Homemade Christmas garlands made from popcorn and real cranberries are a classic Christmas decoration. The craft is simple enough for most children, with supervision for the needles, and also works well in nursing homes. This traditional decoration is also ideal for using outside to feed birds and winter animals.
Prepare microwavable popcorn according to individual package directions. Pour a few cups of popcorn into a large plastic bag and add powdered food coloring. Toss until coated and colored.
Pour colored popcorn into a large bowl for easier handling. Place the cranberries in another bowl.
Cut a length of fishing line the desired length. Three to four feet is the best garland length for easier handling. Tie a red or green button to one end of the fishing line. Trim or burn the excess after you tie the knot.
Thread the eye of the needle and pull a third of the fishing line through the eye. You will release the excess string as you work your way up the fishing line.
Stick the needle through the cranberries at their longest points. If the eye of the cranberry is too dense, you may occasionally thread them through the weaker centers. Use a thimble on your thumb to force the needle through the tougher cranberries. This keeps the needle from injuring your thumb.
Thread a series of popcorn pieces along the string. Be very careful not to crush the popcorn blossoms as you force the needle through the center.
Make a pattern to get the look you want for your garland. Thread three or four cranberries, then add a foot of popcorn. This repeated pattern is easily seen from a distance.
Continue threading popcorn and cranberries on the Christmas garland until you reach the end of the fishing line. Using the last few inches, tie a button to secure the end.
Drape the Christmas garland around a Christmas tree. You can also put it on balconies, banisters or outside shrubs and trees.