How to Make a Real Flower Lei


In Hawaii, leis are typically presented and worn on special occasions and as a welcome for guests to the islands. While Hawaiian lei makers craft their leis from a wide variety of flowers, seeds, leaves and berries found on the islands, you can make your own fresh flower lei from materials in your home and backyard. Show off the flowers native to your area with handmade flower leis for a day out in the sun or a luau-themed party.

Step 1

Measure and cut a 50-inch length of dental floss. Thread the floss through your needle and wrap the tail around the tip of the needle three times, leaving 5 inches of extra floss at the end. Knot the other end of the floss.

Step 2

Remove the stems from your flower blossoms and bring the needle straight through the center of the first flower. Gently guide the flower down the length of floss until it rests against the knot.

Step 3

Continue stringing blossoms onto your floss, nesting each with the previous flower, until you have a 40-inch length of strung blossoms.

Step 4

Tie the two tails in a square knot by bringing the right tail over and under the left tail. Bring the left tail over and under the right and pull tight. Trim the tails before wearing or presenting your lei.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not try to force the flowers down the floss, as they will tear easily. Loosen a stuck flower by inserting your needle through the hole and gently moving it in circles to widen the hole.

Things You'll Need

  • Waxed dental floss
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Upholstery needle
  • 50 to 60 blossoms


  • Hawaii for Visitors: How to Make a Hawaiian Fresh Flower Lei
  • Hawaii Flower Lei: How to Make a Lei
  • Net Knots: Square Knot

Who Can Help

  • Pacific Island Travel: The Lost Art of Flower Lei Making
Keywords: fresh flower leis, making flower leis, DIY hawaiian leis

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.