Here at Lehman’s, we love to be crafty and thrifty at the same time. This centerpiece idea is great on so many levels: it’s simple and rustically beautiful, inexpensive, a wonderful children’s activity, and you can feed the birds afterward so nothing is wasted. What’s more, it goes together in just a few minutes, and youngsters as little as 3 can help.
After the holiday, have fun popping the popcorn and stringing it with the cranberries. This could be a great evening activity to do while watching the football game, or for the next day when the children are still home from school. Drape your popcorn and cranberry garlands outside on trees, bushes, fences, even picnic tables, and watch the birds come back again and again for some cold-weather snacks. (My little boy and I decorated an evergreen tree near the road beside our house and it looked amazing!)
You will need:
- Clear quart-size canning jars – wide mouth
- unpopped popcorn – I used white and blue
- whole, fresh cranberries (not dried or frozen)
- tea lights
- jute twine, raffia or other decorative ribbon/wrapping
- Pour popcorn into the canning jar(s), layering colored popcorn as you wish and filling jars a little more than halfway. For perfectly same-sized layers, use a measuring cup for the popcorn.
Pour fresh cranberries on top of the popcorn layers, filling jars almost to the top.
Press a tea light candle into the cranberries, making sure no parts of the cranberries are touching the candle itself. (If you’re wanting to leave these lit for long periods of time, use battery powered tea lights.)
Tie twine, raffia or ribbon of your choice around the top of the jar(s). I used Lehman’s jute twine for a totally natural look.
Arrange on the table in whatever way you wish: a single jar surrounded by pine cones and pumpkins, a grouping of jars accented by your favorite plate, basket or a pretty table runner. The possibilities are endless. Voila – your table is beautiful, and the birds will be thankful this holiday season, too!
Here’s another idea: Instead of centerpieces, layer the popcorn and cranberries in half-pint canning jars, tightly seal with lids and bands and write your guests’ names on the lids. You’ve now made table place settings that double as take-home favors. Simple, natural, festive and fun.