How to Make a Bow Tie Money Lei

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Things You'll Need

  • Money (paper bills)

  • Elastic bands

  • ½-inch-wide ribbon

  • Sewing needle

  • Thread or string

Give a money lei to a new graduate for a creative monetary gift.

A money lei is a gift alternative to a money tree, sometimes given to the guest of honor at a bridal shower, graduation or other special event. Make a bow tie money lei from any denomination of bills and fold each bill to make an individual bow tie shape. Use $1 bills to make the bow ties and embellish the lei by stringing other decorations, such as silk flowers, onto the gift. For a larger monetary gift given by a group of friends or family members, make the lei entirely from bills of a larger monetary value.


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Step 1

Place a bill of any monetary value on a flat surface and make ½-inch folds along the entire length of the bill to make an accordion shape.

Step 2

Pinch the middle of the accordion-shaped bill and wrap a small elastic band around the pinched area. Fan the outside of the bills out slightly on either side of the center to make a bow tie shape.


Step 3

Cut a tiny piece of ½-inch-wide ribbon and wrap it over top of the elastic band. Cut off any excess ribbon, but leave enough room between the ribbon and the elastic band to insert a sewing needle. Sew the ends of the ribbon together to hide the elastic band and to make the center of the bow tie.


Step 4

Repeat the above steps to make between 75 and 100 more money bow ties, depending on the length of the lei you would like to make.

Step 5

Thread a long length of string or thick thread through the eye of a needle. Pull the thread or string through the needle to double the thread. Tie the ends of the thread or string together in a knot.


Step 6

Insert the thread through the ribbon on the center of one of the money bow ties. Slide it all the way over to the knot on the thread. Continue to thread the needle through the ribbons on the bow ties until the lei reaches the length you would like.

Step 7

Cut the thread or string, leaving a 2-inch length of excess thread. Tie the two ends of the lei together in a knot and cut off any excess thread.