How to Make Real Popcorn Cranberry Garlands

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.


Step 1

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.

Step 2

Pour colored popcorn into a large bowl for easier handling. Place the cranberries in another bowl.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

Drape the Christmas garland around a Christmas tree. You can also put it on balconies, banisters or outside shrubs and trees.

Tips and Warnings

Push the needle through the center of the popcorn, avoiding the weaker sides. The center kernel is the strongest part of the popcorn. Use two or three different colors of popcorn for a bold decoration. Red, gold, and green are the most popular colors for Christmas garlands. Popcorn and cranberry Christmas garlands are appropriate outside decorations to also provide food for cardinals and other winter birds or squirrels. Do not tie the needle to the fishing line. The popcorn may crumble if it passes over the knot. Do not use buttons on the end for garlands that will be placed outside. Birds and animals could choke on these. Use sturdy cranberries for the end knots instead.

Things You'll Need

Microwavable popcorn, Fresh cranberries, 2-inch long needles, Fishing line or clear twine, Medium red and green buttons, Thimble, Powdered food coloring

About this Author

Amanda Herron is a photojournalist and writer whose credits include: "Georgia Realtor Magazine," "Jackson Parent Magazine," "Christian Guitarist and Bassist," and the "Jackson Sun/Associated Press." Herron has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Education from Union University. She is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and has won photojournalism awards from the Tennessee Press Association and Baptist Press.

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