Stringing Popcorn and Cranberry Garland 101

Stringing Cranberries and Popcorn 101: Alida Makes

 Who knew that making a popcorn and cranberry garland could be so challenging?  I sure didn’t…until I set out to make one.  There is a lot that can go wrong, frustrate you, and make you want to throw in the towel.  The first garland I made took 45 minutes.  And it was only 4 feet long!  Now I have it down to a science, and I’m going to share with you the tricks of the trade:

Stringing Cranberries and Popcorn 101: Alida Makes


1. Only use stale popcorn.  I recommend popping it the day before you want to use it and putting it in the refrigerator until you’re ready.  Why?  Because if you use fresh popcorn, when you poke it with the needle it’ll crumble.  Ask me how I know.

2.  Only use the hardest cranberries in the bag.  Those soft, plump, delicious-looking ones?  Don’t use those.  Because if you do they will bleed all over your popcorn, therefore dissolving it and making you start all over.  Ask me how I know.

3.  Always start your garland with a cranberry first.  The reason for this is that the cranberry will be a lot less likely to slide off of your knot.  

4.  Always end with a popcorn.  

5.  Only do about 5 feet of garland at a time.  That keeps it from getting tangled.  

Ok, now that we have our tips, we’re ready to go!  

First, measure out about 10 feet of fishing line (I just arm-span and doubled it).  Thread it through the needle so that it’s doubled over and tie it in a double knot at the end.  

Stringing Cranberries and Popcorn 101: Alida Makes
Stringing Cranberries and Popcorn 101: Alida Makes
Then repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat some more, again and again until you only have about 6 inches left of string.  Then cut and tie it in a knot.  Hang it on the tree.  Make another garland, and add it onto the end of the last one.  Repeat until the tree is filled!  
Stringing Cranberries and Popcorn 101: Alida Makes
This is our tree this year.  The decorations are very simple.  Pine cones, popcorn and cranberry garland, and cinnamon dough ornaments.  I love it.  The best part is that the we made every thing that went on the tree (well, except the pine cones…God made those.)

17 thoughts on “Stringing Popcorn and Cranberry Garland 101

  1. Alida! This is so cute – I love your tree – the girls and I strung popcorn for the first time this year, too, it was a lot of fun. We hung it on their little tree in their room. Will the cranberries last until after Christmas? I think this would be so festive on a tree outside, too. And thanks for the cinnamon-dough ornament link – I think we need to do some of those this week!!

  2. I love how this garland looks. It gives a natural look to a Christmas tree. How long does the garland last without the cranberries getting all mushy? Trying to plan ahead for the holidays.

  3. I use paddle wire. I just cut 3 foot pieces and even young children can help. I been doing this for 31 years. I wanted to stop doing but my family wouldn’t hear of it, so now they help while watching a Christmas movie. Now I have grand children to help.

  4. Brings back memories. We used to do this in times past, when I was a little girl. My mother also would purchase tiny colored glass beads made of the same stuff as tree ornaments. We would string those on the garland in place of the cranberries. Our tree would look so beautiful!

  5. Just wondered approximately how much popcorn and how many cranberries to use? I want to make these with my students for the week before Christmas break. I figured 5 feet of garland per student would be cute. 🙂

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