Monday, March 19, 2012

DIY Popcorn Bar

This Popcorn Bar was set up at an event recently as part of a theme that included a focus on old-fashioned values.  To reinforce the idea of old-fashioned values, we decided to use simple decor and refreshments: tissue paper flowers, burlap and gingham fabrics, popcorn, paper sacks, and punch.  We all love popcorn and Pinterest, so we decided to set-up a popcorn bar and post the results!

The set-up for this one is very simple and affordable. Here is a short list of materials:
  • Gingham - assorted colors for tablecloth and buckets
  • Burlap to cover washtub
  • Brown Paper Grocery Bags and Metal Washtub for popcorn
  • Brown Paper Lunch Bags for popcorn
  • Small Aluminum Buckets for toppings
  • Fast Drying Concrete - 3 to 4 bags for base of stand
  • Two 12' 2'x4 boards for base of stand
  • One 8' to 12' 1"x2" board for top of stand
  • Two 5 gallon buckets for base of stand
  • Decorative Paper or Vinyl for invitations and signs
  • Tissue Paper for flowers
  • Nylon Fishing Line for flowers
  • Cordless Screwdriver for stand assembly
  • 2 Wood Screws for stand assembly
  • Tissue Paper Flowers
  • Empty Spice Jars  with shaker tops to be placed inside the buckets and dispense the toppings

RB designed and made these popcorn bag theme invitations.  She is a whiz with her Cricut.

Popcorn Theme Invitations
Books were stacked underneath the fabric at the back of the table to raise the height of the toppings and make them easy for guests to view.  Burlap covered the basket holding the grocery bags full of popcorn.We chose to offer our guests their individual servings of popcorn in plain brown paper lunch sacks.  RB also made our "POPCORN" sign which matched the invitations.  She is so talented.

RB had these little buckets that we used to hold the jars filled with popcorn toppings.  Each bucket was a different flavor. RB made these themed signs for each flavor.  The values we were focusing on for this event were FAITH, DIVINE NATURE, INDIVIDUAL WORTH, KNOWLEDGE, CHOICE & ACCOUNTABILITY, GOOD WORKS, INTEGRITY, AND VIRTUE.  We decided on a nicely balanced variety of both sweet and savory toppings:  Spicy Maple Bacon, Cheesy BBQ, Cajun, Cinnamon Toast, Parmesan Nacho, M&M's, Cheesy Herb, and Sweet Chili.  As you can see in the photo below, the guests could view both the topping flavor and the value represented, thanks to RB and her sign-making talents.

RB brought her popcorn popper and it worked like a champ all night.  Aren't popcorn poppers wonderful!  I love the smell of fresh popcorn, don't you?  Mom used to pop it over the stove in a huge kettle, till  she discovered Jiffy Pop popcorn.  We were amazed by Jiffy Pop and the way it worked.  Okay, excuse my minor digression, but the point is that popcorn is fun and can inspire nostalgia.

Also important to your Popcorn Bar Set-Up is butter and butter spray.  The popcorn needs to be slightly moist so that the toppings will adhere to it.  Otherwise they just drop to the bottom of your bag and don't really flavor anything.  Butter and butter spray is key here.  I chose unsalted sweet cream butter which we melted in the microwave and served in a vintage glass salad dressing cruet.  There is no 'cute' way I've found to serve canned butter spray.  We made sure to have both options on the table with the toppings.

In keeping with the simple and old-fashioned feel of this event, we built an economical frame to decorate our table and hold the lovely Tissue Paper Flower decorations.  My wonderful HUBBY got the buckets, Quikrete, and lumber at Home Depot and mounted our 2" x 4"s in the fast-drying concrete. You can see in the photo below that the boards should be supported until the concrete is dry enough to hold them upright and centered. 
12' High 2"X4" Board Mounted in 5 gallon bucket filled with Quikrete .

When it was time to set up the Popcorn Bar for the event, we carried the base of the stand decoration (boards mounted in the buckets) to the location.  After we got there and positioned the base, we laid them down flat on the floor, and HUBBY used his cordless screwdriver to mount the remaining 1"x6" board to the top of the bases with a couple of wood screws. While it was laying down, we used clear nylon fishing line to hang the Tissue Paper Flowers from the top of the stand, then stood it upright.   Gingham fabric was used to cover up the bright orange buckets at the bottom of our base.

Completed Popcorn Bar Set Up and Ready To Serve Guests

The lunch bags were perfect for serving the popcorn. 

This photo is taken from behind the Popcorn Bar.  Our honored guests are having a little fun in the serving line.
We lined the hallway with tissue paper flowers, too.  We used the fishing line to hang them from the suspended ceiling.  We just tied a paper clip onto the end of the fishing line and then stuffed the clip under one of the tiles along a metal support.

The young women attending this event had made these flowers shown here at a prior activity. What nostalgia this inspired for me.  I remember being their age and learning to make these pretty flowers during the early 1970s. I think these young ladies did an excellent job making the flowers.  What do you think?

We had a lot of fun with this one.   If you decide try it, good luck.  I'd love to hear about it.

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  1. This is way cute! I know a lot of people who would love to use this idea at church or school functions :) Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Thank you for the kind words Spoken Melody.

  3. Can you send me more info about the program part of your New Beginnings?


    1. I will try to contact RB and see if she still has it. She was our YW President and had charge of the program. If she can find it and send it to me, I'll try to forward it to you:) Thanks for your interest.

    2. i will try this!!

  4. I would love to have the program as well!! Thank you, So cute!!!

  5. Could you send me the program as well? Very cute!

    1. I have made a few requests for copies. Unfortunately, no copies of the program were saved.


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