How to Decorate a Pumpkin With Halloween Popcorn

Popcorn Pumpkin
Two things usually come to mind when we think of October 31: Decorating pumpkins and eating Halloween treats! Why not combine the two and dress up a pumpkin with Halloween popcorn? If you’re on the hunt for some ghoulish Halloween party ideas, this craft is a hair-raising alternative to the ho-hum Jack-o-lantern.

Popcorn PumpkinWhat You’ll Need

One small or medium-sized pumpkin
One washable black marker
Two 15-ounce canisters of Zombie Kettle Corn
One hot glue gun

Directions

  1. Using the washable marker, draw the outline of a monster face (or any pattern of your choice) onto the surface of the pumpkin.
  1. Separate the Zombie Kettle Corn by its four colors (orange, purple, green and black).
  1. Following the pattern you drew, use the hot glue gun to glue the popcorn onto the surface of the pumpkin. (Be careful not to burn your fingers!) It’s easiest to start at the top of the pumpkin and work your way down.
  1. Make sure the kernels are glued close together in a mosaic-like pattern so the orange color of the pumpkin doesn’t show through. Use small broken pieces of popcorn to fill in any gaps between kernels.

Welcome your Halloween guests by propping up your little monster on a windowsill, a staircase or your doorstep.

Now it’s your turn to tell us: What kinds of unusual materials have you used to decorate a pumpkin?

How to Make a Halloween Centerpiece With Popcorn

Halloween CenterpieceLooking for some simple Halloween party ideas that will send shivers down your guests’ spines? Here’s a tip: Halloween treats aren’t just for eating; you can decorate with them too! Spook-ify your dinner table with this centerpiece made from Halloween popcorn and autumn leaves. It’s a fun, super-easy craft, plus you can reuse it for your Thanksgiving spread!

Halloween CenterpieceWhat You’ll Need

One 15-ounce canister of Zombie Kettle Corn
One tall, clear vase
One branch of faux fall leaves
Halloween ribbon

Directions

  1. Separate the Zombie Kettle Corn by its four colors (orange, purple, green and black).
  2. Start layering the popcorn in the vase, one color at a time, in any order you like.
  3. After you’ve finished the second layer, place the leaves into the vase.
  4. Hold the branch straight up in the vase and continue with the third and fourth layers of popcorn, placing the popcorn around the branch. Pack the popcorn tightly all the way to the top of the vase so that it holds the branch up.
  5. Tie a cute Halloween ribbon of your choice around the top of the vase.

You’re done! Display your popcorn arrangement at the center of the dinner table, or place it on a coffee table to accent your Halloween décor.

How do you like to decorate with healthy Halloween snacks? Tell us your ideas!

Movie Night! The Best Films to Watch on Election Day

The Popcorn Factory Red States and Blue States PopcornNovember 6 is just around the corner, and you know what that means: It’s time for everyone to break out the ballots and choose the next U.S. president! What better way to celebrate than by gathering your friends—democrats and republicans alike—and treating them to The Popcorn Factory’s Red State vs. Blue State Popcorn Mix? Pair up your patriotic snack with a movie inspired by our nation’s commander in chief, and you have a party fit for a president. We’ve rounded up the best presidential films to watch while you and your guests wait for the polls to officially open on Election Day. Here are the five movies that got our vote:

Air Force OneCandidate No. 1: “Air Force One”
Party Affiliation: Action Lovers
The Back-Story: Just after President James Marshall (played by Harrison Ford) announces to the world that he won’t put up with terrorist threats against the United States, Air Force One is hijacked by Russian radicals. Now, Marshall must find a way to save the hostages’ lives … and his country’s reputation.
Approval Rating: If you want to pump up your Election Day party guests with a double dose of excitement and nationalism, this movie is your winner.

 

Candidate No. 2: “All the President’s Men”All the President's MenParty Affiliation: Suspense Junkies
The Back-Story: When five burglars are arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) is assigned to cover the supposedly no-big-deal story. Once he teams up with his colleague Carl Bernstein (played by Dustin Hoffman), however, the duo uncovers a much larger scandal that spells disaster for President Richard Nixon.
Approval Rating: Want to fuel some intellectual conversation at your get-together? This nail-biting whodunit is sure to keep your friends talking.

