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Topic: How to make a simple Hawai`ian Ribbon Lei!  (Read 68641 times)
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Mountains and Clouds
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« on: April 29, 2012 10:10:08 PM »

With graduations and springtime celebrations coming soon, I thought I'd show everyone how I make simple ribbon leis! 

A lei is very meaningful in Hawai`ian culture. They are given as gifts of welcome, or congratulations, or thank-you, and others.  I like to make these ribbon leis for friends when they visit, because I can use specific colors for people, and because they can bring them back home (and off the island) because they're not made out of plants!

I like making leis this way, because it's not nearly as time-consuming as other methods, it doesn't require too much ribbon (some patters need 20+ yards for one lei!), and you don't have to cut a specific length of ribbon before you start, so you can gauge how much you need as you go.

Start off by picking two colors of ribbon.  You can use whatever width you want, depending on your preference... I usually use 5/8 thickness nylon ribbon. 

(I decided to use purple and silver, in hopes that they would be contrasting enough to follow the pictures easier!)

Tie a knot in the ribbon (together) about 6 inches or more from the end:

Take whatever color is behind, and fold it down behind itself:

Fold the front ribbon behind the (doubled) back ribbon:

Make a loop in this second ribbon by mountain folding it.  (It should not twist at all when folding):

Put the folded end through the free loop in the first ribbon:

and pull that first ribbon tight:

Now, let's repeat this with the (now-free) first ribbon.
Mountain fold the free ribbon:

And put the folded end through the free loop:

and tighten:

Keep this pattern going until the lei is as long as you want!

When you reach your desired length, cut the ribbons, with about 6 or more inches to spare on the end.  Instead of looping the last end, put the cut end through the loop and tighten:

Then, tie the end, as in the beginning, to secure it!

I tie the ends together with a square knot:

and then tie the ends into a bow:

Of course, there are many many variations you can use on the ends... You can try to tie on a flower, or if you have snazzy ribbon skills, you could create a beautiful bow!
The possibilities are endless!

Thanks for looking!
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012 12:32:26 AM »

Beautiful! I've never seen a lei before (I'm from New Zealand!), but you make it look so easy to make!
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012 12:33:28 AM »

wow, so pretty! love it!
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012 04:54:03 AM »

They are lovely!  Thanks for sharing.


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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012 08:01:22 AM »

Great tutorial! What a cool way to make these!
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012 03:34:57 PM »

Thank you for sharing this tutorial! These are really pretty.

Isn't tomorrow Lei day?

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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012 04:12:46 PM »

Isn't tomorrow Lei day?

Yes!  May Day is Lei Day in Hawai`i!
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