Add some homemade charm to your Christmas tree this year with a DIY old-fashioned cranberry and popcorn garland! I’ve got the tutorial on how to make your own adorable, old-fashioned garland below with a bunch of tips and tricks because it isn’t as easy as you might think! Plus, I’m sharing a tip on how to keep it fresh for years.
I pop my own popcorn on the stovetop using white popcorn kernals. I just think it tastes better (for when you’re eating it), 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 who doesn’t like to save money.
I used floral wire to make my garland and I found it was really easy because there is no needle and the popcorn and cranberries just thread onto the wire and some even slide down the wire on their own. It’s not as “swoopy” as thread will be, but I’m okay with that and will still be adding my garlands to the Christmas tree.
- Thread or Fishing Line (if using on Christmas tree and want it to swoop)
- 26 gauge floral wire (if you're using as a wall garland or want it to wrap something)
- Start by washing the cranberries. As you wash them, go through and toss the mushy ones (or save them for a recipe.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Or if you're using floral wire, unravel half of your garland size, and start threading.
- 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.)
- Try out your own pattern of cranberries and popcorn kernels to make it your own!
- Continue threading until you have the length of garland you need. Tie a knot at the end to finish.
- 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 untill the end, then wrap your wire into another loop.
- 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.
- 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.
Looking for more holiday inspiration? I’ve got the recipe for some amazing ooey-gooey delicious homemade Cinnamon Rolls that are perfect for Christmas morning right here!
Or, if you have any leftover popcorn, I’ve got a great recipe for a Garlic Parmesan Popcorn!