 

Head of State

Candidate No. 3: “Head of State”
Party Affiliation: LOL-ers
The Back-Story: After being kicked to the curb by his girlfriend and getting axed from his job as an alderman in Washington, D.C., Mays Gilliam (played by Chris Rock) seems to be living life in the shadow of failure. But when his party’s presidential nominee dies in a freak accident, Gilliam accidentally finds himself running for office … as president of the United States.
Approval Rating: With so many debates going on, election season can become pretty intense. This movie is the best choice for laid-back voters who want to lighten the mood.

 

The American PresidentCandidate No. 4: “The American President”
Party Affiliation: Diehard Romantics
The Back-Story: As President Andrew Shepherd (played by Michael Douglas) draws closer to the end of his term, his reelection looks like a sure thing. When a chance meeting with environmental activist Sydney Ellen Wade (played by Annette Bening) turns into a love connection, Shepherd faces career-threatening attacks from the opposing party.
Approval Rating: Who said you can’t find a great love story in the White House? Your starry-eyed pals will adore how this film brings a little romance to the presidential race.

 

Wag the DogCandidate No. 5: “Wag the Dog”
Party Affiliation: Conspiracy Theorists
The Back-Story: Just a few days shy of Election Day, the U.S. president is caught red-handed in a humiliating sex scandal. In a wild effort to divert the media’s attention from the controversy and secure his reelection, he hires Hollywood producer Conrad Brean (played by Robert De Niro) to cook up a fake war and win back his popularity.
Approval Rating: Part comedy, part drama, this movie is the perfect recipe for partygoers who love to second-guess candidates’ agendas … but still have a few laughs along the campaign trail.

"Air Force One" Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

 

If you need even more suggestions for your presidential movie marathon, these runners-up are also worth adding to your list: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Dave” and “Thirteen Days.” Which movies will you watch to celebrate Election Day 2012?

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Recipe: Pink Popcorn Ribbons!

Popcorn RibbonIt’s officially National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! All throughout October, charities across the country will be spreading the word about the battle against breast cancer and raising money for a cure. Millions of men and women will be donning pink as a reminder that breast cancer can be defeated with regular breast exams, mammograms and other early-detection screenings. Plus, hundreds of organizations will be helping patients and survivors understand their diagnosis, choose the best treatment and get emotional support.

The Popcorn Factory Pink Kettle CornTo do our part in the national movement against breast cancer, The Popcorn Factory has launched a brand-new snack: pink kettle corn! You too can help support the campaign by giving this delicious gift to the women you care about most. Every time you buy a container, we’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to charity! There are dozens of ways you can use pink popcorn to send your message: Mail it to your friend as an invitation to get a screening together, or serve the sweet and savory treat at your next fundraising event. Throwing a pink-themed party? You can get crafty and whip up these easy-to-make pink popcorn ribbons:


IngredientsPopcorn Ribbon

20 cups pink kettle corn
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine
2 5/8 cups sugar
1 cup marshmallows
2 teaspoons water

Directions

  1. Place pink kettle corn into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine corn syrup, margarine, sugar, marshmallows and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium until the mixture starts to boil.
  3. Once the syrup has boiled, pour it over the pink popcorn and stir until the popcorn is completely covered in syrup.
  4. After the popcorn has slightly cooled, butter your hands and mold the popcorn into the shape of a pink Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon. Rest the ribbons on wax paper.
  5. Melt a bar of white chocolate in the microwave. Once the chocolate has melted, add two drops of red food coloring. Stir the chocolate until it turns pink.
  6. Lightly drizzle the melted pink chocolate onto the ribbons.
  7. Let the ribbons cool at room temperature until they harden.
  8. Once they’ve cooled, remove them from the wax paper and serve them on your prettiest platter!

How will you chip in to help women learn more about breast cancer? Are you starting your own charity or fundraiser to help find a cure? Do you want to inspire women by sharing your own experiences as a breast cancer survivor? We want to hear your inspiring stories!

Halloween Treats and Gifts Preview!

halloween treats and candyWelcome back Popcorn Fans!

