Popcorn Garland


We are stirring up some Christmas nostalgia today. I’m teaching you how to make classic popcorn garland. This easy and inexpensive Christmas craft is a classic and beautiful way to decorate your tree and home for the holidays. 

popcorn garland on pine garland on banister.

DIY Popcorn Garland

Yes, my friend, we’re making popcorn garland today! 

This project happened totally by accident. As part of the Christmas tree design planning for my family room, I wanted to focus on homemade ornaments. In fact, I have already shared a few of these with you such as my embroidery hoop ornaments and my clay Christmas ornaments.

During my brainstorming, I was also thinking about what garland I would use. Without a second thought, my mind went straight to the classic popcorn garland. Knowing that it would fit perfectly with my handmade holiday theme, I started making it immediately! 

popcorn garland hung on christmas tree.
christmas tree with colored lights in living room.

I made this garland a couple of weeks ago with my mom. Once we turned on a movie (you need to watch both Enola Holmes movies on Netflix if you haven’t – SO GOOD!), the two of us got to work! Within about four hours we had strung over 30 feet of popcorn garland that was ready for hanging. 

Speaking of garlands, we also made a paper chain garland out of some leftover wallpaper. The results are STUNNING! Check it out HERE.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. In fact, I loved the garland so much that I decided to use it as part of my staircase garland as well. Can I just string it everywhere?

entryway decorate for christmas with popcorn garland on staircase banister.

If you want a closer look at my handmade holiday inspired Christmas tree which includes several handmade elements, click HERE. It’s such a fun tree. I even decided to use those big vintage-inspired colored lights.

Love Christmas trees as much as me? Check out some of my favorite Christmas Trees HERE.

christmas tree with colored lights in living room.

Making popcorn garland is easier and quicker than you think. Working on it reminded me of how much I’m enjoying the process of creating a handmade holiday. I’d choose to string popcorn garland over scrolling on social media any day. (Speaking of social media, I broke down and joined TikTok. I know. I know. If you want to follow along you can find me HERE.) 

Are you ready to learn how to make a festive popcorn garland for Christmas? Before I get into the details, here are a few questions you may have. 

popcorn garland on pine garland on banister.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is making popcorn garland hard?

I don’t think so. The only thing I would caution you about is the sharp needle. I did jab myself a few times during the process. It wasn’t the worst thing, but it may be an issue if you’re working with small children. 

Does it take a long time to make?

Surprisingly not. I thought it was going to take forever but while watching two Christmas movies (about four hours), my Mom and I had completed a length of more than 30 feet. It’s not as time-consuming as you might think. 

threading popcorn onto need and thread.

How long does it last?

I can’t offer you an answer from experience, but when I shared that I was making a popcorn garland on Instagram, many of you said that you had done the same and that the popcorn garland lasted for years. 

Does it require a coating or shellac?

I’ve seen where others have sprayed the garland with a clear coat, but I’m leaving mine natural and will wait to see what happens. I honestly don’t want to deal with the mess of spraying it, and too, if my cats decide to get inquisitive, I would hate for them to eat something toxic. 

Can I use bagged popcorn?

I wouldn’t. As I mention below, for the best results you want air-popped popcorn with no butter, oil, or flavor. Most bagged popcorns have butter or oil. 

Okay, pour yourself a cup of cocoa or a festive cocktail, and let’s get crafting! 

popcorn garland strung on a decorated christmas tree.

Materials:

You only need a few things to put this popcorn garland together. Let me walk you through the list. 

  • popcorn kernels and popcorn air popper – This is important. For a popcorn garland, you want to use air-popped popcorn with no butter, no oil, and no flavorings. The easiest way to do this is to buy plain kernels and use an air popper. I initially tried the stovetop air pop method; I wouldn’t recommend it. It took way too long and didn’t yield as fluffy of popcorn as an air popper would. 
  • needle – You can find the needles I used HERE. I used size 18 (or the 2-inch needles linked here). You want a large needle but not too large.
  • thread or fishing line – For my popcorn garland I used a heavy-duty white thread (something similar to an upholstery thread or an outdoor thread). Just remember, you’ll want something that’s heavy-duty. A thin fishing line would also work. 
close up of decorated Christmas tree.

How to Make Popcorn Garland:

You can follow along with my instructions here. I also share them, along with a materials list, in a printable card at the end of this post. 

