Get the tutorial for this nostalgic and old-fashioned, DIY popcorn garland with cranberries that you can make for the holidays this year.
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Your halls are decked, the tree is up, and the star is on. But wait, you need to add one last touch. A little pop of nostalgia (pun intended lol). Enter: the good, old-fashioned popcorn garland.
Take an afternoon or evening this holiday season to work on stringing popcorn while you watch Christmas classics.
Its simple and easy and a great homemade decoration idea. You won’t regret it!
All you need to make this popcorn and cranberry garland is a needle and thread, some popped popcorn, and fresh cranberries. You can of course omit the cranberries and just have a popcorn garland if you’d like.
You can drape your popcorn garland around your Christmas tree, over a fireplace mantle, on a piece of furniture, etc. We hung ours on a piece of furniture that sits behind the Christmas tree.
DIY Popcorn Garland
Making a popcorn and cranberry garland is SO easy, but will take a little bit of time. I suggest gathering your supplies, putting on a Christmas movie, and giving yourself about an hour to work on it. The amount of time it takes will differ on how long you want to make your garland.
- popped popcorn (tutorial HERE for popping popcorn on the stove, omit the butter and salt).
- fresh cranberries (optional)
- needle and thread
- Start by threading one end of your thread through the eye (hole) of the needle. Tie a loose knot with the end of the thread onto the end of the needle, with a couple inch tail.
- Cut your thread so that you are only working with about 3′ – 5′ at a time. You can also tie garlands together, but its difficult to work with if you have too much thread at one time.
- Poke your needle through a thick, meaty part of a piece of popcorn, and slide it down towards the other end of thread. Leave a few inches at the end for tying a loop to hang it.
- Keep doing this with more pieces of popcorn, sliding each one down to meet the previous one. After about 6-7 pieces of popcorn you can add 2 cranberries, and then 6-7 more pieces of popcorn.
- Follow whatever kind of popcorn and cranberry pattern you’d like.
- Once you reach the end, tie a loop and a knot for hanging it. If you’d like to make it longer, do another garland 3′-5′ long, and tie your garlands together with the extra thread.
- Drape it around your Christmas tree, across a mantle, etc. ENJOY!
Best Popcorn for Stringing
The best popcorn for stringing is popcorn that’s been popped on the stove and allowed to sit for an hour or two to cool. Just make sure to not put any butter or salt on it;) save that for the popcorn you’re going to snack on.
I have a tutorial HERE for popping your own popcorn on the stove.
Some tutorials say that you need EXTRA stale popcorn. I actually tried both fresh popcorn that had been cooled and popcorn that had sat for a couple of days. I didn’t notice any difference!
Some of your popcorn is going to break no matter what. It just depends on where you poke the needle.
THIS is the popcorn we always have on hand for snacking, so that’s what I used and it works great:) if you want popcorn that looks whiter, be sure to get white kernels instead of yellow.
What kind of string do you use for popcorn garland?
You could use almost any kind of string you want for popcorn garland. A thinner string like thread or a flexible wire will slide through the popcorn easier. A thicker string like jute may get stuck and need to be wiggled more. I’d stick with something on the thinner side, like thread, since you wont see the string anyways.
How do you preserve popcorn for decorating?
If you’d like to preserve popcorn for decorating, like in this popcorn and cranberry garland, you can spray it with shellac. Be sure to get all of the pieces sprayed and covered fully. Store it in a plastic storage container until next season.
How long does popcorn garland last?
Your DIY popcorn garland should last a few weeks. You can preserve your popcorn garland by spraying it with a clear stain or a shellac. If you’re using cranberries, its best not to try and store it for next year, because the cranberries are not dried out. They will likely mold and attract bugs if you try to store them.
I hope you enjoy making your DIY popcorn garland and you have the most amazing, old-fashioned holiday season.