Design Tips4 Ways to Elevate Your Tailgate this Fall

4 Ways to Elevate Your Tailgate this Fall

Intentional Midwest Living

Brisk mornings, sweet honeycrisp apples, fresh donuts, a warm pot of chili, sweaters & boots, chilly campfires … it’s fall y’all!


For us, fall also means it’s tailgating season! I don’t know about you, but here in the Midwest, we do tailgates big. Whether it’s a Michigan Football game (sorry Spartys!), NFL or local high school match, there’s nothing quite like a Midwest tailgate with your family and friends. It’s a  simple evening … park a few cars and trucks, bring your favorite goodies, add some cute fall decor and share a fun time with your community. The bonus: There’s no in-house prep or clean up!


While lawn chairs and trash cans are great for a quick hoorah, adding a few design touches can elevate your next tailgate. Best of all, you don’t have to break the bank.


Elevate your tailgate with these must-haves:


  1. Think layers … and not the kind you dress in! Layer your spread with hay bales, barn beam cutoffs or any wood scraps that offer height variation. Mums provide a great backdrop and help fill your truck bed. Grab them off your front porch to save time and money. Add a few pumpkins in assorted colors and use them for the rest of the season.





2. Set the bed (bed of your truck that is!) – by using a table cloth or cute throw over the back of your tailgate, you can create a ‘set the table’ feel that elevates the look. For a more upscale take on an event, we love using a white tablecloth and combining the refined look of white linen with natural and playful elements of the spread. If you’re going for a more relaxed look, we love using a plaid throw as a tablecloth before layering your assorted spread.





3. Source locally! The cutest spreads offer a local charm. Ahead of a big game, we love heading to our local brewery to pick up micro-brewed beer or wine bottles as well as any novelty snack items they may be known for. Here in the Dexter/Ann Arbor area, we love incorporating oversized @JollyPumpkin beer bottles and @DexterCiderMill donuts and cider (yum!) In addition to supporting local, these items are often much more aesthetically pleasing than store-bought wrappers. 






4. Incorporate staples from your pantry to avoid plastic and instead try utilizing display trays or aesthetic storage from your own kitchen! We typically opt to use glass jars for serving and display. A cute picnic basket or charcuterie board are other fun ways to elevate a spread in an eco-friendly way.