DIY Pretty & Easy Faux Flower Lei
Aloha! On mainland USA, May Day is one of the many often overlooked holidays – but here in Hawai’i it’s a pretty big deal. And why not? It’s a celebration of the end of winter & the welcoming of spring! In spring the sun is shining, the weather is warming, the flowers are blooming, & the world is waking from its winter hibernation. All good things worthy of at least a little celebratory recognition. Am I right?
We have a saying here on the islands, “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i.” May Day (May 1st) is celebrated with parades, parties, songs, & every public elementary school holds its own May Day ceremony. The key feature of each of these events is the lei. A lei is a necklace made from yarn, flowers, shells, nuts, candy, money, pool noodles, or pretty much any other material you can think of that is given from one person to another. It’s not the construction material itself that makes the lei so important, it’s what the lei represents. The lei is a symbol of aloha, love, respect, & welcoming. A perfect representation of spring.
So weather you are sitting under a palm tree in Hawai’i or waiting for the snow to clear in North Dakota you should take this opportunity to celebrate another glorious spring with those near to you. This super easy & rather pretty DIY faux flower lei gives you no excuse not to. You only need a few basic materials I’m sure you already have lying around your craft closet & 15 minutes to spare to have your own lei ready just in time for May Day. This craft is perfect for little ones. My boys grudgingly help with our regular lei making duties (they prefer candy leis) but my nieces love it! Just remember, leis are made for sharing, not keeping, so after you’ve completed your lei give it to someone you love & if you’re lucky maybe someone will lei you!
These crafty little carnations are pretty versatile. I actually plan to get multiple uses out of them this spring. I made a couple dozen extra to use as Cinco de Mayo decor at our annual Mexican fiesta & I also made a wreath for a friend’s newborn photo shoot. Do you have any other recommended uses?
- Crepe paper (I prefer mixing complimentary colors together but solid strands look great, too)
- Hot glue
STEP 1: CUT: Cut one 48″ piece of yarn. Lay out the crepe paper & cut 20ish” strips (you will need 20-24 strips of crepe paper for each lei).
STEP 2: ARRANGE: Layer two crepe paper strips on top of each other so you now have 10-12 piles of two strips.
STEP 3: ROLL: Hold on to one edge of the doubled up crepe paper strips while slowly & carefully wrapping the rest of the crepe paper around. Be sure to gently squeeze what will be the base of your flower while allowing the other side (the petals) to remain loose.
STEP 4: WRAP: Continue wrapping the crepe paper around until all of the strip is used
STEP 5: GLUE: Secure the base (stem) with a dab of hot glue
STEP 6: REPEAT. You’ll need 10-12 flowers for each lei
STEP 7: ASSEMBLE: Secure each flower to the yarn by tying a knot around the stem & adding a dab of hot glue (be sure to allow 4 inches on each end of the yarn to tie a knot & complete your lei)
STEP 8: TIE: After all the flowers are attached to the yarn tie the two ends together to complete your lei
What do you do to celebrate Spring? I’d love to hear about your traditions & expand my own. I wish you all a happy May Day & Aloooooooha!
Teaching our children (and reminding ourselves) of the joy of giving is so important! Find something you love to create, and then gift it to someone you love! Try some of these other fun “gift-able” projects, then give them to someone to brighten their day!