How To Make A Popcorn Cranberry Garland

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern



I’m not sure what your family Christmas traditions included, but mine didn’t include making a popcorn cranberry garland. I always saw them in the movies and thought they looked so pretty and fun to make. Now I realize we never made them because my parents are more of the store-bought decorations type and don’t find crafts as fun as me!😉

But this year, I’m excited to make one for the first time. Whether you’ve done this for ages or this is your first time too, you’ll be sure to enjoy this activity with your family while watching Christmas movies, as well as seeing the finished project on your tree or mantle!


DIY Old-Fashioned Cranberry Popcorn Garland

By Andrea of the Salty Canary blog


Ingredients (see link above for specific brands for ingredients, they work better than others)


  • Fresh cranberries (or fake cranberries if you’re worried about preserving them with shellac)
  • 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




  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!


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 is another helpful link on making popcorn garlands:

Cranberry Garland By Ocean Spray


Find more fun Christmas activities to do with your family this winter on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

Share This:
This entry was posted in Crafts, Food Safety, Fruit, Fun and Games, Holidays, In the Kitchen, Just For Fun and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *