Thursday, March 12, 2009

Today's adventure

Today I had a lot of work to do so I didn't get any crocheting done, but I absolutely HAD to go get some supplies to make a lei for my friend to congratulate her! Because Longs is so close to my house, I decided to walk there (10 minutes). I think when most people think of Hawai`i, they think of lei. When they think of lei, they think of flowers. However, not all lei have to be made of flowers; they can also be made from shells, seeds, beads, pearls, and many different things. I decided to make my friend a candy lei for extra enjoyment; they are also really common here; in fact, Longs was selling pre-made candy lei!

Lei are usually given for birthdays, holidays, special events, congratulations, and even just because. However, the absolute best time for leis is... graduation time, right around May and June. I've seen pictures of graduations on the mainland where students may have one or two purple orchid lei, and let me tell you... its kinda sad (haha, I'm rubbing it in!) Orchid leis are usually considered cheap and tacky (I hate to say it but this lei is mostly associated with tourists); if you get that type of lei from someone you might think a number of things
  1. the person who bought it for me ran out of time/forgot and had to get it last minute from Wal-Mart (yep, Wal-mart sells orchid lei's; so does 7-11 sometimes!)
  2. I must owe them money
At my highschool graduation, every single graduate in my class had a stack of leis so high that it covered their head to the point of not being able to see, like where your nose, mouth and ears are all covered and you have to push down the leis in the front so you can see out of them! Plus dozens of leis are strung around each arm of the graduate, plus aunties, moms and grandmas holding the other overflow lie... No Joke ( I wouldn't lie to you guys!) We become walking flower pillars during graduation time!

Although orchid leis are given, they are usually triply supplemented by all different kinds of lei, ones that actually smell good and made from flowers that are NOT orchids (such as ginger, tuberose, plumeria, pakalana, puakenikeni, rose bud, ohi`a, etc). Actually, these types of flowers wouldn't ship very well, so maybe that's why you can only find them in places like Hawai`i (We're so lucky!). There are also lei that are made from leaves, vines and berries such as the maile lei (fragrant vine), ti leaf (twisted to look like rope) and mokihana (rare, sometimes substituted with sea grape berries). And that is how it is at all graduations here in Hawaii ;) I'd show you a picture of me with my lei but it is seriously buried deep, deep within my closet under piles of other pictures, clothes and an old ironing board.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this candy lei with you because I BET you guys can make one too, even if you don't have flowers, wherever you are. All you need is a length of poly tubing or netting (maybe cellophane? I'm sure a bunch of stuff will work), some individually packaged colorful candy, and curling ribbon.

Tubing... I got the 2" wide one. You should plan on using about 3.5 ft or 105 cm, which will give you enough room to adjust length if you have a tall or short person.

Sigh... this candy is too expensive; it's imported from Japan and is really popular

Perfect! Some gummy strawberries, gum, and hard candy!

These are Japanese glass candies, popular for Girl's Day, also called Tutti Frutti candies.

To make the lei, just slip the candy in the tubing and tie of each section using the curling ribbon. Curl the ribbon after you have achieved the desired length and put the two ends of your lei together.



  1. That's awesome! I wish we had some plastic tubing here, but cellophane would work. :)

    Oh for graduation, I got one lei. hahahaha (it's super expensive over here)

  2. So cute! My nephew would LOVE that for his birthday.

  3. that is so cool!!! thanks for the 411 about orchids. i got my sister a orchid lei when she graduated from college. it would have been so cool to have a tuberrose or pikake b/c they smell so lovely. that is a cool candy at longs wish we had one here:O)

  4. Woah, so cute! I was actually surpised, I went to a graduation last year at a nearby school for a friend and they had TONS of leis, and they were mostly candy too! I saw lots of walking pillars rofl. The funny thing is, I live in Alaska.
    It's cool to know how to make them now XD

  5. Hi! I can't stop coming back to read this post. I found an online resource for the tubing, so a couple of packages are winging their way to me now...the little ones are going to love these!

  6. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! I will make one for my brother-in-law when he comes home from Iraq this month!

  7. This is such a fun lei! I can see how you could use tiny gifts instead of candy if you wanted to, or a mix of both...think kawaii kandy plus stickers, tiny toys, or whatnot! You should offer these in your store!

  8. Where can I get the tubing online or locally in Southern California?

  9. Hiya! Try google search for other places, but has lei tubing... it's the website of our local Ben Franklin Stores here in Hawai`i. Good luck!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...