How to Make Hawaiian Leis

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Things You'll Need

  • Silk or fabric flowers

  • Heavy thread

  • Needle

  • Small drinking straws

Make Hawaiian leis.

Leis are traditional flower chain necklaces associated with the Hawaiian Islands. Leis make great party favors, decorations and even stocking stuffers. If you're planning a Hawaiian-themed party or wedding, you can make easy and affordable leis at home.


Step 1

Measure a length of thread for your lei. Be sure to leave room for the bulk of the flowers. Cut the thread and use it as a guide for the rest of your leis.

Step 2

Cut your straws in half or thirds. The best straws to use for your leis are small coffee stirrers. Be sure that the straws are hollow and cut them into even lengths.

Step 3

Plan your lei design. Sort out your flowers by color or size and decide how you want them to look on your lei. You can opt for multi-colored leis or solid-color leis; the choice is yours.


Step 4

Tie off the end of your string. Either tie off the end of your string or slip one of your straw sections onto the string and tie it off at the base. Be sure to leave a little extra string at the end so that you can tie the lei into a necklace.

Step 5

Begin making your lei. Be sure to thread your string on a large needle, as it helps speed up the lei-making process. Start at the center of your flower and string a flower or two onto the thread and slide them to the bottom.

Step 6

After you've attached a couple of flowers, thread a straw segment onto your lei. The straws are spacers that help keep your flowers individualized. Alternate between flowers and straws until you've filled your lei. Be sure to leave some thread at the end of your lei and tie to the opposite end to complete your lei.