I learned how to make these from my mom who learned from her mom.
My grandparents hosted luaus when my mom was a child and she and my aunt would help make these.
- Crepe paper in rolls (or in folded sheets cut into 2 inch strips)
- Needle and Thread (I measured about 2 yards, but this depends on how long you want or need your lei to be…whatever you determine double it and that’s your thread length)
1. First measure your thread and cut it to size. Thread your needle and make the thread doubled so it is stronger than just one strand, and tie a knot at the end.
2. Start hand sewing through the center of your crepe paper. You want to do about 1/4 inch stitches and pull your thread all the way through to the end as you go.
3. Bunch up (like a fan) as you go.
4. Once you have maybe an inch or more in length “bunched”, stop and twist clockwise, maintaining the tightness somewhat to keep the twirl.
5. Keep going and repeat until you have reached the desired length of lei (on average it takes me an hour or so to do one).
6. When you get to the end, sew into the beginning and knot off to connect the lei.
7. Cut remaining thread and you’re done! Enjoy!
These are delicate because they are made out of crepe paper, so try to keep these from being smashed because they have a hard time “bouncing back” into form.
This was my first time photographing a tutorial. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing more in the future! If anyone makes these – I’d love to see pictures! Thanks