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DIY Cranberry & Popcorn Garland

Add some homemade charm to your Christmas tree this year with a DIY Cranberry and Popcorn Garland! 

DIY Popcorn and Cranberry Garland for Christmas

This DIY Popcorn and Cranberry Garland is so cute when finished and hung on a Christmas tree! Plus, it’s fun to make while watching Christmas movies with the family. 

I’ve got the full tutorial below on how to make your own adorable, old-fashioned Cranberry and Popcorn Garland with a bunch of tips and tricks because it isn’t as easy as you might think! And, I’m sharing how to keep it fresh for years and years to come!

First, you’re going to need some supplies:

Optional: You can use thread, fishing line, or dental floss instead of floral wire, but then you’ll also need a needle.

Possible Equipment: Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Maker if you’re popping your own popcorn.

I pop my own popcorn on the stovetop using white popcorn kernels and my Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper.

I just think it tastes better (for when you’re eating it), I like the way the white popcorn looks with the cranberries (rather than yellow popcorn), and it doesn’t have a bunch of other ingredients like butter or preservatives that microwave or bagged popcorn might have. Plus, it’s less expensive and, really, who doesn’t like to save money.

My Biggest Tip for Making a DIY Popcorn and Cranberry Garland for Christmas:

Pop your popcorn 1-2 days in advance and let it sit out in the open air to go stale. It makes the popcorn less brittle and fragile so it won’t break off in your hands as you’re trying to string it on. 

I used floral wire to make my garland and I found it was really easy because there is NO need for a needle and the popcorn and cranberries just easily slide onto the wire and some even slide down the wire on their own. It’s not as “swoopy” as thread would be, but I was okay with that and will still be adding the garlands to my Christmas tree. 

If you want the garland to be “swoopy” in order to hang them with fresh or faux greenery on a fireplace mantel, then you may wish to use a needle and thread or dental floss.

I’m going to include the step-by-step instructions in a printable craft card below so you can easily print it out and keep it with you while you make your DIY old-fashioned cranberry popcorn garland, but here are the instructions and some tips:

1. Start by washing the cranberries. As you wash them, go through and toss the mushy ones (or save them for a recipe.)

2. Next, make your popcorn. You will want to do this a day or two before you plan to make the garland and leave the popcorn out so it gets stale and isn’t so brittle and fragile.

3. If you’re using floral wire, unravel half of your garland’s desired length (BUT DO NOT CUT) and start threading.

4. Thread a cranberry and push it all the way to the end. Then add three kernels of popcorn and push them down.

5. Continue adding one cranberry and 2-3 popcorn kernels, pushing them down the floral wire once you get several threaded (it saves time to push a bunch, rather than one-by-one, but I found that if you try to push more than 3 popcorn kernels they will break more easily.)

6. Try out your own pattern of cranberries and popcorn kernels to make it your own!

7. Continue threading until you fill one half, then wrap your “loose” wire end (the cut end you’ve been using to thread the popcorn and cranberries) into a loop (to hang on a nail if needed) and then unwrap more floral wire from the other end, cut the end, and keep threading. Thread popcorn and cranberries until the end, then wrap your wire into another loop.

8. If you wish to preserve the garland to use next year, spray the entire garland with Shellac. Twice! Allow the garland to dry between Shellac applications and be sure to flip it over to get all sides. (I used a different finishing spray when I first did this garland – see photos – but Shellac works the best.)

9. Allow the garland to fully dry, then add it to your tree or hang on your wall and enjoy!

Remember: the cranberries and popcorn are no longer edible, so keep kids, pets, and hungry husbands away from it.

And if you’re having difficulty threading the popcorn, remember, stale popcorn is easier to work with because it will get softer and it is much easier to thread through the meaty (ball) end of the popcorn than an edge.

Here’s the printable tutorial with all the tips/tricks:

DIY Old-Fashioned Cranberry Popcorn Garland

DIY Old-Fashioned Cranberry Popcorn Garland

DIY Old-Fashioned Cranberry Popcorn Garland

Ingredients

  • Cranberries
  • Popcorn
  • Thread or Fishing Line (if using on Christmas tree and want it to swoop)
  • Needle (if using with thread)
  • 26 gauge floral wire (if you're using as a wall garland or want it to wrap something)
  • Scissors
  • Shellac

Instructions

  1. Start by washing the cranberries. As you wash them, go through and toss the mushy ones (or save them for a recipe.)
  2. Next, make your popcorn. You might want to do this a day or two before and leave the popcorn out so it gets stale and isn't so brittle and fragile.
  3. Then thread your needle and tie a knot at one end of your string - be sure to measure how long you want to string, and add extra length for hanging if you're not putting it on your Christmas tree.
  4. Or if you're using floral wire, unravel half of your garland size, and start threading.
  5. Thread a cranberry and push it all the way to the end. Test your knot and make sure it's secure. Then add three kernels of popcorn and push them down. Continue adding one cranberry and 2-3 popcorn kernels, pushing them down the string once you get a several threaded (it saves time to push a bunch, rather than one-by-one, but I found that if you try to push more than 3 popcorn kernels, they break more easily.)
  6. Try out your own pattern of cranberries and popcorn kernels to make it your own!
  7. Continue threading until you have the length of garland you need. Tie a knot at the end to finish.
  8. Or, if using floral wire, thread until you fill one half, then wrap your "loose" wire end into a loop (to hang on a nail) (see photo above) and then unwrap more floral wire from the other end, cut the end, and keep threading. Thread popcorn and cranberries until the end, then wrap your wire into another loop.
  9. If you wish to preserve the garland to use next year, spray the entire garland with shellac. Twice! Allow the garland to dry between shellac applications and be sure to flip it over to get all sides.
  10. Allow the garland to fully dry, then add it to your tree or hang on your wall and enjoy!
  11. Remember: the cranberries and popcorn are no longer edible, so keep kids, pets, and hungry husbands away from it.
  12. And if you're having difficulty threading the popcorn, remember, stale popcorn is easier to work with because it will get softer and it is much easier to thread through the meaty (ball) end of the popcorn than an edge.

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