Hello! Last month I picked up Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas 1997 at the thrift store. Since it was on sale for half off, it cost me a whopping 13 cents.
In spite of being over a decade old, the magazine still had plenty of good ideas in it, including a spread entitled "Enchanted Winter" - many nice projects for outdoor decor. And it was in this section that I spotted what looked like an easy craft: Popcorn Stars.
Here is the description and directions:
Provide for feathered and furry friends with Popcorn Stars. Using needle-nose pliers, twist two 12-inch strands and one 16-inch strand of aluminum wire together at their centers to form a star shape. Slide popcorn onto each spoke, leaving space on end of long wire. Loop ends of spokes so popcorn doesn't fall off; hang on tree using a looped end of the long wire.
Sounds easy, right? And I had everything on hand, including some popcorn I wanted to get rid of. A neighbor had given me various grocery items before she moved out of the country, including a repurposed jar that held popcorn kernels. Don't know what brand it was, but I didn't care for it after popping it. The texture and taste reminded me of styrofoam. Yes, beggars can't be choosers, but the next time I was at the store, I bought a fresh bag of popcorn kernels.
But figuring that "feathered and furry friends" wouldn't be as fussy, I popped up some of that mystery-brand popcorn and set out to make a couple of popcorn stars.
I know, I should have photographed the wire shape on something white, but there is my wire star, ready for stringing. The text didn't say what gauge of wire to use, but I used 18.
I've never done the popcorn/cranberry Christmas tree garland thing, so I don't know how readily popcorn breaks when working on that project. I found that my popcorn broke more than I liked, so it was not exactly a quick project. But eventually I got the wire spokes threaded with popcorn:
I hung my popcorn star from the burning bush in our back yard. I was hoping that the relatively light weight of the branches would deter the squirrels. After all, I already feed them on the deck with handfuls of Katyee's Squirrel and Critter food, so I wanted this star to be for the birds. But just to be fair, I made another popcorn star and hung it up on the deck railing to give the squirrels a taste of popcorn too.
I don't know what happened to the birds - they never showed up. (they do come around to eat the Squirrel and Critter food sometimes, so I know they're around) But of course the squirrels did. Within five minutes, both popcorn stars were bare. It was amusing to see the one squirrel dangling upside from a branch of the burning bush to get to his snack. So much for me thinking the branches would be too lightweight for him!
Oh well, at least I tried. Still, the concept is a good one, and maybe a different variety of popcorn would thread better. Or perhaps other nibblers for "feathered and furry friends" could be used instead. I'll have to investigate this to see what to use.