How to Make a Lei with Fresh Flowers
You don't have to be on the beaches of Hawaii to don a colorful lei and feel the Aloha spirit. The wreath of flowers is a symbol of affection in the Aloha State, representing love, friendship and good luck. You might see them at graduations, birthdays and weddings. To make your very own lei at home, follow these simple steps:
Materials You Will Need: String, scissors, needle, flowers
1. Gather Fresh Flowers
Daisies, plumeria, roses, orchids and carnations all make for a festive lei, although orchids tend to be the most popular. Opt for medium-sized flowers with sturdy stems and durable petals, as delicate flowers will fall off. To make a 40-inch lei, you will need roughly 50 blossoms.
2. Cut the String
Find a thin piece of thread, fishing line, dental floss or cotton string 100 inches in length. When doubled over, the thread will turn into a 40-inch lei with 5 inches left at each end for tying together. A simple way to "guesstimate" the length of the string is to hold it out from the end of your arm across your chest to the opposite shoulder.
3. Thread the Needle
Thread a string through the eye of needle until it is doubled over. Then, tie the two ends of the string together to make a knot that will serve as a stopper for the threaded flowers.
4. Thread the Flowers
If you're working with orchids or any similar flower, remove the stem. After doing this, weave the needle through the bottom of the flower and up through the top of the bud. With orchids, it's important to come through the bud so the flower remains sturdy on the string. Then pull the flower all the way to the end of the string. Grab the next flower and repeat.
When the second flower meets the first one, place it right into the other, as though you are stacking chairs. Line them up nicely so they are all facing the same direction. Continue with the rest of your flowers, or until the end of the string is filled.
If you are using different-colored flowers, it's a clever idea to spread them out into different bundles ahead of time. This will let you work more efficiently and avoid mixing up color patterns.
5. Finish the lei
Once you've finished stringing the flowers, curl the thread so that the first and last flowers are paired together, and tie the ends in a knot. Afterwards, cut off the excess string. Voila! You've got yourself a lei!