Oooh, game day in Athens. When I was introduced to the art of tailgating and Georgia football 10 years ago, it quickly became one of my most favorite things to do. Hunting for the perfect red and black outfit, socializing with a cocktail on North Campus, walking into the stadium and cheering on the team with my closest friends -- I loved it all. Even when I graduated and moved away, I still made sure to watch every game. And now that James and I are back in town as adults, we love Georgia game days more than ever. We especially enjoy having our friends come up and stay with us -- it makes tailgating and the games way more fun. Even though my outfits aren't nearly as dressy as they were in college (it's a southern thing), and James and I don't have season tickets, (they are crazy expensive!), we still know how to tailgate -- and when we don't scalp tickets to go the game, we make sure to watch our Dawgs play Between the Hedges on tv.
This past weekend my friends were in town for the game, and we were talking about how it's almost always sunny and warm each and every Saturday in the fall -- it's like Mother Nature is a sports fan or something. (ha) And while we're thankful the rain stays away so we can tailgate and watch some football, sometimes the heat in the south is just downright awful. And it was pretty miserable at times last Saturday, thanks to Hurricane Isaac. Bleh. How can a girl stay cool in that kind of heat?!
This summer, I found the coolest vintage 1980s Georgia fan at an antique shop. No one my age had ever seen or even heard of game day fans before -- this was truly a Georgia relic! I scooped that sucker up, cringed at the price, ($13! I mean, I was thisclose to leaving it behind...), paid for it and brought it home:
My initial thought when I found the fan was, of course, I have to have this. My second thought was, why haven't I thought of making fans for tailgates before?! It is such a good idea. So because my vintage find is just too precious to mess up on a sweaty, hot game day, I decided to make my own! Won't you join me in all the fun?
(1) 4 sheets of cardstock paper; one sheet will be used to print a high-res image of your team's mascot or logo (scroll down to find your SEC logo, or conduct a Google image search for your team's mascot. Be sure to search for large files only for the best results!) (2) stapler (3) a good pair of scissors (4) glue stick (5) The wooden stick of your fan; choose between a jumbo Popsicle stick, a free paint stirrer stick or my personal favorite, a paddle stick. Paddle sticks are tough to find in craft stores, so you will probably have to purchase them online (Ebay, Etsy, etc.)
To begin, stack the four sheets of cardstock paper, and place the sheet with your mascot or logo on top. Staple the sheets three or four times along one edge to help keep the sheets together as neatly as possible, and cut out the picture with your scissors.
Don't stress if your image isn't cut out perfectly. Your fan needs smooth edges, so a simple, rounded cut will work fine.
Now you should have four cut-outs the same shape as your mascot. Glue two white sheets together, and then glue the other white sheet behind your mascot, like this:
Now that you have two separate pieces that will become the front and back of your fan, you need to decide what kind of stick to use as a handle. Since I didn't have an extra paddle stick on hand, I broke a paint stirrer in half to use instead. After I glued the two sides of the stirrer with text together so it would appear blank, I glued the stick to the inside of the fan. Finally, I glued the mascot sheet and white sheet together -- with the stick in the middle -- to seal the fan together.
Finally, since the paint stirrer is thicker than Popsicle or paddle sticks, I needed to add a couple of staples to make sure the fan wouldn't come apart.
(To make sure your fans last for more than one game day, use a laminating machine to protect the paper and staple the sheet to the stick.)
All finished! This fun game day accessory is sure to keep you cool until fall -- and colder temperatures -- arrive later in the season. I can't wait! Until then, I do love these little fans:
My friends Megan and Betsy with me last Saturday, keeping cool with our Bulldog fans!
To any readers who aren't Georgia fans, (pun intended), find your SEC team below to make fans of your own!
South Eastern Conference
High-Res Mascots and Logos: