9 Tips for Creating a Tailgating Tablescape Slideshow

Ideas that will wow the rival team

Pennant Flags

Pennant flags are easy to make and customize in your favorite team’s colors. Drape them across the front of your table or use skewers to prop them up on a plate of cupcakes.

Chalkboard

Buy an inexpensive chalkboard (or make one by painting thin sheet of plywood or foam board with chalkboard paint) to display on your table and write encouraging game-day messages or the menu.

Baskets

Baskets bring an earthiness and a sort of "indoors-out" vibe to the spread. They’re perfect for for holding sandwiches, chips, fruit, and other snacks. With handles, they also make it easy to transport food from the car to the table.

Tablecloth

A tablecloth will transform your tailgating area, whether it’s a card table or the back of your car. Define the area where the eating will be happening by laying out an old woolen blanket, a length of inexpensive burlap fabric, or a sheet of brown butcher paper.

Finger Foods

The food that you serve should be OK sitting outside while you tailgate and in the car while you watch the game. It’s even better if they’re easily portable, so that you can carry them into the stadium with you. A baked potato bar a good option because everyone can top their own warm potato with whatever they’d like. Fill out the spread with thermoses of soup or chili, and handheld snacks like caramel corn and whoopie pies.

Ice Bucket

Keep beer and other drinks cold in a bucket filled with ice. Galvanized metal buckets are inexpensive and easy to clean.

Paper Goods

Paper goods like straws and treat bags in your team’s colors will last all season and add real flair to your table.

Seasonal Details

Add an unexpected and thoughtful touch to the table by setting out seasonal flowers — like sunflowers and chrysanthemums — in your team’s colors. Later in the season, pumpkins and squashes can take their place. 

Bloody Mary Bar

Set out a tray with a pitcher of Bloody Marys and mix-ins to indulge everyone’s favorite tailgating tradition.