  1. Begin by popping your popcorn a day or two in advance. Pop according to your air popper directions. Allow your popcorn to sit in a container with no lid. Stale popcorn works best for this project. 
air popper popping popcorn.
  1. Next, thread your needle. You’ll want to double up your thread, so measure a piece twice as long as your final garland. It’s easier working with a smaller length such as four to five feet. If you’re making a five foot garland, you should measure out 10 feet of thread. 
  2. Take your length of thread and pull it halfway through the needle so you will have two segments of the same length on each side. Tie a knot at the end. 
  3. Start adding popcorn. Insert the needle near the center of the popcorn, press it through, and slide the popcorn to the end of your string. Continue this process until your string is full of popcorn. 
threading popcorn onto a needle and thread.
  1. Tie a knot at the end of your string. 
  2. Hang on your tree or garland and enjoy!

A few Crafting Notes:

  • As you work, you’ll find the sweet spot for inserting your needle making the process go a bit quicker. 
  • Some popcorn will break during the process. I recommend working over a bowl or plastic container to cut down on the crumbs. 
  • Make the process enjoyable. Turn on Christmas music, make some hot cocoa / festive cocktail, or watch a movie and you’ll be done in no time. 
popcorn garland on pine garland on banister.

How to Store:

Store your popcorn garlands in a large resealable plastic bag in a temperature-neutral location. 

Stored properly, your garland should last for several years of use. 

Happy Handmade Holiday:

If you’ve never made a popcorn garland before, I can’t recommend it enough. The process is almost therapeutic and the results speak for themselves. (Want more homemade Christmas decor? Check out this post HERE for my best ideas!)

popcorn garland hung on christmas tree.

I love a vintage Christmas feel and this will certainly create that with little expense and minimal effort. Speaking of … on this tree I used my handmade embroidery hoop ornaments and handmade clay ornaments! I love them here.

Happy crafting my friend! Enjoy. 

popcorn garland on pine with ornament.

Love this festive project and want more? 

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Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

popcorn garland on pine garland on banister.

How to Make a Popcorn Garland

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Home Decor Craft
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, garland, handmande, holiday
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
We going old school today. I’m teaching you how to make classic popcorn garland. This easy and inexpensive Christmas craft is a classic and beautiful way to decorate your tree and home for the holidays.

Ingredients

  • popcorn kernels
  • popcorn air popper
  • needle - (I used a 14)
  • thread or fishing line
  • scissors

Instructions

  • Begin by popping your popcorn a day or two in advance. Pop according to your air popper directions. Allow your popcorn to sit in a container with no lid. Stale popcorn works best for this project.
  • Next, thread your needle. You’ll want to double up your thread, so measure a piece twice as long as your final garland. It’s easier working with a smaller length, about four to five feet. If you’re making a five foot garland, you should measure out 10 feet of thread.
  • Take your thread and pull it halfway through the needle so you will have two segments of the same length on each side. Tie a knot at the end.
  • Start adding popcorn. Insert the needle near the center of the popcorn, press it through, and slide the popcorn to the end of your string. Continue this process until your string is full of popcorn.
  • Tie a knot at the end of your string.

Notes

As you work, you’ll find the sweet spot for inserting your needle making the process go a bit quicker.
Some popcorn will break during the process. I recommend working over a bowl or plastic container to cut down on the crumbs.
I recommend working with a smaller length of thread. Remember that you can always attach two to three lengths together to make a longer finished garland.
Make the process enjoyable. Turn on Christmas music and you’ll be done in no time.

Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!
Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

Posted By at 6:30 AM
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Comments

  • Laurel at

    Can you give an idea of volume of popcorn needed?

    • Michael Wurm Jr. at

      It would all depend on how much garland you want to make. Start by popping 1/4 cup of kernels and do some calculations from there.

      xo Michael

  • Margot at

    Also, I think yellow popcorn generally pops up bigger than the white kernels.

  • Jules at

    I will have to do this for our tree this year! Love the look of it. Also, I agree that both Enola Holmes movies were great.

  • Cheri at

    So many memories of stringing popcorn! Thanks for the reminder!!

    • Judy at

      These are so fun to make and look great on the tree. I like to put them outside after I’m done with tree, the birds and squirrels love them.

      • Michael Wurm Jr. at

        Love that idea!!

        xo Michael

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