| |

Tips for Creating the Best DIY Popcorn Bar

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to make a Popcorn Bar: DIY Popcorn Bars are “popping” up at all types of parties and get together’s! Here are a few tips on how to make a Popcorn Bar for your next gathering.

How to create the Best DIY Popcorn Bar.This post, Tips for Creating the Best DIY Popcorn Bar, is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Orville Redenbacher’s microwave popcorn.

Even though our favorite Texas team was knocked out of the playoffs for “the big game” this year, this year’s game should still be exciting.   Hubby suggested we have some of our friends over for a game watching party.  Sounded like a good “game-plan” to me, lol.  Of course, it’s not just the game I like, but I also like to watch all the commercials and eat all the food and as long as I have a bit of notice, I love having people over.

One of the ideas that had me excited for hosting a game day party is this DIY Popcorn Bar!

DIY Popcorn Bars are a great choice for gatherings

Are you planning to host a party?  A DIY Popcorn Bar is always a great choice for get-togethers.  A Popcorn Bar is super simple to set up, and it can be as casual or as fancy as you want it!

Pop the corn, set out some toppings and individual popcorn containers and you are good to go.

For me, I definitely wanted to keep it easy,so I used Orville Redenbacher’s microwave popcorn for the popcorn.

How Much Popcorn Do I Need for My Party?

This will depend a little bit on how much food is available at your party. If you are doing a full sit down meal with lots of finger food, you might do 1.5 to 2 cups per guest.  If the popcorn bar is the star of your party, then I would go with 2 to 3 cups per guest.  Keep in mind, some guests probably won’t eat popcorn and the kids will eat extra, so plan you may want to have more than you think you need.

How to set up the Best DIY Popcorn Bar!

Our family had attended a wedding recently, and all the kids could talk about afterward was the fabulous popcorn bar.  I have to admit; I thought it was great too.  Popcorn is always a hit with both kids and adults so a DIY Popcorn Bar would be an excellent addition to any party.


Tips for Creating the Best DIY Popcorn Bar:

1. To get started with your Popcorn Bar, choose your popcorn:

First, Are you going to do a sweet or savory popcorn bar?

Actually why choose one or the other, lol. 

You can do a sweet AND savory popcorn bar.  That’s what I did.  I used the  Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals Simply Salted and Kettle Korn for my popcorn.  I included both sweet and savory toppings.

popcorn bar ideas

2.  Popcorn Bar Topping ideas:

Toppings are where you can get creative!

Just think of all the yummy savory flavor combos:

  • Ranch
  • Taco
  • Parmesan cheese
  • splash of hot sauce
  • Cajun seasoning

Don’t forget the sweet toppings:

  • Chocolate covered raisins
  • Hot chocolate powder
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles
  • Crushed cookies –  all fun choices.

3. Be sure to label everything.

I grabbed these little chalkboard signs on a whim, but it is super easy to make your own with cardstock or wood.

One tip from experience: I definitely recommend using some sort of shaker for my “shake-able toppings”. Like these these mason jar shakers.  The open jars were a little messy.

popcorn bar topping ides

Yum… This “cookies ‘n cream” mix is always a favorite.  (To make it, just mix finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and white chocolate chips.)

sweet and savory popcorn bar

3.  Decide how to serve the popcorn. ( popcorn bar serving ideas )

  • You can use brown paper sacks for a fun rustic feel (plus they are nice and roomy and perfect for shaking around the toppings.)  
  • You can also find coordinating paper sacks or popcorn boxes at practically any craft or big box store with a specialty baking aisle.
  • For a unified look, choose coordinating serving containers, clear glass or wide mouth mason jars work great.

Keep it clean:  Don’t forget popcorn scoops and napkins!

DIY Popcorn Bar

4. Include drinks at your popcorn bar

Because everyone knows, eating popcorn is thirsty work, lol. I just included a few waters for our Popcorn bar, but next time, I would live to set up a cooler with drinks on ice. Something like this rustic decorative cooler or a galvanized tub on a stand, or maybe use some sort of cold beverage drink dispenser.

popcorn bar ideas

5.  DIY Popcorn Bar Themes: Choose a color theme and decide how to display everything:

All you need to pull everything together is a few pops of color and a few handmade decorations.  

Pro Tip: The only thing I would do differently on my next popcorn bar is to NOT use a black tablecloth.  (Black showed all the crumbs!)

How to create the Best DIY Popcorn Bar.

That’s it!  A popcorn bar is super easy to set up and will be enjoyed by guests of all ages.

Now it’s your turn, have you ever set up a popcorn bar or have any tips to share?  Sound off in the comments below!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Orville Redenbacher’s microwave popcorn.

Don't miss any more posts!

Follow along on:

FeedlyBloglovin', your favorite feed reader, or signing up via email and have new posts delivered to your email box each week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hollie Olson says:

    How many cups of popcorn per guest did you make?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      2 to 3 cups per guest.

  2. How far in advance did you pop the popcorn and how did you store it? Thanks!

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      Popped it same day.

  3. What did you use to line the buckets holding the popcorn?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      ikea dish towels

  4. I love the idea of a popcorn bar. I’m hosting a large graduation reception in May. How did you get your toppings to stick to your popcorn?

    1. They didn’t really, we just sprinkled them on top. (popcorn needs to be warm for stuff to stick) You might consider using brown paper bags as the popcorn holders, so guests can fill them halfway, close the bag and shake.

      1. They actually sell a spray for popcorn to make it kinda sticky. You spray it on, no flavor, and then add toppings.

      2. Jamie Sanders says:

        That sounds really helpful! I googled “sticky popcorn spray” and found this: https://amzn.to/371yi2b. Is what you are talking about?

  5. debi at Life Currents says:

    What a fun party! We rented one of those popcorn makers once for a party, but this takes it to a whole new level. Awesome! And btw, “Eating popcorn is thirsty work” – cracks me up!!

  6. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. says:

    This looks so creative! Popcorn is definitely my go-to snack when I’m feeling ultra munchy!

  7. Annie @ ann says:

    A popcorn bar?! What a genius idea! I’m addicted to popcorn, so this would be perfect for me!

  8. Sandra Shaffer says:

    I need plenty of time to plan for guests too, but boy did you do a fantastic job! Love the idea of a popcorn bar with loads of toppings. It would be fun to make for a ladies night in!

  9. What a fun party idea! This looks so cute!

  10. I would LOVE to go to a party with a popcorn bar! What a fun idea, and all those fun toppings look great!

  11. Juli Purcell says:

    oh my goodness this is such a fun idea!!!!