A great food bar option for any party
My popcorn bar was a big hit at the Oscar’s party last weekend. It was so much fun to watch everyone figure out which mixture of seasoning and toppings to add to their bag of popcorn. My favorite was the apple cinnamon seasoning with granola topping! We all decided that it was best to make small batches so that we could keep coming back to create new recipes. Next time I’m going to buy smaller bags.
Whether you’re having a wedding or hosting another kind of party (graduation, birthday) food bars are a lot of fun. I decided to start with the creation of a popcorn bar because I knew that I could use it at several parties this year.
Below I’ll share the steps I took to create my Popcorn Bar and at the very bottom you’ll find a link to my videos which also show how I did it. My website contains affiliate links which means that I may receive commissions when items are purchased from the links. This does not affect/change the price you pay. See my disclosure statement for details.
I just finished creating a special store front on Amazon with a list of my favorite popcorn bar essentials. Check it out here!!!
How it works
- Snag a bag (an empty bag for popcorn).
- Scoop popcorn into the bag.
- Spritz on the butter spray.
- Sprinkle a seasoning and some toppings on the popcorn.
- Shake the bag to mix the toppings and seasonings with the popcorn.
- Snack & enjoy.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR POPCORN BAR
Decide on the overall look of your Popcorn Bar.You’ll see popcorn bars take on all types of styles when you look at photos on Pinterest. Decide which one kits the look you’re going for. I found one that I love and invested in the Popcorn Bar sign kit. It was worth every penny! Click here to see the kit that I purchased on Etsy.
Pick your seasonings.
I recommend picking a few savory/salty flavors and a few sweet ones. I used Kernel Season’s Popcorn seasoning. They have so many flavors. You can usually find a few flavors in the popcorn aisle of your local grocery store; however, a wider range of options is available on Amazon.
You’ll also want to get a can of butter spritzer. This is what makes the seasonings stick to the popcorn. Your guests will spray the popcorn and then sprinkle the seasoning on top.
Put seasonings into shakers and label them.
Obviously this step is optional. The Kernel Seasons shakers (shown above) are pretty cute. However, you might consider using other shakers if you’re hosting a popcorn bar at an event where the look of the bar is as important as the taste of the popcorn. The popcorn graphic kit (linked above) included dozens of seasoning label options that can be used on basic salt & pepper shakers.
I purchased this box of shakers from Amazon for very cheap. Check out the details of the shakers here.
The digital kit I purchased (linked above) contains over 40 labels. These gave me a lot of ideas for which seasonings I wanted to use.
I printed the labels on a sheet of Avery stickers (1 giant 8.5×11 sticker).
Once I picked the seasonings that I planned to use, I cut the sticker and adhered it to the shaker jar. You can laminate a card stock version and use double stick tape to adhere the label.
I used a funnel to avoid a mess when I moved my seasonings over to my jars. I filled up the shaker and still had quite a bit left in the original shakers.
They look so cute! I put a square of wax paper under the lid because I knew I’d be transporting the seasoning shakers and I didn’t want the seasonings to spill out of the top. You can use plastic wrap as well.
Prepare your toppings
The most fun part of a popcorn bar is picking the seasoning and the topping. And there are so many topping ideas! The digital kit that I bought had topping labels for over 85 topping labels.
You can even pick toppings to match any party theme. For example, at our Oscars party we picked toppings that are popular movie theater snacks. We included junior mints, m&m’s, milk dud, and hot tamales.
I recommend going with small containers because it lets you keep a full look throughout the party. Just have someone to fill toppings as needed.
I found these cute small galvanized buckets on Amazon. I thought the price was very reasonable.
I lined each galvanized bucket with a lunch bag. You can use brown or white. You can find both colors at Walmart.
The lunch bag is to tall so I just stood it up next to the pail and cut the bag off at about 1″ above the top of the pail. I just marked it with my finger.
And then I drew a line where I planned to cut the bag.
I used a paper punch to create a cute scallop edge along the top of the lunch bag. Here’s a cute scallop edge craft punch on Amazon.
So cute! You’d never guess it was just a cheap lunch sack.
You don’t need to push the bag all the way down to the bottom of the pail. Just put the bag into the pail and fold over the top part of the bag.
Once I picked my toppings, I laminated the small topping labels from my digital sign kit (it was printed on card stock) using self-seal laminating sheets.
And then I attached the topping label to a tall Popsicle stick.
These sticks will go right into each pail to label the toppings
I decided to tie a little bit of ribbon on each label to bring the party colors into the popcorn bar.
I love these darling scoops that I found on Amazon. I like that they are small because it will help control portions a little bit. Here they are if you’re interested in checking them out.
I picked up this little sign from a craft store half price and attached my Popcorn Toppings label from my digital kit to it.
Prepare cans of Butter Spritzer.
One great finishing touch that I saw on the blog where I bought my popcorn digital files was this Kraft paper wrap around the butter spritzer. I cut a lunch bag and wrapped it around the can.
I used a circle punch to punch out the Popcorn Spritzer tag that was in the digital popcorn kit. If you don’t have a circle punch, it is a good item for your tool kit. I use mine all the time.
I wrapped twine around the can several times and then tied the label onto the can.
Putting it All Together
I used a six foot table for my popcorn bar. I put my Popcorn Bar sign on a table easel and created height by putting it on an upside down galvanized bucket. My sign was part of the digital kit. I had it printed off at Office Depot and asked them to mount it onto foam core for me. I could have done that myself but I was in a hurry.
In these videos, I’ll share how I put my popcorn bar together and I’ll provide links below to help you see where I made my purchases. As a reminder, many of my links are affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase, which does not affect your price at all. I have linked two videos, one just shows the popcorn bar (the short video) and the other shows how I created it.
I love the lace table cloth that I found at Walmart. I used a roll of Kraft paper that I purchased at the Dollar tree along the top of the table. Then I used my craft punch to give the edges a fun, detail look.
Links to my popcorn bar components:
I hope you found information about the creation of my popcorn bar inspiring and helpful. It truly was a lot of fun! I’ve already begun working on my doughnut bar (with a little bit of help from my father in law, who is creating my table-top doughnut bar holder. Stay tuned on that one.
If you’re looking at a popcorn bar for a graduation party, see my other graduation party posts below:
- Photo Booth Backdrop Ideas
- Cotton Candy Station
- S’mores bar
- Graduation Senior Table Photo Poster
- Graduation Party Centerpiece (with pom poms and pictures)
- Graduation Photo Guest Book
- Another Graduation Photo Guest Book
- Dr. Seuss inspired Guest Book
- Card Box ideas, includes request for guests to address envelopes
- Graduation Card Box
- Graduation Centerpiece in galvanized tin
- Graduation Centerpiece in mason jar with pom poms
- Graduation senior board
- How to make a popcorn bar
- Frame Luminary
- Senior Table Photo Poster
- Photo Displays for Graduation Parties
- Hinged Frame with photo clips idea
- Graduation Money Gift Box
- Flower Pot Graduation Cupcake stand
- How to make a Donut Bar
- Graduation Party Sign Ideas – Easel Signs with Vinyl Letters
- DIY Cake Stands for your Food Bars