How to Make a Lei

Lei making is a great way to bond with family and friends. In Hawaii, it’s common in to make your own leis out of fresh flowers, leaves, candy or even money for special occasions like graduations, weddings or birthdays. It makes the gift even more thoughtful for the lucky recipient.  is the Plumeria, or in Hawaiian, the Melia. Other flowers include the Walahe’e Haole (Mock Orange), ‘Awapuhi ke’oke’o (White Ginger), ‘Ilima (Hibiscus), Kepalo (Bougainvillea), Kiele (Gardenia), Kupalo (Tuberose), Loke (Roses), Male (Stephanotis), ‘Ohai Ali’i (Poinciana), ‘Okika (Orchid), and Pikake (Arabian Jasmine).


Before you begin, make sure you have the right number of flowers for the job. For example, a 40” lei will require about 50 flowers. As a rule of thumb, assume about 1¼ flowers per inch and don’t forget to leave at least 2” on either end to tie your lei together.

11 Steps to Lei Making