How to make a money lei for graduation!

Our creative Guest Adventurer Christina, shares a clever idea for a graduation gift that is so simple to make!  This is one of our most popular posts to date! It was first published in June of 2014. 

how to make a money lei

Creative expression is something I enjoy and I like trying new things so when thinking about my HLP’s (Heterosexual Life Partner) son graduating from high school, I wanted to do something special. A Facebook friend gave me the idea when she posted about looking for a money lei for her son’s graduation. Hmmm, I thought, I wonder how hard they are to make? Money leis are certainly not unique; there are many different Do It Yourself instructions on the Internet.

As I began my initial search I ruled out instructions that required the use of 50 bills, and those stating “requires patience,” and “takes a long time, but worth it.” No, no, no. My kind of project includes the key words and phrases such as “easy,” “simple,” and “a monkey could be trained to do this.” For Zach’s lei, I used 10 bills, a lei, curling ribbon and a paper clip. I bought all of the materials on Amazon, where there was a rainbow of colors to choose from. It was very easy to match his school colors and it took me only about an hour to complete!

How to make a money lei – It’s so easy!

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First you fold the bill back and forth, accordion-style, in half-inch increments.

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I used the paper clip to hold the bill in place so I could tie it to the lei with the curling ribbon.



Tie the bill in a knot with about 18” of ribbon and curl it using the edge of your scissors.

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You then fan out the bill so it resembles a flower. Be careful during this step not to tear the bill. I was a little aggressive in my fanning and it resulted in a little tear on one or two of the folds.

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I saw different instructions that say you can hold the money flower together so it forms a circle with double-sided tape or glue from a glue gun and neither of those will hurt the money. I kind of like my projects perfectly imperfect so I did not use anything to hold the flower together.

Thank you Christina, for explaining step by step how to make a money lei. It is such a thoughtful and easy way to give the gift of money for graduation.


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4 thoughts on “How to make a money lei for graduation!”

  1. This is a great option for those not wanting to do the “traditional” version with the stringing and kukui nuts. Especially liked the fact that you can easily match the lei color to the graduate’s school colors. Thanks for sharing this fun and easy twist!


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