Sunday, January 19, 2014

Made It: Popcorn Stars

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.


No comments:

Post a Comment