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Yay!! My cousin Peter just graduated from high school!  I wished him the best of luck as he prepares for college in the fall, and encouraged him to enjoy the adventure to come.  The first time I made a lei, it  was actually for his sister’s high school graduation a few years ago.  You can see the flower lei I have made out of carnations > DIY: pretty carnation lei.

Ever since I made that first lei for my cousin who graduated a few years back, I decided to make it a tradition.  I wanted to add a personal touch to make their special day just a little bit more memorable. So I thought, instead of a bouquet of flowers, why not a lei?  Plus this way they don’t have to carry flowers, but wear them!  I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback from my family and their friends.  So much so that I’ve made it my mission to make  these for my younger cousins once they graduate 🙂  For my cousin Peter, I decided to do a money lei (as opposed to one made of flowers) because who wouldn’t want to have money around their neck? And since I planned on giving him money as a grad gift anyway, this just seemed like a more creative way to do so.

I know there are a lot of versions for making a lei, so here is my own version below.

Gather your materials:

  • 30 dollar bills (it can be 30 of $2, 32 of $5, or however much you would like to give to your graduate)
  • 2 – 1/2″ spool of ribbon, color of choice
  • 1/8″ spool of black ribbon for the garland
  • 1 – 6mm Easy Tear Tape double sided, the smaller the better
  • 40 large beads for spacing
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun (optional)
  • Clothespin, to hold down the money (if you are doing this yourself)
  • 4 Cardstock papers, color of choice (not pictured)
  • paper clip – loop it to make into a needle like-thing.

One thing that I wish I did in advance was to look up the different ways/versions other crafty people folded their money.  My inspiration was from this website: Pam @Money Lei: How To Make Money Lei

After that initial inspiration,  I went to a youtube and specifically: Jack Toupus

He folded the money a bit smaller and said it to worry if it is not perfect.  So I definitely encourage you to follow his style!  First, fold the money in half, hotdog style.  Then turn the bill around, and fold the short end, accordion style.  Try to fold at the back of the dollar bill, so you can see the border (white part) as your guide.
I then put the strings in the middle, held together with a cardboard and clothes, so I can tie around the money easily. (I mean, you could use your teeth if you wanted to, but that’s unsanitary, lol! ) Afterwards, I cut small strips of the double-sided tape and put them on the edge.  Open the opposite side, like a fan, and press together the edge for them to stick.

 

Make sure to do the same with the cardstocks.  The size must be the same as your dollars. You can measure them out on your paper trimmer: 6″ x 2.5″

Fold them like an accordion-fan style.  The slimmer/smaller, the better looking the flower leis will look.  When folding the cardstock, they are thicker.  I highly recommend using a hot glue gun, instead of regular glue or double sided tape.

Now imagine how you want the look of your lei to be.  You can make it as simple as:

  • ABCABC (orange paper, money, blue paper, orange paper, money, blue paper)

Or complicated, or really, just a mirror image of half of the necklace, which was what I did:

  • brown bead, string in 5 beads
  • Set 1, four times
    • money
    • orange bead
    • money
    • blue bead
  • money
  • orange bead
  • blue paper
  • orange bead
  • orange paper
  • orange bead
  • blue paper
  • orange bead
  • Set 2, three times
    • money
    • blue bead
  • Set 3, two times
    • money
    • orange bead
  • Repeat steps going backwards (see above)..
  • Set 4, two times
    • money
    • orange bead
  • Set 5, three times
    • money
    • blue bead
  • money
  • orange bead
  • blue paper
  • orange bead
  • orange paper
  • orange bead
  • blue paper
  • orange bead
  • money
  • orange bead
  • Set 6, four times
    • money
    • orange bead
    • money
    •  blue bead
  • brown beads, string 5 brow beads
  • tie off with a ribbon

And here you have it!  It’s manly, well as manly as you can get (considering it’s a lei) versus flowers.   And everyone loved it :).  My cousin was a happy camper.

Family pictures:

 

But wait, there’s more!  

I’ve showed this to my client.  She loved it and I made a lei for her son.  Their school colors were maroon and mustard yellow.  Since Michaels did not have the ribbon I would have normally chosen, I’ve decided to use these:

  • 1/8″ mustard yellow riboon
  • 1/2″ maroon ribbon

Similar layout with the steps above, I just added an extra color of maroon.  I loved this also!

3 Comments on “DIY: money lei ~ for the graduate

  1. Pingback: pretty carnation lei ~ for graduates – sunshinebelinda's Blog

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