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Popcorn-cranberry garlands hanging from a Christmas tree may prove tempting to pets. Be sure to place them out of reach.
Step 1: Pop popcorn
Make or buy popcorn. Then leave it out for a day or two to get stale—fresh popcorn breaks too easily for stringing. If you’re using microwave popcorn, choose one with no butter and no salt.
Day-old air-popped popcorn works best.
Step 2: Thread a needle
Thread the needle with heavy-duty sewing thread, waxed dental floss, or fishing wire. Tie a fat knot at the other end of the string.
Wear old clothes and put down drop cloths before you begin stringing. Cranberry juice can stain.
Step 3: Start stringing
Alternate stringing fresh cranberries with popcorn, taking care to push the needle straight through the center of each piece. Carefully pull each one to the knotted end of the thread before stringing the next piece.
Make popcorn-cranberry decorations by stringing cranberries and popcorn directly onto narrow-gauge floral wire, then twisting the wire into a ball or another shape.
Step 4: String the lights first
Arrange the lights on the tree before hanging the garland. Ornaments come last, after the garland.
Step 5: Hang the garland
Drape the garland loosely on the tree branches, starting from the top, keeping it well away from lights. Use about nine feet of garland for each foot of your tree.
Step 6: Compost it
If you compost, add the cranberries and popcorn when you take down your tree.
Did You Know?
American colonists from Germany were the first to hang popcorn-cranberry garlands on Christmas trees.