The combination crisp air, changing of the leaves and an abundance of sweaters everywhere signifies the end of the summer and our anxious countdown to our favorite holidays! We know it’s early, but we just couldn’t wait to share all of our hard (yet fun!) work with all of our loyal customers and fans. Today is the start of our Halloween treats and gifts preview! It’s your chance to order these festively fun, scrumptious Halloween candy and popcorn before the rush and share the excitement with us! halloween tin owl

Get started on the Halloween spirit with these scary good gifts! Our newNight Owl design is terrifyingly festive and gives any gift that ghostly touch. Our Happy Halloween and Gimme Popcorn designs are whimsical, fun, and in the spirit of the haunting season! Kids will love the ghoulish cartoons and playful lettering just as much as the gourmet popcorn and candy awaiting them inside. The Gimme Candy tote bag is great for enjoying our premium popcorn and snacks, and then reusing the tote for trick-or-treating. There’s a design in our new Halloween collection for everyone! halloween candy bag gifts

Back by popular demand are our Mr. Bone Jangles and Boo Bats designed Halloween gifts! Take your pick with colorful gift towers and hauntingly delicious popcorn tins. Get set for Halloween night with our Boo Bats Backpack gift, filled with Halloween candy, popcorn and ready to reuse for a secure night of trick-or-treating.

halloween boo mini tins Making their debut are some frightfully delicious new gourmet popcorn flavors like sour green apple, zombie kettle, skinny sea salt, and more! We’re also welcoming back our favorite chocolate popcorn flavors like dark chocolate and sea salt, chocolate drizzle, and s’mores.

When the goodies inside the tins and gift towers are done, reuse this spooktacular gifts as Halloween decoration around the house! The popcorn tins would make the perfect candy bowl for Halloween, too.

Check out our whole collection here and order before they creep back into hiding!

Happy Hauntings!

Popcorn Tin Reuse DIY

Welcome back readers!

What to do with that tin of delicious popcorn and treats now that it is empty? That has been the big question on all of our minds here at The Popcorn Factory. We recently asked our loyal customers to tell us how they reuse their popcorn tins, resulting in us trying out a few ideas of our own. One of our many ideas we gathered was reusing the tins for dog food, or any kind of pet food for that matter. Makes sense to us when you see how sturdy our popcorn tins are and how fresh they keep our delicious gourmet treats!

Here is a detailed, easy to do, step by step way to turn your old popcorn tins into a decorative fun alternative to storing dog food.

popcorn tin upcycle DIY

Popcorn tin upcycle DIY project!

First, gather all of the necessary supplies for this project. This will include: chalkboard spray paint (which can be found at any craft stores or Home Depot), chalk, some sort of newspaper or garbage bag to cover the surface you will be using to spray-paint or to let the tin sit on top of to dry, gloves, and of course your popcorn tin!

popcorn tin upcycle DIY

Popcorn tin upcycle DIY step 1

Next, you will want to make sure the popcorn tin is clean, wiped down, and ready to be sprayed. Using primer is a good way to create a clean foundation before officially spray painting the tin, but it is optional. We did not choose to use this step and the results were still great!

popcorn tin upcycle DIY

Popcorn tin upcycle DIY step 2

Now it is time to apply the chalkboard paint! Make sure you stand about 5 to 6 feet away from your tin. The paint should begin drying fairly fast so for a smoother look make sure you evenly spray around the tin; trying not to do more than two coats. Trust us, you’ll need the gloves for this!

popcorn tin upcycle DIY

Popcorn tin upcycle DIY step 3

We then spray painted the lid to our tin in the exact same fashion. Whether you do the actual tin or the lid first does not matter, just make sure you let your finished products dry completely before continuing. We set ours on the garbage bag pictured in our first step and let our tin and lid dry overnight to make sure everything was set. With a touch test, we noticed the tins drying within the first hour or two, but better safe than sorry with black chalk board paint on your belongings!

popcorn tin upcycle DIY

Popcorn tin upcycle DIY step 4

Next comes the fun part (or at least for us it was!) decorating your chalkboard painted tin. Any sort of chalk will suffice, even sidewalk children’s chalk comes out fantastic. Here are the end results of our up-cycled popcorn tin. We hope you find this to be a great and fun way to reuse those old popcorn tins just like we did.

Good luck! 

popcorn tin upcycle DIY

Popcorn tin upcycle DIY final step

12 Days of Christmas (in July)

Christmas gift tin popcorn Have you been celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas (in July) with us? We’re nearly rounding down to our last day of Christmas and ready to choose some lucky winners!

