Lei Tree Garland, Hawaiian Style

Someone on the 2nd Light Forum suggested this idea to decorate your tree for the Holidays, and it’s quite smart.
If you have some leis from your office parties, consider using them to decorate your tree instead of going out and buying yet more decor that just doesn’t have that tropical feeling. I have two different methods to make your lei garland below.

Method 1:
This can be used if you have those plastic leis, or if you have silk flower leis you’d like to use again as leis in the future.
I used my silk flower leis as an example- the best would be red flower leis, if you have them, but I worked with what I had on hand.
Here’s one of the leis I used:

Lei being measured

Just measuring the lei without cutting the loop open, the length is around 21-22″. I used three leis in my example, and strung them together keeping the loops intact by making lark’s head knots. I show this on pieces of cord since it’s hard to see on the leis:

Lark’s Head
Leis tied together by lark’s head knot

If you use this method, you will need more leis to get a good length, but you will get a fuller garland. This is also a very easy method of constructing a garland:

Three leis joined together by lark’s head knots

Method 2:
This method takes a bit more work and requires leis you can string together, but makes a very long garland with just a few leis.
I used the same leis as in the previous example, but I cut the loops open- actually I just cut one loop open to begin with. A few flowers and spacers will slide off, but those will be strung back on easily.

Lei loop cut open, with a few strays that will need restringing

On one end of the lei, I will stopper the garland by knotting a small bead on the end:

Making a stopper with a bead and surgeon’s knot

In order to have enough thread to work with, I will take the other end of the garland and tie it to a LONG length of thread.

Tying the end to a long length of thread to make the garland
Make sure to trim the excess thread!

Next, I strung the dropped spreaders and flowers back onto this thread, jumping over the joining knot.
I then cut the next lei, tying the end of that lei to the end of the long piece of the thread I added. That way, there’s no need to restring- I just slide the flowers and spacers down over the knot.

Tying the next lei onto the length of thread
Pushing the flowers down next to the previous lei

So I can continue this with as many leis as I have. In this case, I only had three, so here’s the result:

Finished three lei garland, about 3.7 yards long

We don’t keep a fir tree in the house, so I demo’d the garland on our Christmas Palm!

Decorating the Christmas Palm

For us, however, this works the best on our door wreath.

Lei Garland around the door wreath

Again, this would look most festive for the holidays in red. The nice thing though, is that these will hold up to outdoor conditions pretty well if left outside. If decorating inside, you can make a garland from my other project using junk mail.
Mele Kalikimaka, y’all!

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