Gifts from the kitchen: Popcorn garland

This time of year, the kitchen is used to make wonderful food that will be enjoyed by many. The kitchen can also be used to make gifts as well. Learn how to make popcorn garland this holiday season.

Photo by Jennifer Longaway, CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo by Jennifer Longaway, CC BY-SA 2.0

The kitchen can be a warm and safe place to make different foods to enjoy over the holiday season. Popcorn is one food that is easy to make and can be used in many different ways. One of the most common ways to enjoy popcorn is by snacking on it, but it can also be used to make garland. 

Popcorn garland can be used to decorate a Christmas tree, feed animals outside, decorate a window or hang on a banister or fire place. Putting food on Christmas trees goes back many years and came from a tradition in Germany where they used to put sliced apples on trees. Over the years as Germans came to America, they brought different traditions with them and it evolved into other foods being hung from the tree.

Popcorn garland is simple to make and fun for all ages. The first step is to pop popcorn. Do not put any butter or flavoring on it, and let it sit for a few days after is has been popped so that it dries out.

To string the popcorn, you’ll need a needle as well as some thread, fishing line or dental floss. Besides popcorn, cranberries or red candy pieces like licorice can be added to your garland for color. Cinnamon sticks are another item that can be strung with your popcorn and adds a nice scent to your holiday.

This is a great activity to do with children, but they may become bored with it after a while. If you are doing this with children, make sure they understand that needles are very sharp and have a few band aids on hand for poked fingers.

A great family tradition can be started around popcorn garland, either using it as a gift or enjoying it around your home. For more on family traditions, see these related articles:

To learn more about Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development Program, visit your local MSU Extension office

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