Have you seen this charming, old-fashioned popcorn and cranberry garland floating around Instagram and Pinterest? It’s one of our favorites and today I’m going to share how we do this craft with little hands.

We like this craft because it’s a simple, versatile decoration that can be used inside or strung outdoors in a tree for the birds and squirrels.  The imperfection of this craft only adds to the charm!  The seeds and fruits represent the hope of Christ.

Let’s get started!

You will need:

  • Fresh cranberries and oranges.  I recommend splitting up a bag of cranberries and oranges with a friend!
  • A tapestry needle like this.  These are large and not too sharp, but a good size for poking through popcorn.
  • Sewing thread.  I like all-purpose sewing thread (Coats and Clark is my favorite), or quilting thread, which is a big thicker. It has more grab and reduces things sliding around.

1.) Dry your oranges and pop your popcorn a day ahead of time. (I like this oven-dried orange tutorial from A Daily Something.)  Over the years I have learned that slow prep is everything! I do most of my crafts over a few days.  It reduces stress and allows everyone to enjoy the process.

2.)  The craft works best when you string short lengths and then tie them together.  It’s less awkward because the items don’t slide around as much.  I recommend starting with a 12-18-inch length of thread.  Double-string your needle by putting your thread through the eye and then pulling the needle to the middle point of the thread.  Tie the two ends of the thread together in a knot.  Two threads are sturdy but still won’t break the popcorn like a thicker string.

Kids will tend to want to string mostly oranges and cranberries because they are bigger and easier to pierce, but that popcorn in between is essential!  It keeps everything from sliding around and prevents breakage from things getting too heavy.  I sometimes string the popcorn for a little one and let them string the fruits.

You need to begin (and end) by stringing 4-5 pieces of popcorn because the knot on your thread will go right through an orange or cranberry!  Choose the biggest pieces of popcorn and pierce it through the fattest part.

Once finished, knot the end. (Also, sweep up infinity popcorn kernels and try not to step on too many cranberries.)

3.)  Once your have a few lengths completed, tie them together.  Ours typically ends up being about three to four feet long!  This is just enough length to lay across our mantle. This year things got extra-crispy after about a week curing above the fireplace, so the girls draped it in a tree outside for the birds and squirrels.

This year the threading of needles led us into a time of exploring sewing!  The girls spent hours sewing doll clothes and Libby made a felt needle book with her name embroidered on the the outside.

I hope you enjoy this little tutorial!  If you liked it, share it with a friend by pinning this post or tagging me on Instagram!  May the HOPE of Christ be with you this season!

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