Monday, August 19, 2013

Wool Popcorn Garland Free Pattern Instructions!

Gosh, how time flies when you're busy!  I've been busy with summertime remodeling in the house and just haven't had the time to finish up the instructions for my new pattern "Popcorn Treats".  Since the pattern is still not ready, I decided to go ahead and give the instructions for making the popcorn garland.  Here's what the finished garland looks like on my small tabletop tree....
Every year for our Christmas tree, I've made a fresh popcorn & cranberry garland for our Christmas tree.  If anyone has ever made a popcorn garland, you will know how long it actually takes to make it.  I've tried saving the garland to use for the next year, but popcorn does not save well.

This wool popcorn garland is the perfect because once it's made, it can be used year after year after year.  And it looks so real that your visitors will have to look very closely to see that it's actually made of wool and not real popped corn.
I also discovered that while making it, the pile of wool popcorn in my bowl looked so real that I wanted to eat it!
The other good thing about this wool popcorn is that it can be made inexpensively using wool scraps. In fact, I finally found a use for the 1/2" salvage edges that I usually tear off and throw out.
So, here are the step-by-step instructions to show you exactly how to make this wool popcorn & cranberry garland...

Wool Popcorn and Cranberry Garland Free Pattern and Instructions

EDIT 11/23/2013:  I  shouldn't have to type this but unfortunately, it looks like I have to
This tutorial is free for anyone that wants to use it but please, be respectful and don't sell this pattern with instructions as your own.  Also, I don't mind at all if you make and sell something made from one of my designs.  I just ask that if you do sell something made from any of my patterns, that you give Cath's Pennies Designs the proper credit for the design.  I put a lot of work into creating, drawing, preparing the pattern, writing the instructions etc etc to have someone so thoughtlessly steal it from me.
Be respectful. Don't steal.    It's sad how inconsiderate some people are.

For more step-by-step tutorials and tips for working with wool, visit my "tips and tutorials" page on my website by CLICKING HERE

One 18" strand has approx 24 popcorn pieces 5-6 cranberries.

Here is what you'll need:
*  ½” -¾" wide  x 2 ¾” - 3" long strips of white/natural wool
*  Dark red wool for the cranberries
*  Thread ...strong cotton quilting thread for the popcorn and red thread for the cranberries
*  Poly fiber-fill or wool roving for stuffing the cranberries
*  Needles
Download & print the PDF for the exact size circle for the cranberries CLICK HERE  . To print, just click on the little printer icon or do a Ctrl + p

The Quick Instructions for the Popcorn & Cranberries:
Stitch a zig-zagged gathering stitch up a ½” -¾" wide  x 2 ¾” - 3" strip of wool. (Refer to the above stitching diagram)  Gather tightly and knot securely. Bury the threads into the popcorn piece.
For the cranberries, cut a 1 1/8" circle from red wool or print the PDF for the exact size circle. The link is above.  With strong red thread that matches your wool, stitch a gathering stitch around the outside edge of the circle. (refer to the above stitching diagram). Gather slightly and insert a small pebble size amount of fiber-fil. Gather tightly and knot securely. Bury the threads into the cranberry. Scroll down for the popcorn stringing instructions.

Step-by-Step instructions for the Popcorn & Cranberries:
The Popcorn:
For a 18" strand, you'll need 24 strips of white/natural wool
The wool strips for each popcorn piece can vary in size or they can all be the same size.  Mine were varied from ½ to ¾" wide and about 2½" - 3" long.
Refer to the stitching diagram above to see the zig-zagged gathering stitch on the popcorn strip.
This gathering stitch doesn't have to be precise or anywhere near perfect.  As long as it's zig-zagged up the strip, it will gather nicely.
 Start at the bottom corner
 Take long zig-zagged stitches up to the opposite top corner
 The stitching doesn't have to be perfect. As long as it's zig-zagged it will gather nicely.
 Clip the thread from the needle. Pull the two threads to gather tightly.
 Knot the threads
Bury the thread ends by threading them into a needle and push the tails into the popcorn piece. Clip the threads ends.  One popcorn piece is finished!
The Cranberries:
 Cut a 1 1/8" - 1 1/2" circle from the red wool. (size isn't that important, but my size was between the size of a quarter and a half-dollar.) For a 18" garland strand, you'll need 5-6 cranberries or more, depending on how many you wish to string between the popcorn.
For the exact circle shape, click this link to download and print the PDF.
 I used white thread here so that the stitches are visible for the picture.  Using a matching red thread assures invisible stitches. Stitch a quick running stitch around the outside edge of the circle.
 Pull the threads to gather slightly.  Push a pebble size piece of roving or fiber-fill into the center.
 Pull the gathering threads tightly and knot securely.  The wool edges may be tucked down into the cranberry if you wish. 
  Thread the needle and push the tail ends through the cranberry to hide the tails after knotting.
 Clip the ends close to the cranberry.

Stringing the Popcorn & Cranberries:
For the garland, I repeated with 1 cranberry & 4 pieces of popcorn. It's up to you how you wish your garland to look.  More 2,3 or 4 cranberries together between the popcorn would look nice too.
 Start with a long string of strong quilting thread. Don't knot the end.   Push the needle through one cranberry and pull the cranberry down to within 1 inch or so of the bottom of the thread.  Knot the thread into the cranberry to secure the cranberry on the end. The opened/gathered end of the cranberry should face the next piece of popcorn that's to be added.
 String one piece of popcorn.  String the next 3 pieces of popcorn the same way and then add another cranberrry.  Don't push the popcorn too close together.  Giving them some space allows the garland to hang nicely and also makes the garland longer.

That's it!  This does takes some time to make it long enough for a Christmas tree but figuring in how much time it takes to make a garland from fresh popcorn each year, it's well worth the effort.

I've found that making short 18" or so strands is easier to handle than making one long strand.  Just remember to always start with a cranberry and end with the popcorn so that the strands will match up when joined together.
This garland isn't just for the Christmas tree.  It can be used in many other decorating ways.
Although I don't really have my Christmas decorations out in the middle of August, I can show you that the popcorn garland looks really sweet on a fireplace mantel. 

I absolutely love this popcorn garland and hope you can use these instructions to make this for your home too!
For my pattern, "Popcorn Treats" Table Runner and Wall Hanging, 
visit my website by CLICKING HERE

Popcorn Treats Wall Hanging & Table Runner Pattern

For more step-by-step tutorials and tips for working with wool, visit my "tips and tutorials" page on my website by CLICKING HERE

Happy Day and Happy Stitching!