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5 Simple Ideas for the Best Football Tailgate Party Tablescape

Are you ready for some football? You’ll be ready to entertain with our 5 simple ideas for the best football tailgate party tablescape.

It’s football time!

College football starts this weekend and the NFL begins in just 2 weeks on September 9th.

And I don’t know about you but when football starts it seems like that’s all some people talk about.

Stats, players, oh and don’t forget fantasy football…or maybe fantasy football is why the men in my house talk about team rosters all of the time.

Although I do enjoy watching our favorite NFL team on TV or heading to a game at my kid’s college, I’m more about hosting a super fun gathering!

Be sure to read all the way to the end of this post so you don’t miss out on the other creative football-themed ideas!

You don’t want to miss our tailgate-inspired menu.

Our recipes include everything you need to throw the perfect get-together…drinks, appetizers, side dishes, main entrees, and desserts!

Check out all of our dinner club tablescapes and menus!

And if you want even more ideas to host a fun football party then you have to check this post out!

two woman standing in front of eachother but looking at the camera holding a beer in dining room in front of tablescape

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Where to Host a Tailgate Party

view of dining room table on area rug in middle of room with chandelier above table and china hutch beyond table against wall

Whether you’re taking the party on the go and tailgating in a parking lot or you’re hosting a football-watching party at home, I have some awesome ideas for you today!

As you could’ve guessed from my picture up there, we’re Steelers fans around here.

So every week we gather around the TV and cheer for our favorite team.

Do you have a favorite NFL team?

Since we live in North Carolina we don’t get to go to many Steelers games so we bring the tailgate party here!

Last year we installed an outdoor TV on our back deck.

And it’s now our favorite place to watch the game when the weather cools off in the fall.

But for the 1st week of the season, we’ll throw our football tailgate-themed party indoors.

Ya know, where we can stay nice and cool in the air conditioning.

Remember this is the south and it’s still really HOT here!

I styled my football-themed tablescape in my dining room but you can use these ideas anywhere.

Inside or even outside your home.

And you can use these simple ideas to throw the perfect Super Bowl party!

How to Style a Football Tailgate Party Tablescape

view of dining room table from an angle with kraft paper as table runner down middle of table

When styling new tablescapes I shop my home first because I’m all about keeping my decorating budget-friendly.

Using items that I already have in different ways can create a completely new look.

And it also helps that I like simplicity in my designs so I don’t like a lot of extra stuff.

I’m a less is more kinda gal!

After all, this is a tablescape so we have to leave room for the food & drinks. Am I right?

I was able to style my football tailgate party tablescape for just $15 since the only thing I bought was 6 new galvanized metal plate chargers.

And I think the plate chargers were a pretty good investment.

I know I’ll get lots of use out of them for future table decorating ideas.

close up view of handwritten football play on Kraft paper table runner

The first thing I did when putting together my football-themed table was to grab some Kraft paper from my closet.

I rolled it out down the middle of the table instead of using a traditional fabric table runner.

Then I drew some plays and football terms on the Kraft paper table runner with a black Sharpie marker.

I’m definitely not an artist but it’s such a fun idea, don’t you think so?

Creating a Simple Football Themed Centerpiece

football themed centerpiece arrangement on long wood tray with faux grass plant in galvanized planter and diy chalkboard flags, football, mason jar with pampas grass and chalkboard sign

I wanted to keep the center of my table simple but festive so I grabbed my trusty old long wood tray as the base of my centerpiece.

This tray was a steal at Home Goods several years ago and I use it in so many of my table centerpiece designs.

I love how narrow it is so there’s still plenty of space for place settings and serving bowls on the table.

antique glass mason jar with 2 pampas grass plumes and old football leaning against glass jar on wood tray on dining table

In the middle of the wood tray, I placed a large mason jar and filled it with two pampas grass plumes from my backyard.

Did you know you can cut pampas grass and use it in your décor all on the same day?

I shared my secret tip to style your stems without waiting days for them to dry out.

Next to the glass jar, I leaned one of our footballs from the garage (hope no one wants to play a game of catch soon).

chalkboard sign on wood tray as part of centerpiece for football tailgate party decor

On the left of the mason jar, a metal chalkboard reads “Ready Set Eat” with another hand-drawn football play.

Remember I’m not an artist and I don’t have beautiful handwriting either.

Although I sure wish I did for craft projects like this.

galvanized planter filled with faux grass and DIY chalkboard flags stuck in grass on wood tray on dining table

On the other end of the wood tray sits a faux grass plant in a galvanized container with leather handles that I borrowed from the top of my china cabinet.

The grasses are perfect for a football-themed tablescape.

Of course, I couldn’t just leave it like it was so I added a few DIY chalkboard flags with some football terms handwritten on them.

Now that looks better!

How to Set a Football Tailgate Party Table

close up of place setting with seagrass charger on bottom then galvanized charger then a white dinner plate with a striped cloth napkin folded long on top with another small salad plate on top of napkin and a chalkboard metal place card on top

After I completed my football-themed centerpiece I was ready to set the table.


Mixing textures while keeping the place settings casual goes perfectly for a laidback tailgate party.

I bought the galvanized metal plate chargers for this tablescape because I loved how casual they looked and they also coordinated well with the grass planter I was using.

But the metal chargers looked a little boring on the table so I added my large water hyacinth chargers underneath and now they were perfect!

Don’t you just love how the different textures of the metal and wicker looked together on the Kraft paper table runner?

Gah…so pretty!

Next, I stacked my everyday white dinner plates with salad/dessert plates and my gorgeous ticking striped cloth napkins from Piper Classics in between the different-sized plates.

close up of metal chalkboard place card on top of plate on table

Finally, on top of each place setting I used these awesome metal chalkboard stands for place cards.

I bought these for my husband, Chris’s 50th birthday party, and used them for labeling food and drinks.

The mini signs are easy to write on with regular chalk or a chalk pen then clean off to use over and over.

close up of glass beer mug on football tailgate party tablescape

I usually set my tablescapes with wine and water glasses but for a football tailgate party beer mugs were the way to go.

Now that the table is finished…all that’s left to do is pour a beer!


view of dining room with table in middle styled with a football tailgate theme window at far end of room and china cabinet to left of table against wall

I hope I inspired you to throw a terrific tailgate party this season.

Now, let’s check out our friend’s incredible football-themed tailgating ideas…

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Meet Our Guest Host

tablescape tailgate decorated with football helmet and mum plants, wood bowls for food and a crate filled with spirits and copper mugs in front
Kristin – White Arrows Home

This month we’re so excited to share our friend Kristin from White Arrows Home.

She has an incredible lakeside log home in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and you’re going to just love her site. Not only does Kristin manage her blog but she also has a podcast and owns a successful shop.

We’ll be sharing a guest host each month, in addition to our permanent hosts below, so be sure to come back every month to meet our next special guest.

If you’re a blogger and you’d like to join our virtual dinner club for a month leave us a comment below or contact us here.

More Tailgate Party Ideas from Our Friends

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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