Pop, Clink, Swish: The Final Countdown to The Final Four!

March Madness is in full swing! It seems to be one of the few times of the year that even the non-sports fan gets into sports. I read an article as the tournament kicked off this year that says an estimated 70 million brackets are filled out each year (I am responsible for 2 this year!) contributing to the $10.4 billion dollars that will be bet on March Madness games. Holy moly! Yes, you read that right. BILLION! 

My brackets cost me a total of $4 and with both of them officially busted, I decided it would be more fun to decorate the bar for the final weekend of games. And, surprise, it doesn't have to cost you billions to put together a fun party setup for the big games this weekend.

 
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Scoreboard Backdrop 

A few weeks back, I made my first attempt at creating a themed backdrop for our bar for St. Patrick's Day. It was cheap, easy, and fun! Although it certainly isn't something I'll do for every occasion, it certainly adds a lot to a party setup. 

What You Need

  • Black foam board (Dollar Tree - $1)

  • Chalk Marker or White Paint Pen (Craft Store or Amazon)

  • Yellow craft foam (Dollar Tree - $1 for variety pack of colors)

  • Adhesive Mounting Squares (Craft Store or Amazon

I already had chalk markers and mounting squares, as they come in handy for all kinds of projects. I had hoped to use my Cricut to cut the craft foam into squares, but being the novice that I am, I had trouble getting it to do what I wanted. More practice needed! So, I cut them the old-fashioned way-- with scissors.

After getting the squares cut, I laid them out on the board for space planning and to make sure I had a enough squares. I only needed one sheet of foam and had plenty of leftover squares. 

To decide on the design, I did a quick Google search of basketball scoreboards. Layouts differed, so I decided to keep it simple. I used the chalk marker to write-on the words and draw a line around the time clock. 

I then adjusted where I wanted the numbers and secured each square with the adhesive squares. This could go faster if you purchased craft foam with an adhesive back from a craft store.

After the backdrop was ready, I folded up a black tablecloth I have from Target and propped up the scoreboard. Then it was time to pull the rest of it together!

 
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March Madness Printables

The little details for this setup were so easy with March Madness printables from Elva M. Design Studio! The full suite includes: an 8x10 sign, a 4x6 sign, water bottle labels, beer bottle labels, food tents, straw flags, and a banner. You'll see throughout the rest of the post how I incorporated many of these items into the setup. What's great about these, is that they are an instant download through Elva M. Design Studio's Etsy shop, so you can print them yourself to quickly make a last minute gathering more festive.

The little flags might be my favorite! I added them to black and white paper straws I recently picked up on clearance at Target for $1. They are displayed in a tin can leftover from some canned veggies that I wrapped in black and white stripped paper and secured with double-sided tape. Make sure to save a few tin cans for craft projects. You never know when they'll come in handy!

 
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3-Point Shots

No game day bar would be complete without some drink options and they don't have to be complication. We all know Gatorade is the sports drink of choice, so all you need is some vodka + your sports drink flavor of choice and you've got some easy shots. You can also serve the extra Gatorade as a great non-alcoholic option. This was the perfect place to add the 3 Point Shots sign in a handy and cheap Ikea frame I have around for parties.

 
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I decorated this area with a dollar store clipboard, a free printable bracket, and a dollar store basketball Easter basket that I flipped upside down to create some height on the bar.

 
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Beer & Water

 
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It's always good to have a variety of beverages on hand for your guests. The party printables were a fun way to dress up regular old bottles of beer and bottles of water. The food tents are a great way to label beer types if you've covered up the label or taken it off.

 
 

Take a close look at the nutrition facts on these. Cute, right?!

 
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Banner

What You Need

  • Twine

  • Tassels (Target, mine came with string for the banner)

  • Mini clothespins (Walmart or recently saw at Dollar Tree)

  • Referee stripe squares (print and make with cardstock) 

The whole area was topped off with a little banner. You might remember this referee stripes from our fall football mantel. I printed black and white striped paper for free onto cardstock and cut it into squares. Sadly, I cannot find the printable template I used. It's come in handy for our Super Bowl party and for this! I love when you can reuse something! Speaking of reusing something, the "Your Teams Tears" cups were also a Walmart find that I used for the Super Bowl as well.

I paired the striped squares with part of an orange tassel banner I picked up on clearance at Target for $2. It seems like every few months you can grab solid color party items on clearance in Target's party section as they cycle out colors and different designs (ex. polka dots, stripes, etc.). I often buy these for cheap having no idea what I'll use them for, but always end up finding something! This time, I got lucky with the orange being on clearance when I needed it. 

 
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Although it seems like a lot, most of this was put together from items around the house! Otherwise, all you need is a quick stop at the dollar store and Target or Walmart and access to a color printer. Enjoy the last of the the madness this weekend! Major league baseball kicks off Monday and that must mean nicer weather is around the corner, right?!

 
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