With lots of football-themed decorations and food suggestions, these creative Super Bowl party ideas will make your game day celebration the talk of the town
It’s the beginning of a new year and to a lot of people that means New Year’s resolutions, going back to the gym, and getting ready for football playoffs.
I have been hosting Super Bowl parties for too many years to count.
And they have gained a reputation as THE super bowl party to attend among my friends.
Now with college football playoffs, there are even more opportunities for hosting football parties (especially since Clemson has been doing so well in the last couple of years…go Tigers!)
Having thrown so many football parties, I thought I would share some of my favorite Super Bowl party ideas that always make my game day get-togethers special.
1 | Set Up Your Room Like A Sports Bar
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The first thing I always do when I’m setting up for a Super Bowl party is rearrange the furniture. Doing this makes sure everyone has a good seat to watch the game.
I move television sets from all over the house into the living room and set them up like a sports bar so that people can see the game from anywhere. (If you have a large screen TV that everyone can see, this step may not be necessary for you.)
Then I move out all large pieces of furniture that take up space and don’t provide a lot of seating. My favorite chaise always gets moved to the garage for game day.
Finally, I find every extra table and chair I own (including the patio furniture from outside) and move them into the living room. My goal is that everyone can find a seat to watch the game.
If you live in an area where the weather could be nice enough to sit outside, setting up a seating section and TV outdoors is a good idea. Some people prefer to watch the game away from the crowd (and in my house I can use all the space I can find!)
Unlike most of my other parties, I try to avoid hanging things from the ceiling or creating tall centerpieces for the tables. Both of these tend to block the view. Since most people do actually want to see the game, I like to have as few TV-watching obstructions as possible.
2 | Make a DIY Football Field Rug
For some reason, football parties seem to have more spills than usual (probably because of the number of people). So I take my area rug out of the living room for the party.
And replace it with an inexpensive DIY football field rug that adds to the game day atmosphere (and protects my hardwood floors).
3 | Add Football Field Table Runners
Inexpensive football field runners can make any table look like it’s football party-ready. I use them everywhere!
These floor runners* are the most economical way to go.
For some reason they’re a lot less expensive than buying actual table runners.
And they come with tape on the back so you can stick them down to the table to make sure they don’t move.
I cut them into the right lengths to make runners for all of the surfaces in the room.
It helps to create a cohesive-looking football party decorating scheme.
4 | Or Use The Glam Version Of Referee Stripes
The black and white stripes of a referee shirt are another great color combination for football party decorations.
But since I like to do glam, I go for black and white leopard print tablecloths and zebra stripe chairs, instead of standard stripes.
These leopard print tablecloths were left over from another party, so they didn’t cost my anything extra.
5 | Make Penalty Flag Napkin Holders
Print out a “Penalty Flag” sign and glue it to the front of a galvanized pail* for the perfect easy-to-access place to store yellow napkins.
And they look great on the tables, too!
6 | Dress Up Your Crock Pot
To make your crock pot seem like part of the décor, wrap it with football-themed napkins* and tape it at the sides.
I am always surprised at how many people think the crock pot actually comes this way!
7 | Use Team plates and napkins
Using team-specific paper plates and napkins* for whoever is playing, is an easy way to decorate.
Since they get used up and thrown away, I’m not trying to save them from year to year.
Displaying the plates and napkins in a clear two-tiered letter holder is a great way to save space on your table if you don’t have a lot of room.
I usually buy my team-specific decor at Party City. They always have a good selection right before the game, and it’s often on sale.
8 | Put up team banners and flags
Putting small team flags on the table lets people choose which side they’re supporting.
Or you can hang larger ones on opposite sides of the room to have cheering sections for each team.
Although I have to admit, since you don’t know very far in advance who is playing in games like the Super Bowl, it can be hard to find the team gear in stock.
When that happens, I go with some generic “game day” banners and tableware.
Or if you want to save a little money, you can use our free printable football banner instead.
9 | Use football field tablecloths
I almost always use the Game Day plastic table covers* for my buffet area.
They are easy to clean up afterwards and when you put them out over a bunch of different sized tables, they all look like they belong together.
10 | Line Trays With Fake Grass
Fake grass* is another easy way to add the football feel to your party decor.
I line ALL of my trays with it.
11 | Serve Chips In A Football Bowl
These plastic football bowls* are really inexpensive and look great on those trays covered with fake grass.
They also hold a ton of chips.
Which is great because it means you don’t have to keep running around refilling them all night.
12 | Hang Pennants Above The Food
If you’re interested in showing some team spirit, hang some inexpensive pennants along the wall above the food.
I try to represent both teams. But if your home town is playing in the big game, you can go all out with your team colors.
