How to Make Hawaiian Necklaces With Fresh Flowers


A Hawaiian necklace is more commonly known as a "lei" and is typically made with fresh flowers. The custom is to present a lei to visitors as a welcome or to show one's affection towards another. Hawaiian necklaces can be made at home and used for a variety of events that include a tropical theme, such as weddings, retirement parties or even summer barbecues. No matter what you use them for, a Hawaiian lei should be worn in the proper fashion, gently draped over the shoulders so it hangs loosely down both the front and back.

Step 1

Select around 50 orchids in all one color or varying shades of the same color. Cut off the stems directly below the flower heads.

Step 2

Thread a large 12-inch needle with approximately 72 to 84 inches of upholstery thread or a heavy-duty thread. Pull the thread through the eye of the needle until the ends are even and tie into a knot.

Step 3

Insert the needle through the middle of one flower head, pushing the needle out through the back where the stem was. Gently push the flower onto the thread. Repeat this step until all of the flowers are used, or as many as will fit onto the thread, leaving a 3-inch tail at each end of the thread. More or less flowers may be needed to complete the necklace.

Step 4

Cut the thread off of the needle and tie the loose ends into a knot. Allow a 3-inch tail or section free of flowers at each end of the thread. Tie these tails together to form the necklace. Push the flowers down to cover any bare spots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not make the necklace more than 24 hours in advance of wearing.

Things You'll Need

  • Orchids
  • 12-inch long needle
  • Upholstery thread
  • Scissors


  • Aloha Friends: Instructions On How To Make A Basic Fresh Orchid Lei
  • Save On Crafts: How To Make Flower Garlands
  • Hawaii Flower Lei: The Hawaiian Lei Tradition

Who Can Help

  • Hula Source: Purchasing Lei Needles
Keywords: hawaiian necklaces, fresh flower lei, making hawaiian necklaces

About this Author

Amy Madtson resides in southern Oregon and has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008, focusing on health and gardening for websites such as eHow and GardenGuides. Madtson has an Associate of Arts in business from Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington. She holds a childbirth educator certification and a one-year midwifery completion certificate.