It's more than a football game. For many, the Super Bowl is a giant party.
Punch up the party fun and win accolades with these quick, do-it-yourself decorations.
"This should be fun and easy and something that your kids can do with you. It shouldn't add any stress," advises football fan Amy Panos, deputy editor of home design for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. "It needs to add to the festivities. Let's face it: It's the last time you're going to watch football till August."
Have time for only one party accessory?
Make penalty flags, says Panos.
They're simple: Put a pingpong ball inside a 10-inch square of fabric or thick paper napkin — you can use Denver Broncos orange and Carolina Panthers blue for this year's Super Bowl. Gather up the four corners and wrap them with a rubber band (it'll look like an orange or blue ghost). Display an armload of these in a basket near the TV.
"Sometimes you just need to throw the flag at somebody," says Panos, who keeps a basket of these in her Des Moines family room year-round.
"It's usually while watching a sporting event when we throw the flag," she says. "Or if someone is throwing M&Ms or being rude, they get the flag (thrown)."
Another quick idea: Buy an assortment of striped tube (athletic) socks — again, shocking orange and bright blue suit this year's color scheme — and cut them below the striped ribbing to use as drink cozies.
Get deeper into the game by making pennants — they're basically triangles, right? Cut small ones from construction paper or cardstock and attach them to toothpicks and drink stirrers to adorn appetizers and drinks. Make larger ones from card stock or felt and attach them to dowels to tuck into vases, a trophy cup or a wreath.
Or try this table-decorating idea from Marianne Canada, a designer for HGTV.com who hosts its Crafternoon series:
Draw football laces onto several small terra-cotta pots with a white paint pen. First, draw a thick vertical line; let it dry, and then add horizontal lines across the vertical line and let them dry. Insert moistened floral foam and flowers in the teams' colors.
Time strapped? Use white electrical tape instead.
"It makes a great graphic impact, but it's really inexpensive and it's something you can put together in 30 minutes," says Canada.
A last-minute decorating idea?
"Display a few footballs on the mantel or on the food table or coffee table, or grab a kid's helmet and put that on display," says Panos.
Guests could construct their own penalty flags or larger pennants during the game, and take them home as party favors.