When we had girls, it did not occur to me that they would turn out to be HUGE college football fans. Time to update my thinking! After the University of Georgia lost the national collage championship to Alabama last year, Baby A just cried and cried. So this year, I just want the Dawgs to make my girl happy, and I figured I’d kick-off the season in a big way with this football party.

How to style a football party by The Party Teacher

My color palette was green and brown with red and black as my accent colors because they are our team colors, but you could use whatever extra colors represent your team.

Football Party Backdrop

My first thought was to create a dessert table in our living room so that no one would have to leave the TV to snack. I was going to move a white desk in front of the fireplace to serve as our dessert and snack station. But it turns out I’ve had a rotten cold all week, so I shifted my plans to the dining room in an attempt to avoid manual labor. (Parties should be fun for the hostess, too, and not super stressful!)

Fortunately, all my plans traded spaces easily. For the backdrop, I hung this plastic football field backdrop from Oriental Trading. It is huge: 9 feet x 6 feet, but it comes in three pieces, so you can use only what you need. At $17, it’s a steal. (I’ll show you how I hung the backdrop later this week.)

From the backdrop, I strung five football paper lanterns ($8 for 3) on a thin white ribbon and attached them to the wall using 3M Command Hooks positioned upside down.

Football Party by The Party Teacher - dessert table 14

Dessert Table Decor

The dessert table has just a few decor elements:

  • It starts with brown kraft paper run the length of the table. I used the same paper to wrap two USPS shoe boxes. The shoe boxes are there just to elevate the UGA letters ($14 each on sale) from Hobby Lobby.
  • On either side of the UGA letters are red 32″ cheerleader megaphones ($39 each from Cheerleading.com).
  • On the front of the table, I hung a tissue tassel garland ($13) made in Georgia colors by The Flair Exchange on Etsy.
  • At the bottom of the table, I piled cheer poms ($5.85 each from Omni Cheer).

The megaphones, garland, cheer poms and several other items were all left over from a cheer party I did for a friend several years ago. I have thought about garage sale-ing them several times, but now I’m glad I didn’t.

The Georgia jersey paper napkins were a lucky find at Tuesday Morning a few years back. The red handled forks are from WalMart and unfortunately, I can’t remember where I found the kraft polka dot straws. They were an option for my daughters’ horseback riding party, but we ultimately went with gold striped straws for that party.

Football Party by The Party Teacher - dessert table 15

Football Party by The Party Teacher - dessert table 16

Football Party Cake

My husband loves nothing more than a good caramel cake, so I was going to try making one myself. But have you ever looked at a caramel cake recipe? It has about 3,200 steps and that was more than I could deal with this past week. Thankfully, Smallcakes was able to fit me in and bake this wonderful football cake for us. This cake was 8 inches on the bottom (chocolate), 6 inches on the top (vanilla) with caramel frosting. It cost $150.

(If you husband is like mine and he gets a little grumbly about all the party fuss, make sure your dessert table always includes one of his favorites. He’ll come around.)

My cheerleader figurine came from a local antique store, but here’s an Etsy seller who makes similar figurines that can be customized and kept as a keepsake.

Football Party by The Party Teacher - cake 2

Football Party by The Party Teacher - cake 19

Football Party by The Party Teacher - cheerleader cake topper 29

Football Party Desserts

Our other treats included:

  • Helmet and football cookies from Guilty Confections on Etsy ($39). Lacey’s cookies are always as tasty as they are cute, and she can make these in your team’s colors.
  • Yogurt covered pretzels
  • Red and white gumballs from Party City
  • Modified gorp (no raisins) with pretzels, peanuts and M&Ms in red, brown and green. The football field cups ($5 for 12) are from Oriental Trading.
  • Jones Soda in blackberry (because it’s the closest color to UGA red). I wrapped the sodas in UGA duct tape from WalMart — it’s cheaper and easier than using printables.
  • Football cups (from Dollar Tree) for our water drinkers. You can find similar cups ($12 for 8) from Oriental Trading.

I bought these darling little wood buffet signs from Oriental Trading, and had them labeled and ready to go, but sadly, they don’t stand up as they should. I’ll see if the VP of special projects can modify them for another party.

Football Party by The Party Teacher - cookies 10

Football Party by The Party Teacher - Meg cookie plate 39

Football Party by The Party Teacher - football bottles 9

Football Party by The Party Teacher - soda 4

Football Party by The Party Teacher - gorp snack mix 7

Football Party by The Party Teacher - gumballs 24

Party Budget

If you were to purchase everything shown for this party, here’s what you’d pay (not including shipping):

  • Plastic football backdrop $17
  • Football paper lanterns $16
  • School letters (3) $42 (on sale)
  • Megaphones (2) $60
  • Roll of kraft paper $20
  • Tissue tassel garland $13
  • Youth cheer poms (10) $58.50
  • Football plastic cups (8) $12
  • Football paper bowls (12) $5
  • Georgia napkins $5 (guestimate)
  • Straws $4 (guestimate)
  • Cake $150
  • Cookies (12) $39
  • Yogurt covered preztels, Gorp, gumballs $25 (guestimate)
  • Jones Soda $6

That would bring your total to about $472. Since I already had several of these items, I only spent $248.

Football Party by The Party Teacher - plate napkin 30

So — how could you reduce your spending on this party and still get a similar look?

  • Choose paper mache letters instead of wood and spend $12 per letter instead of $14 (on sale or $27 if not on sale).
  • Choose a shorter megaphone and spend $14 to $25 per megaphone instead of $29.
  • Bake a cake at home and spend $10 or choose a one-tier cake and spend $60 instead of $150.
  • You can make your own tissue tassel garland using this tutorial and pay only for the cost of tissue paper and string.
  • Instead of plastic cheer poms, choose tissue poms and spend $7 for 3 instead of $5.85 per pom.

All our decor is reusable, so if UGA makes it to the SEC championship or a bowl game (cross your fingers and GO DAWGS!), we may pull it all out and do it all again!

Football Party by The Party Teacher - Meg cookie 41

Football Party by The Party Teacher - Meg cheer poms 42

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