Why Christmas in July? Don’t we know it’s over 100° outside! Well yes, it might be a little toasty outside and Frosty would never make it in this heat, but we love the holidays and think one month just isn’t enough to show and share our giving spirit with our loyal fans and customers! Plus, as an expert gifting company, we put a lot of thought and hard work into creating our exclusive gifts and decided to share a little bit of our creative process with all of you. Right now is our time to work on all your favorite holiday gifts and tins and we couldn’t wait to show off our original designs (and also get your opinion!). Christmas gift tin popcorn merry christmas snowmen

These four Christmas gift tins are just a sneak peak at what we have in store for everyone this holiday season, but they are certainly some of our favorites! The red, jolly “Merry Christmas” tin with playful holiday colors and cartoon sketches is definitely one of the best popcorn tin designs we’ll have this December. Makes you think of being young and seeing your presents pile up and decorations take over the town.

Christmas gift tin popcorn snowflakesOur gold and Christmas lights decorated tin is bright and welcoming, making for the perfect popcorn gift that brings warm wishes even before you get to the presents inside!  The dark blue and white snowflake popcorn tin captures winter perfectly, with crisp and cool colors and intricate snowflakes unlike any other. And last but not least, our favorite snowman popcorn tin playing in the snow fall and dressed to celebrate the winter season and all its gifts!

Pick your favorite and mark your calendars for some delicious holiday gifts to come! And don’t forget to enter the last days of our 12 Days of Christmas (in July) Sweepstakes for your chance to be one of our lucky 12 winners to receive a scrumptious serving of popcorn or become our Grand Prize winner to receive a $100 gift card to The Popcorn Factory and ensure many more days of gifts!

Merry Christmas! (in July)

Christmas gift tin popcorn snowman

Unique Gift Ideas for Father’s Day: Part 4

Welcome back for another exciting week of Unique Father’s Day Gifts!

If finding the perfect gift for dad seems like it’s always the hardest thing to do, keep checking back with us! We have great gift ideas that Dad will both love and be impressed with… let’s jump in!

Unique Father’s Day Gift Idea Idea # 4: An Outing with Dear Ol’ Dad!

fathers day MLB sports tinAnyone can buy a gift, but it’s the special touches you put to it that make it a gift truly worth giving. For this Father’s Day, make your gift really count with your own personal touch and time. We know that dad is sure to love his new tie, coffee mug, or Nook, but we bet what he would love most is some quality time spent together this summer.

Summertime usually means barbeques, fishing, enjoying the great outdoors, and most importantly for sports fans, summer baseball games! Baseball is the great American-pastime, a time to enjoy the great weather, eat hot dogs and peanuts until you’re stuffed and watching a bunch of guys hit a leather ball with a stick! Okay, admittedly some of us don’t really understand the whole idea behind baseball and really only attend for the food and crowd, but we know Dad would really enjoy!

So if your dad is the biggest sports buff you know, secure two tickets for you and Pop to catch his favorite MLB team play. As a local Chicagoland company, we’ll let our Dads battle it out over which team to see between the Cubs and White Sox!

Secure your tickets now and see when your local team is playing here.

Make the gift a full package and combine it with a shirt or jersey from Dad’s favorite team, and let’s not forget a tin of his soon to be favorite gourmet popcorn in a decorated MLB sports tin!

fathers day MLB sports tinIs your Dad a Northsider or Southsider? Still basking in the Cardinals win? Never missing a Rangers’ game on TV? We’ve got all the MLB sports tins he needs that are packed with fresh gourmet popcorn in our traditional three flavors. His mouth will water with our real butter, cheese and secret recipe caramel popcorn combination. Plus, when he’s finished his gourmet treat, he can reuse his MLB designed tin for years to come!

Check out our whole collection here.

Have a Happy Father’s Day from The Popcorn Factory! And don’t forget to Celebrate Deliciously. 

Unique Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Part 3

Welcome back for another exciting week of Unique Father’s Day Gifts!

If finding the perfect gift for dad seems like it’s always the hardest thing to do, keep checking back with us! We have great gift ideas that Dad will both love and be impressed with… let’s jump in!

