Dreaming of Hawaii? See how easy it is to make a Flower Lei without traveling to the islands.
Back in the early 90s we lived in Hawaii. I know…how wonderful was it to live in paradise?! Well, we were living our lives doing everyday things like working and going to school. We were NOT on vacation everyday. We did take the time to tour the islands and learn about the local culture and traditions. One of my favorite things about Hawaii is the tradition giving leis.
Leis are an important part of if the Hawaiian culture. They are given to others as a symbol of affection. Many people have seen pictures of people getting a lei when they fly into Hawaii. The airlines no longer hand out leis to everyone, but lei giving is still a common practice there and you will often see it given with a kiss. Leis are given for all kind of occasions, including a new child or congratulating a graduate. I love seeing graduates with so many leis that you can barely see their face!
My oldest child born in Hawaii and his high school graduation in Illinois 18 years later.
They look hard to make, but they really aren’t. I’m going to teach you how to make a flower lei. If you’ve even strung something, then you can make a lei. The hardest part is probably threading the needle.
Flower Lei Tutorial
Supplies: fresh flowers, large needle, waxed dental floss, scissors, ribbon (optional).
Commonly leis are made with plumerias, carnations, orchids, tuberose, and ti leaves. I like using carnations because they are readily available, come in a variety of many colors, and are easy to string. A great place to get them is from Fresh Flowers.
Cut the flowers off near the top of the stem.
Cut a long piece of dental floss and thread it through your needle and tie off the floss so that it doesn’t slip out of the eye of the needle.
Carefully thread the needle through the flower. Go from the stem through the middle of the flower and then gently move it down the floss. Make sure to leave a few inches at the bottom of the floss. You can put a loop on that end as a reminder if you want.
Continue stringing flowers until it’s the desired length and then tie off! You can make patterns with your lei. My daughter alternated carnations and daisies on her headband and I did 2 carnations and one daisy in my pattern for the necklace. I added a ribbon to the one I made, which covered up where it was tied off.
How easy is that? Can you think of someone special you’d like to make a flower lei for? Wouldn’t they love to get a fresh lei even if you don’t live in Hawaii? My daughter is just beaming in these photos because she loves the leis so much and is proud of helping make them. Proper disposal etiquette for leis return them to the earth by various means or you may dry them and let their fragrance fill the room. They should not be tossed in the trash. My son still has the dried lei I made him for graduation.