would you ever have guessed these little footballs are Brach's candy corns? I bought mine at a local Walmart store, but you can find them online as well.


Food & Decor

Your car and a folding table are generally what you are working with for tailgate space. I tossed in some faux leather throw pillows from our family room and a blanket to make the back more comfortable.

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It's good to keep food options simple, so I used some Grub food pouches to serve up some popcorn, a plastic bowl from Sprinkles & Confetti for chips & salsa, and another tray from the tailgate collection for some store bought helmet sugar cookies.


Kraft paper boxes can be a great way to pre-pack sandwiches and other goodies. These were leftover from our wedding welcome boxes. I lined the boxes with some Grub paper from Sprinkles & Confetti. Add in bags of chips and sandwiches and you are ready to serve up lunch on the go.



Finally, you've got to add a little team spirit! Christina of Sunshine Tulip Design created some custom Vikings printables for me that were the perfect touch!

The flags were perfect to add to paper straws and wooden picks for cheese, meat, and sandwiches! Christina also designed an 8x10 sign with our team chant!


We'll be hosting the Super Bowl this year in The Bold North! Visit Christina's Etsy shop to check out her football collections. Custom orders are available for your team's colors! Perfect for all of your game day gatherings this season.