13 | Get collapsible garbage cans
When you’re serving food on paper plates and beer in cans or bottles, there’s always a lot of garbage to collect.
Which is why these collapsible garbage cans come in handy.
They’re inexpensive, fit a standard kitchen garbage bag and fit into your party decor when they’re open.
Then you can fold them flat and save them for next year without using up a lot of storage space.
14 | Chill Beer In a Goal-Post Cooler
Then print off a Water Break sign and tape it on the front.
9. Chill Beer In a Goal-Post Cooler
The next one of my Super bowl party decorating ideas provides more room for beer storage. Which is always a good thing at my football parties.
A beer cooler with a goal post and a small blow up football allow your athletically-inclined guests to participate in the game. Just make sure it’s in a location where they can’t break anything when their throws miss the mark.
15 | Serve beer in Referee Koozies
Putting beer bottles into a beer koozie* when you’re serving them helps to keep the beer cold.
And they even come in referee shirts or team patterns if you want to keep the football theme going!
16 | Provide Referee Punching Bags
I use a lot of props at my football parties that add an element of crowd participation. Which always makes the party more fun.
This blow up referee punching bag* is one of them.
It has a weight in the bottom so it stands up on its own.
You’ll be surprised how many times people will get up to hit one of them when the refs make a bad call!
17 | Use Props Representing the Teams That Are Playing
If the teams or players have rituals or songs, use them to celebrate touchdowns, and get everyone involved in the game.
When the Seahawks were playing in the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, we threw out packages of Skittles when Marshawn Lynch (a big Skittles fan) scored a touchdown.
When the New Orleans Saints were in the Super Bowl we sang “When the Saints Come Marching Home” whenever they scored.
Of course if it’s a college football game you’re watching, pretty much everyone knows the routine for their own team.
18 | Act Like a Referee – Penalty Flags and All
Wear a referee shirt* and get yourself a whistle. Then use it to announce penalties, field goals and touchdowns as they happen during the game.
Get a penalty flag and a challenge flag, and throw them out into the middle of the guests whenever a penalty or challenge is called during the game.
If you go to live football games, some of the teams have announcers that involve the fans in their game calling, such as imitating the referee arm movements for first downs, touch downs and field goals.
You can duplicate this fan involvement by acting as an announcer at your party (a mega phone helps) and getting your guests to do these arm motions as well.
19 | Make Some Noise
Having noise makers such as cowbells, whistles or clappers available really lets people get involved in the game.
I usually put a couple out on every table.
Just make sure you’re ready for the noise. I stop short of getting an air horn to save everyone’s ear drums.
20 | Serve snacks in a Snack-stadium
An inflatable Snack-stadium* is a fun way to serve chips, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and other finger foods.
I like to put all of the snacks in the stands. And use the field in the middle for cold dips.
I put everything out a couple of hours ahead of time. Then cover it all with foil to keep them from getting stale.
Providing football serving cups makes it easy for people to take their snacks back to their seats.
21 | Serve Jello Shots In Team Colors
Most of the time, my football guests are drinking beer. (I don’t go out of my way to make special cocktails for this crowd.)
However, the one thing that does go over well is jello shots.
I always make them in the colors of the teams that are playing, and serve them in jello shot cups with small plastic spoons. There are never any left at the end of the day.
22 | Create a Game Day Nacho Bar
A Nacho bar allows people to put together their own nachos.
Provide a bowl of tortilla chips along with crockpot Cheese sauce, sauteed ground beef, home-made salsa, tomatoes, jalapenos, guacamole, olives, sour cream and any other ingredients you like to add to nachos.
People actually like to put their own plate together since they get exactly what they want. And it’s a time-saver for you since you don’t have to make them!
23 | Add “Laces” To Deviled Eggs
Another way to add to your football party decor is to make your food look like footballs.
All kinds of food can be made to look like a football if you’re so inclined…add green onion “laces” to the top of deviled eggs, cover strawberries in chocolate and add icing laces, cut pita bread into the shape of footballs and serve with dip…pretty much anything that is somewhat oval-shaped can be made into edible football decor.
24 | Make football brownie cookies
Speaking of football shaped food. These “footballs” are actually made from brownie mix (yes, the kind that comes out of a box).
So they’re super easy to make and taste yummy!
25 | Serve meatballs with game day toothpicks
These crockpot meatballs taste great and are easy to serve with toothpicks.
And I love to use these game day toothpicks* to go with the football decor.
That’s it for my list of football party ideas. Hopefully you have found some inspiration for your own college playoff or Super Bowl party.
Other Football Party Ideas you might like
Have comments or questions about our Super Bowl party ideas? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on January 2, 2018 but was updated with new content on February 19, 2024.