Have a handmade tailgate!

Are you a football fan? There’s something rad about gathering on the weekends to cheer on the team — or at least just enjoy the party. Whether you’re a diehard fan (like the Hawkeye peeps in our office) or just a casual party-goer, the “big game” can be way cooler if you DIY it. Turn it up a notch by making your own cornhold board, drinks, dips, accessories, and more! Read on for our roundup of awesome handmade tailgate ideas.

1. Games. Oh love. What would a football party be without outdoor games? We’re always up for a few rounds of cornhole or washers before a game. And we found this charming tutorial by Katie from Sew Woodsy on sawdustandpaperscraps.com that shows how to DIY it! What could be better? Get out the power tools, and customize the fabric to match your favorite team. Then brag to your buds about how you built your bean bag board yourself. And win. Read more and get the tutorial here.

[images via Sew Woodsy, posted on sawdustandpaperscraps.com]

BONUS: Here’s a great video tutorial to build your own bean bag toss by the guys at dadlabs.com, if you want a different perspective.

2. Snacks. Yes — snacks are perhaps the centerpiece and masterpiece for any game day celebration. Entertain and impress with some of these recipes — they’ll taste good AND look wild enough to distract even the most focused of fans (at least for a few bites). Like these Football Whoopie Pies by Make Merry and the Football pops by Jamie of Love and Butter. And, of course, pep up any game day staple with “Game Day” toothpicks. Ra ra snacks.

[Left: Football Whoopie Pies by Make Merry. Right: "Game Day" toothpicks by Brittany of GreyGrey Designs, posted on blog.hwtm.com]

[Football pops image by Jamie from bakedwithloveandbutter.blogspot.com and inkandadventure.blogspot.com]

3. Drinks. On to drinks. When you’ve had your fill of games and food but there are still quarters left to be played, bring out the crowd-pleasing beverages. While beer is always encouraged, treat football fans to a delicious specialty drink from time to time. If you’re in the mood for warm, try a pumpkin spice hot white chocolate from Luna Cafe. If you want something cooler, a ginger and apple and bourbon is a delightful sipper.

[Left: Pumpkin Spice Hot White Chocolate from thelunacafe.com. Right: Ginger & Apple & Bourbon from tampopopress.blogspot.com]

4. Accessories. Show your true pride with a handmade hat or applique headband (hint: the football on the right is a FREE pattern — and looks great on an elastic headband). Knit some for yourself or for your biggest football fans. These accessories are good to have on hand four out of seven days of the week.

[Left: Football hat pattern from crochetspot.com and Free Crochet Pattern Football Embellishment from thetoddlerwhisperer.blogspot.com]

BONUS: Here’s a great video tutorial from Dodgy Redhead about how to turn an oversized men’s t-shirt into a stylish dress — perfect for turning your bro’s big team shirt into a snazzy gameday outfit.

5. Goodsmiths stuff! Turns out some of our shops are also sports fans, and you can see it in their work. Get your game face on with these fun gifts from our Football-loving shop owners, like a custom team beanie, matching neck warmer or cute hair band.

Hand-knitted team hats from Heathered, $15.

Nifty neck warmer by Stitch ‘n Smile, $12

Bama baby headband by Aly Katz and Love Bugs: Hair Candy, $6.53

That’s it! How do you prepare for the big game? Do you have any handmade tips that make your parties and tailgates super great? Tell me about them in the comments!