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Trim the Tree with Four Homemade Garlands

2013 December 2

Decorating the Christmas tree is one of my favorite things! This year I kept my usual collection of ornaments packed away and trimmed the tree with homemade garlands of white popcorn, sugared cranberries, mini pinecones, and Christmas cookies. It’s a winter wonderland of sugary treats and woodsy accents all nestled amongst snowy flocked branches.


Of course decorating the Christmas tree is always more fun with company so I invited over a couple girlfriends and turned my dining room table into the Santa’s workshop of Christmas garlands!


I set out bowls of mini pinecones, jingle bells, popcorn and glitter. Sheets of baked ornament cookies to decorate, baker’s twine, needles and thread so that everyone had something to string. We sipped hot cocoa, snacked on cinnamon rolls and listed to Christmas tunes. And I thought to myself “Why can’t every day be just like this one?”


Here are the four styles of homemade garlands we created…



1. Starry Popcorn Garland: Puffs of white kernel popcorn flecked with little gold star glitter strung on a simple white thread. Amy was a popcorn stringing pro and had the tree covered in white in no time!

Here’s how to make it:
1. Pop white kernel popcorn on the stovetop and allow to cool.
2. Using a heavy tapestry needle threaded with white cotton thread, string popcorn one piece at a time through the roundest part of the kernel.
3. Continue threading on popcorn until your string is filled.
4. Lay garland out on a work surface and dot with white craft glue. Sprinkle with gold star confetti or glitter and allow to dry before hanging on the tree.
Note: glue will dissolve the popcorn kernel slightly so I recommend using it in moderation.





2. Sugared Cranberry Garland: These sparkling red berries strung on candy striped bakers twine are almost too pretty to be real!

Here’s how to make it:
1. In a large Ziploc bag, toss fresh cranberries with white craft glue until each berry is well coated.
2. Sprinkle in a generous amount of white sanding sugar and toss a second time to coat.
3. Shake berries out onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper to dry. Glue should dry clear.
4. Thread a heavy tapestry needle with red and white bakers twine. Carefully thread on one cranberry at a time until your garland is filled.
Note: threading cranberries is very easy if you go through the side of the berry.





3. Mini Pinecone Garland: Little cinnamon scented pine cones mixed with silver and gold jingle bells add a fun and woodsy touch to our snowy tree!

Here’s how to make it:
1. Giving a few inches space between each addition, tie mini-pine cones and glittered jingle bells onto strands of cotton thread (no needle needed).
note: I found mini cinnamon scented pine cones, gold and silver jingle bells at Michael’s Craft Store.





4. Mini Star Cookie Garland: Pretty little “frosted” and sprinkled star cookies look good enough to eat! Don’t be fooled by Marisa’s magical decorating skills…these salt dough cookies are strictly ornaments.

Here’s how to make it:
1. Prepare salt dough cookie ornaments- recipe coming soon!
2. Using craft glue, “frost” cookies and dip in bowls of white nonpareils and silver glitter to coat one side. Allow cookies to dry completely.
3. Using a heavy tapestry needle and white cotton thread, sting one cookie at a time tying a knot around each to hold in place.



It’s hard to choose which garland I like best but the sweet little Christmas star cookies really won my heart so I’ll be sharing a full tutorial very soon!


After the garlands were hung, we added a few simple green ball ornaments for the final touch and lit the tree. I just wish you could see our woodsy Winter Wonderland tree all lit up at night. It’s a magical sight to be seen! Do you ever make homemade decorations for your Christmas tree? I hope you will give a few of these garlands a try!


photos by Joanne Pio

Please Note: While they may look sweet, none of these garlands are edible!

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Leah Bergman

Editor at Freutcake
Designer, blogger, cocktail shaker. Classic with a bit of sparkle. Founder & Editor of Freutcake.

Latest posts by Leah Bergman (see all)

25 Responses Post a comment
  1. December 2, 2013

    I love flocked trees! This looks like such a fun “crafternoon” and your tree turned out gorgeous. Great job Leah!

  2. December 2, 2013

    This is one pretty delicious Christmas tree. And the best thing, by end of the holidays you won’t have any ornaments to take from the tree. 😉

  3. December 2, 2013

    Haha, Marisa’s Magical decorating skills… you crack me up. I loved this day! Your ideas were wonderful as always and everything turned out so cute!!!

  4. December 2, 2013

    So beautiful! I love the simplicity of the garlands, and they really do look amazing. 🙂

  5. Lyn permalink
    December 2, 2013

    Just beautiful! What did you use to flock the tree?

    • December 2, 2013

      Thank you! We actually bought the tree already flocked from the Christmas tree lot.

  6. December 2, 2013

    I love it!! I’ve always wanted to string popcorn for the tree but never found the patience to do it. I remember making salt dough ornaments as a kid. Look forward to your recipe so I can try it with the boys.

  7. December 2, 2013

    The sugar cookies look almost real / edible! 😉

  8. December 3, 2013

    These look great, and love how you say you cannot eat it!

  9. MaryAnne permalink
    December 3, 2013

    Simply beautiful!

  10. Jess permalink
    December 3, 2013

    So cute…. Though edible or not my dog would eat it and make herself sick i n the process :/

  11. December 10, 2013

    If you use a spray-adhesive and lightly coat, then sprinkle with glitter, it doesn’t dissolve the popcorn. Just use a big box, put waxed paper down at the bottom, space out the garland, LIGHTLY spray the garland with the spray-adhesive, quickly sprinkle the glitter on, and let dry. Another upside to this is that the glue dries super fast which allows for this instant-gratification girl to be happy.

    • December 10, 2013

      Yes! That is a great recommendation however we chose not to use spray-adhesive because in our experience it made the popcorn really sticky in the area not covered in glitter. Did you have this same problem?

  12. December 16, 2013

    I am so in love with this post. tbh, I haven’t started to decorate my home at all yet. This post really got me in the mood for Christmas. The pictures are so beautiful.

  13. kim permalink
    November 5, 2014

    On the sugared cranberries, do you not attract ants to this.

  14. November 14, 2014

    good Morning ! a beautiful and simple idea. I have included in my list of ‘ 9 DIY Christmas decorations” from my blog Hope you like it !
    Thanks for sharing such good ideas.
    a greeting ,

  15. Billie Nenninger permalink
    December 9, 2014

    These all sound great. We already have our tree decorated this year but will try next year with the grand-kids.

  16. Donna permalink
    November 8, 2015

    Great Ideas! Will we only get one use out of the cranberry garland or is it somehow reusable year after year since it has the glue on it?

    Thank you!!!

  17. Lisanne permalink
    November 28, 2015

    Hi! That cranberry garland is beautiful! How long does it last? Do the cranberries dry?

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