If you’re looking for a home-made, biodegradable tinsel substitute, you could try the old American custom of threading popcorn onto string.
- Pop some corn.
- Leave it overnight (because stale popcorn is less fragile than fresh popcorn).
- Thread a needle with heavy thread, but don’t cut the thread: keep it on the reel so that you can make the string really long and won’t be limited by a pre-cut length.
- Start threading. (If you want to fancy it up, you can add raisins or dried cranberries at regular intervals.)
- Note: You’ll have to keep pushing the popcorn down as you go.
- When it’s long enough, remove the needle, cut the thread off the spool and tie it off at both ends.
This is amusing and cheap and, if you use cotton thread, you can compost it when you undecorate.
Todd still has ten centimetres of jacket to knit and only three days to do it in and his wife has started teasing him about having an affair with me. He said he considered saying he was visiting someone else tonight but, if Claire found out he was lying, she really would think he was having an affair so he said I’d asked him for help putting together a new coffee table.
But I had a more practical suggestion: if he catches the train to work for the rest of the week, he should have enough knitting time to get to the bottom, sew it up and attach the buttons and he’s agreed that’s a good plan. (I do enjoy Todd’s company which is why I definitely do not want to fall out with Claire.)
 My sister Wendy had to repeat these first two steps three times one year: the children said that possums got the early batches but Wendy is pretty sure that possums can’t open Tupperware containers.
 It is actually possible to buy strings of plastic popcorn in America but I see no good reason for doing that.
 Which insulted me a little: I am quite capable of putting a coffee table together by myself!