Lei off the Junk Mail, OK?

Even though we’re on the No Junk Mail lists, some of it inevitably gets through. Even in addition to that, we’re still given paper receipts, flyers on our cars, and paper memos at the office.
We recycle our paper, but sometimes, it may be fun to use it for a craft for the kids or for decorating instead of buying yet ANOTHER thing to pretty up a room in a surfing motif, or buying expensive party favors. Plus, it will keep kids and adults entertained for a good while, and you can say it’s eco-friendly. BONUS!
FYI: This craft is not recommended for very young children, since it requires the use of scissors and a yarn needle.
First, I dug through my recycling stash to find the most colorful (or an all white paper lei would be neat!) paper. Try not to let the kids use past tax forms, personal medical records, etc, of course.
I cut the paper into squares that were approximately the same size. It doesn’t matter how big or small the squares are, it depends on the size flower you want.

Junk Mail cut into squares

Next, remember those snowflakes you cut out in school? Fold the squares 3 times until they look like a little cone, with the center of the paper at the bottom (don’t cut this part) and the edges outward. Cut the edges in whatever pattern you want.

Folded and cut around the edges
Another finished example after cutting

Now, here’s a bit o’ fun- take the flowers and ball up the paper a little. This will help give each one some dimension. Also, try to pinch the center of the flower in one direction like this:

Forming a flower

When you put these on your lei, just remember to keep them facing in the same direction.
After I have lots of flowers made, I’m going to cut up some straws (used straws are MOST “eco”, just wash ’em) to make little spacers to go between each flower. These will all be strung onto a long piece of yarn (or twine, hemp, elastic for kids, etc.)

Made up flowers and cut up straws ready to string

You will poke a hole in the middle of each flower, slide it on, slide on a spacer, then slide on another flower, and so forth.

Stringing process

Here’s mine in progress:

Aloha in Progress

You can make these as long as you want, if you have enough used straws, junk mail, and stringing material. I would think this would be pretty neat as a Hawaiian themed Christmas Tree/Hanukkah Bush/Festivus Pole decoration. Or it’s great if you don’t want to shell out a fortune on decorations at your Luau Party only to see someone sporting them drunk and naked (take it home- it’s all yours!).
Here’s one of our tikis sporting the lei alone and paired with other silk ones:

Tiki Crown
He’s the Duke of Tiki Land

Enjoy the perpetual Luau!

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