Projects & DIY

Popcorn & Cranberry Garland

This is one of those projects I didn’t really have the time for this holiday season, but I’d been thinking about it for more than a month before the tree went up.

In an effort to get it out of my brain, I had to make it happen!

I have just a couple memories of making popcorn and cranberry garland for our Christmas tree growing up.

Just a couple because we only did it a couple of times.

I remembered why once I got started: it’s delicate work and time consuming.

The final product though….

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!

It just can’t be argued.

It’s unique and adorable and fun and festive and…and…and…

I managed to find the time to complete this project during “wind down” time – mostly at the end of the day when an absentminded task and the fifth (sixth, seventh…) showing of Home Alone plays in the background on TV are just what the mind and body needs before going to sleep.

I also accepted that this would come together slowly. It took an entire week of working a little at a time before I finally finished!

This isn’t a project for little kids, regardless how great their fine motor skills have developed. The task is just too delicate (popcorn doesn’t stand up to being handled with anything than the gentlest of hands) and I stabbed myself in the finger with the needle more than once.

Hazard of the job I suppose.

But if you need a mindless – mindfulness – project that will give your tree the little extra somthin’ that it’s been screaming for since you put it up and decorated: this one is just what you’re looking for!

Popcorn and Cranberry Garland Supplies Needed:

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Large Bowl of Popped Popcorn – no need for buttery goodness
  • Fresh Cranberries

Popcorn and Cranberry Garland How To:

  • Measure thread to workable length and thread through needle (I like to double my thread strand for extra durability and my ‘workable length’ was about my wing-span)
  • Tie a thick “junk knot” in end of strand
  • Begin stringing popcorn and cranberries (I did 8-12 inches of popcorn, then cranberries, but there’s no hard fast rule here. You do what makes you happy!)
  • Once strand is finished, tie off the end and drape on tree
  • Continue until tree is fully adorned with your sweet handmade decor

Anyone else take on a project in the spirit of the holiday that they didn’t really have time for…but are soooo pleased that they bit the bullet?


  • Tammy Mentzel

    Your tree is beautiful! I love popcorn garland but I have never added the cranberries. I store mine in a seal container and it lasts for many years. One trick I learned is to pop the popcorn and then while it is still warm seal it up and let humidity make it chewy. I use a brown paper bag , fold the top over, and let it sit overnight or longer. I makes it sooo much easier!

    • HJ Ozborn

      Thank you for these awesome tips. I will remember for the next go-round (I don’t think the current garland will fare well long-term with the fresh cranberries…but next time!).

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