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Kitchen Origami: How to Seal a Brown Bag for Popcorn

I remember my mother’s hands as she placed a bowl full of popcorn on the living room table during a rainy Sunday afternoon. My sister, brothers and I would dive in it as we watched Disney specials on television. The aroma of home-made popcorn was always so irresistible!

Just recently I discovered how easy it is to make low-fat popcorn in the microwave using a brown paper bag. My only hesitation about this method was sealing the bag with a metal staple.

So, I devised a simple way to seal the bag that keeps the kernels inside while allowing steam to escape as the popcorn pops. Origami folding techniques can come in handy, even in the kitchen!

In this three-minute video, I share the folding instructions for the bag as well as how to make the popcorn in the microwave.

  • 1/4 cup  cup popcorn kernel (yields about 4 cups of popcorn)
  • A few drops of vegetable oil
  • salt to taste


  • In a cup mix the popcorn and oil.
  • Pour the oil-coated corn into a brown bag (5 x 11 inches).
  • Fold the top of the bag as explained in the video above.
  • Cook in the microwave for about 80 seconds.
  • Take the bag out of the oven, serve the corn in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle with some salt.

Now make your way to that favorite sofa with someone special, watch a movie, and enjoy your home-made popcorn!
What memories the aroma of freshly popped corn bring to your heart? Feel free to leave your comments here.

11 thoughts on “Kitchen Origami: How to Seal a Brown Bag for Popcorn”

  1. This is a nice tutorial about providing a vent in the paper bag.

    I have microwaved popcorn in a paper lunch bag for many years. I just fold the top of the bag over once, I don’t see the need to create a vent. If the popcorn fills the bag, and/or the combination of corn and steam fills the bag, it will self open. I have never had a bag burst or spill out.

    Also, I don’t see the need to add any oil. This is a personal choice as I think the popcorn is best without additives. It does not need oil to pop, and thus it is only added for flavoring. Also, the oil taints the bag and thus isn’t reusable or recyclable. I have reused the same bag numerous times, by NOT adding anything to the popcorn in the bag.

  2. I really like your video and it saves a lot of money to.
    I should stick to this idea and share with my friends when they have parties!!!!

  3. thank you for this great tute and the clear instructions. It looks easy.
    I have tried many times but never it went like the bags you can buy in the groceryshops. So i love this, i will certainly try this out knowing it will works really this time;-Db

  4. My friend Tricia sent me a nice note, which I share here with her permission:

    “I just wanted to tell you how very timely your recent popcorn bag video is! Last week, after hearing about numerous concerns about health risks in ingredients and the bags of microwave popcorn- I decided to give it up (as much as I truly loved it) I researched online and read about various methods to make pop it without the chemicals in a brown bag in the microwave. I bought Trader Joe’s organic popcorn (a good value for the money) and tried it. I found that just by rolling over the top a few times still wasn’t the best idea because it gradually came undone as the corn popped. And “Voila!” your video appeared with such an easy and clever way to fold the top to pop the corn.

    I made it last night and it worked great- plus the bag is just fun to fold! I spritzed the corn with Smart Balance which has Omega 3’s and some popcorn salt. The salt is very fine and the oil helps it stick to the corn quite well. My hubby enjoyed it as well and likes it much better than the more expensive mircrowave brands. I’m going to fold and pop more tonight for when we watch “The Village” for movie night :-)

    Thanks, again for more fun and clever ideas!”

  5. You’re a genious! I love it!… I so wanna try it. Where might I find those kind of bags?

    I didn’t even know it was possible to use ordinary popcorn in the microwave oven =O

    Thanks Leyla!

  6. Ingenious!! Thank you, Leyla – now I can make microwave popcorn without any trans-fats! I have a ton of brown paper lunch bags leftover from when my kids took lunch to school ages ago…now they are living on their own and I can use up the bags :)


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