I rarely shy away from a DIY celebration. If you have something to celebrate, I have an endless supply of decorative food trays and maybe even a party hat or too. Let’s go! So when Smirnoff ICE asked me to flip a traditional tailgating party on it’s head, and share my take on a ladies tailgating event, I was all over it.
Little known fact, when Jeff and I first started dating, he took me to my very first football game. And once I got a handle on the basic rules, scoring, etc, I got way more into it than I anticipated.
So pack up the car, grab a few friends, and head to the nearest park (or grassy area, I’m not picky), by the field. These are my tips for throwing a carefree tailgating party with friends…
The very first thing that you’re going to need for a picnic party: blankets.
Don’t have any blankets? No worries. Go into your craft closet and grab the biggest piece of fabric you can find (I know you have fabric). It works just as well as a blanket. Bonus points if it’s a gingham print. Grab a couple of pillows from around the house too, for general lounging.
Food and drinks are next on the list of must-haves. But you don’t have to go crazy. Keeping it simple will go a long way.
I brought along simple sandwiches and wraps, along with a pesto pasta salad (that I made ahead of time) to munch on.
And with a handful of ingredients to mix with the drinks, you can make these three cocktails (which were so, so good – you will love these)…
Spiked Orange Creamsicle with a Kick
Mix one bottle of Smirnoff ICE Screwdriver with a splash of raspberry lemonade, an orange slice, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Spiked Sweet Tea
Mix one bottle of Smirnoff ICE Original with 5 ounces of sweet tea. Add ice and enjoy.
Spiked Apple, Pear, and Pineapple Punch
Pour one bottle of Smirnoff ICE Green Apple over ice and add 2 ounces of pear juice and 2 ounces of pineapple juice. Stir and enjoy.
Store juices and fruits in a thermos, to keep things easy and convenient.
I found some really inexpensive thermoses at IKEA that ended up being perfect for our impromptu picnic. To give each thermos a custom look, all you need is some acrylic paint and a brush. I added some football laces to one of the thermoses and kept the other two simple, with repeat patterns. Add a spray sealant once dry (make sure the lid is on so you don’t get any spray on the inside of the container) and you’re done.
After lunch, if you’re feeling up for a couple of games, maybe some flag football, try these DIY ideas…
Instead of choosing a color for each team, choose a pattern! Then make a set of team bandanas for everyone to wear. I painted polka dots on one bandana and a large ink blot on the other, to signify the two different teams. Once dry, you can wear the bandana anyway you want (head scarf, regular scarf, wrist wrap, etc).
I also turned a square piece of scrap wood into a DIY scoreboard by taping a diagonal line across the board, then painting each side a different color. After the paint was dry, I added sticker letters to spell out each team’s name. Keep score with a chalk marker.
Don’t forget your iPad to stream the pre-game…
Photography Sarah Eddy // Concept and Styling Brittni Mehlhoff
Think you’ll give a picnic tailgating party a try? I’m curious to hear what game day traditions you might have.
This post is in partnership with Smirnoff ICE. All reviews/opinions expressed in this post are unbiased & based on my personal view. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. Drink responsibly.