How to Microwave Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag (and make it look cute too!)


Just for today…I am renaming this website…A Couple ofGood Things by Jillee. When I saw these two good ideas involving brown paper lunch bags…I had to find a way to put them together. It might be a stretch…but here it is.

We stopped buying microwave popcorn more than a year ago now. Microwave popcorn (much like brand name laundry detergent) makes the rip-off detector in my brain go berzerk!


Kerry at did the math (thank goodness!) and figured microwave popcorn costs around $22.65 for 12 boxes with 3 packets per box (source Amazon) — that’s an eye-popping$3.53 per pound! Compare that to the .50 cents a pound you pay for popcorn purchased in bulk…and it’s insanity I tell you!  Especially when you can microwave it just the same in the good old paper lunch sack.

Here are the ridiculously easy instructions:

  • Get a brown paper lunch bag.
  • Add a 1/2 cup scoop of popcorn kernels to bag.
  • Fold the bag over twice.
  • Stick the bag in the microwave.
  • Set it for 3 minutes on high…..BUT…STOP the microwave when the popping slows to one to two pops per second to avoid burning.
  • Add topping of choice.

I personally like the classic butter and salt application….but you could shake things up by adding different sweet or savory toppings.  A little chili powder and hot sauce for a Mexican flavor…or onion powder and garlic salt are always a good combo…you could even go for a little cinnamon, sugar and butter action!  Oh man, now we’re talking!  I am definitely going to try that!

You could take the whole DIY microwave popcorn idea a step further and decorate the bag you use to pop it in!  Maybe for a party…or for a treat to give to friends or neighbors?


Lindy at has another super simple idea (Good Thing #2) PRINTING on your brown paper lunch bags!

But before I continue…a disclaimer. Printers can be temperamental and I can’t guarantee this will work in yours. It worked for me (after a few mangled attempts) and hopefully it will work for you too. ;-)  Cuz it’s just such a darn cute idea!

It really couldn’t be any easier…simply change the paper setting on your printer to 5″x10.5″ — the same as the bag, then just feed them in one at a time. It helped my printer if I gave it a little nudge at the very beginning when it was trying to catch ahold of the paper. I mangled the first couple…but after that it worked fine!

The beauty of this idea is that you can use these fun paper sacks for LOTS of things besides just popping popcorn.   Lindy at Cottage Hill likes to deliver her fresh eggs in them to her neighbors so she made some simple cuts and added a little glue to create a cute little basket!

Since I don’t have any chickens…I think I will make some chocolate chip cookies to put in them instead. :-) I even found a cute little saying on Pinterest  (via Thirty Handmade Days)  to print on them! (If you want to stick with the classic black ink look…just change the color setting to “Grayscale” when you go to print).


Who knew you could have so much fun with a brown paper bag!?
Not me….until now! :-)

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  1. Cynthia says

    How fabulous and so easy! I’m addicted to popcorn…have been since I was a kid, what with my dad working in theaters, I got to see all kinds of movies for free…and what’s a movie without popcorn?! However, now that I’m older, I’m always looking for new (and healthier) ways to enjoy one of my favorite snacks! This takes the cake! And, it is so much cheaper, even than buying the popcorn at the salvage!
    By the way…my favorite flavor application is Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and some Orange zest…YUMMY!

  2. Angela says

    Thank you for the idea! I saw this on your blog a few months ago and we have been doing it ever since! Thank you!

  3. Chris Wallis says

    A really great idea, especially since I just read about how BAD packaged microwave popcorn is for us!! Thanks so much

  4. says

    Awesome!! I am a BIG popcorn eater – I enjoy both microwave popcorn and air pop. It is crazy how much microwave popcorn costs and it’s not nearly as good for you as if you just pop the kernels. I will definitely be trying this! (Like you, I also stick with the classic butter & salt application) :)

    For Love of Cupcakes

  5. Jeannette says

    I’m pretty new to your blog, and just ran across this post. I’ve tried this method in the past, and was disappointed in how well the popcorn popped. I tried it again after reading this, but with a slight twist. My sister told me she always puts a small, glass plate under her (store bought) microwave popcorn, and it pops better. So I tried it with the brown paper bag method, and it really did pop a lot better! Thanks for the post. I will be using this method from now on! And countless other ideas from your blog, too!

  6. Nelly says

    We always bought microwave popcorn for entirely too much, my family LOVES popcorn, its a staple in our home. I tried this tonight for the first time (can’t believe I lived this long not knowing about it) and it was GREAT!!! Thank you for your savy tips :)

  7. Erin says

    My husband and I like to drizzle the popcorn with a little bit of olive oil, then a shake of salt and pepper. Yummy! Tried this method tonight and am happily eating my toxin-free snack. Thanks!!

  8. Leanne says

    great idea! I love micorwaved popcorn but yeah, it gets expensive, thanks for the tip! Loving your blog, found it via pinterest!

  9. lisa@ One Cook Two Kitchens says

    Nice blog, Jillee! Coincidentally, I did a very similar post recently. I love the printable bag idea…you can save even more money by purchasing the bags at the dollar store (I can get 50 for $1). And a healthy topping alternative that I find as satisfying (if not more) than butter, is using a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and sea salt. Love your suggestions, Jillee – I'll have to add the printable bags as a little update to my post!

  10. Anonymous says

    I have been doing this for about 20 years now. Popcorn has always been a "staple" in our family — it is my favorite — and I wanted to make it healthier than popping in oil on the stove but yet not lose the flavor of being popped (air popped doesn't taste the same). Needless to say, I loved the outcome and have done it since.