Unique Father’s Day Gift Idea Idea # 3: Puzzles!

fathers day gift ideas This week’s gift idea for Dad was a real “head-scratcher” for us to come up with, but it might be our favorite one yet. For the Dad who loves a good brainstorming session, we think a gift theme of puzzles, Sudoku and scrambles would be the perfect unique gift for Father’s Day!

If your Father doesn’t give up his morning paper until the crossword is completely finished (even though it’s already been two days…), or if you can always find Dad on his favorite chair completing another Sudoku in his spare time,  take our great gift advice and put together a gift set that Dad will truly love this Father’s Day.

First up are these crossword puzzle coasters from The New York Times store. This gift includes four coasters made from a rustic marble tile and screen printed with a puzzle edited by Will Shortz. Dad will love to have these nearby for his morning coffee or afternoon tea while he’s solving his daily puzzles.

What kind of puzzle gift for Dad would this be without any puzzle books to choose from? We like “Will Shortz Presents The Little Black Book of Sudoku” and “The New York Times Little Black (and White) Book of Crosswords” which can both be found on Amazon.com.

fathers day gift ideasTurn this gift into something that can be enjoyed with the whole family and include the classically fun board game Scrabble! This vintage looking game set is at Target for only $20!

Of course if you really want something the whole family can enjoy, our favorite Father’s Day gifts this season would be our 3-Flavor Popcorn Puzzle Tins! We have puzzle gift tins for crossword, Sudoku, and word jumble. And all tins are filled with our delightfully delicious 3-flavor combination of real butter, cheese and secret recipe caramel popcorn. We guarantee it will end up being Dad’s favorite part of his Father’s Day gift.

puzzle tin gifts for dad fathers dayCheck back with us again next week for another great Fathers Day gift idea! 

Unique Gifts for Father’s Day: Part 2

fathers day gift popcorn pal samplerWelcome back for another exciting week of Unique Father’s Day Gifts!

If finding the perfect gift for dad seems like it’s always the hardest thing to do, keep checking back with us! We have great gift ideas that Dad will both love and be impressed with… let’s jump in!

Unique Father’s Day Gift Idea #2: Father’s Day Weekend Camping 

We know you’re brainstorming some great gifts for Dad right now, but we bet the best gift for Father’s Day (and really any time) is some quality time spent together, and we have the perfect gift idea. Enjoy the summer and celebrate a great Father’s Day by going out camping! If your Pop is a big outdoors type or just needs a little vacation, a weekend of camping will be the perfect gift for him.

Pick a camping spot that is more suited to Dad’s interests. Does he enjoy fishing or swimming? Does he like to hike or go on long walks? Is he more of a sit-around-the-campfire-and-relax kind of guy? Check out this national list of campgrounds and see which ones are closest to you and what they offer: here. Once you have a campground picked, the rest of the fun ideas should follow as well as what to pack!

No matter where you decide to go, it’s best to always be prepared. Below is our Top 10 list of Items to Bring While Camping:

  1. Tent or Shelter: Obviously.
  2. Food: We have a few tasty ideas for this category later J
  3. Sleeping bag & blankets: Even though it’s summer, the cool night air is usually a little crisper when you’re in the great outdoors!
  4. Cot: This could go with sleeping bags, but a cot will help you get a better night’s sleep while also keeping bugs away
  5. Lantern & Flashlights: Unless you’ve somehow gained night vision…
  6. Fresh clothes: You may be temporarily living in nature, but there’s no reason to for-go a clean pair of shorts!
  7. Folding chairs: Comfy for sitting around the campfire and a good place to relax after a long hike.
  8. Cellphone or two-way radio: I don’t think anyone goes without their cellphones anymore, but in case of an emergency, it’s always nice to have. The radio will come in handy if you lose signal on your cell.
  9. First-Aid-Kit: Another “obviously”.
  10. Toiletries: Toilet paper, mouth wash, and the whole works.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a great Father’s Day camping trip without some of our delicious gourmet popcorn! We suggest any one of our best-selling popcorn tins. The tins are perfect to keep our popcorn snacks and treats fresh, bug-free, and scent-free from other critters that come your way! Plus, you can reuse the tins for storage or to help you pack up your belongings when it’s time to leave.

fathers day gift pick a fill gourmet popcorn tin Our Father’s Day Gift Picks:

Check back with us next week for another Unique Father’s Day Gift Idea!