One key element of holding down the sidelines over the fall football season is adding your own personal flair to how you cheer while under the Friday night lights. Although you may be practically twinsies with your cheer bestie, no cheerleader is 100% alike. Plus, upping your effort to stand out is always in a cheerleader’s best interest. A step in the right direction is literally what you step on–your cheer box! Besides your name, your cheer box expresses unspoken spirit to the sitting spectators in the stands! If decorated correctly, your cheer box can up your sideline career to new heights, so here are four things you should consider when you sitting down to bling your box out.

1. School colors. Don’t stray from those. Period. It seems like a given, but getting down to painting and decorating could lead you into an artistic direction including all kinds of colors, like painting palm trees or hearts or rainbows. Adding shapes and animals to your box is one thing; accidentally promoting another school’s colors along with your own can be detrimental. And, unforgivable. If you have odd school colors that need a boost, sticking to black or white filler colors is always a neutral solution.

2. Sparkle never hurts. A cheerleader’s best friend is glitter. And, hairspray. But, mostly glitter. Mix it with glue, and you’ve got yourself a decorating dream! You can draw glittery shapes and squiggles, or get artsy with it and add glitter to make your design really shine. Outline your name with sparkly glitter glue to really make it pop for the announcer to call. “Hey [insert sparkly name on cheer box here], how do you feel??”

3. Keep it simple. It might seem contradictory to the mission at hand, but decorating your cheer box too much will actually defeat the purpose. This is because the point of a cheer box is for the audience to see… and your football audience sits quite a way’s away! So, intricate little details will either go completely unnoticed or will seem like a bunch of noisy, indecipherable, cryptic messages to your fans. In order to get the crowd the most pumped, the best method is to keep it simple.

4. You do you, boo boo. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your cheer box is an extension of your personality–so express yourself! Is your style adventurous, charismatic, and loud? Stick to bold designs and glue on some jewel stones or streamers. Adding a third dimension to your box never hurts, as long as nothing drags or falls off when you move it around the track. Is your persona more reserved, elegant, and traditional? Lace around the edges of your box sends a tasteful message. Between construction paper, streamers, and all kinds of blingy things, try to make your cheer box your own as much as you do your school locker. Just don’t forget to incorporate your school’s mascot somewhere!

What else should cheerleaders keep in mind when decorating their cheer box? Show us yours in the comments!