Learn how to make a lei with this money lei tutorial, a fun handmade gift they’ll appreciate! There’s nothing like a few dollars to send them on their way, one of our favorite creative ways to gift money.
How to make a money lei
It’s graduation season, so be prepared for plenty of awesome celebrations! In our family, my daughter is the one who we’re celebrating this year. She graduated from kindergarten and we were so excited for her! I was looking for ways to gift her a few dollars, she is at the age where she’s starting to gather and save her money and I love the idea of a DIY money lei!
DIY graduation money necklace
This is a great last-minute DIY graduation gift idea that uses materials you probably already have at home. I was not trying to pay over $100+ shipping and handling on one of those pre-made money leis, so I decided I would try to DIY it. I hope you enjoy learning how to make a money lei tutorial, I love the way it turned out and my daughter was thrilled to receive it!
Easy Money Lei Tutorial – a fun DIY graduation gift!
Materials needed for this money necklace diy:
- dollar bills (I used 10 – $1’s for my kindergartner)
- colorful paper straws
- colored gift ribbon
How to make your own money lei prep
Let’s get started with learning how to make a simple money lei. Measure out a piece of ribbon that is twice the intended size of the lei necklace’s length. You can take a measurement on yourself, or on someone else, just make sure you have a good long piece of ribbon – better to have more than less at the end!
Cut your paper straws into 5ths. I used 3 paper straws on my smaller necklace for my 6-year-old. Dependent upon the amount of money and ribbon length, you may need more or less. Fold your dollar bills accordion style and set them aside.
How to make a money lei – putting it together:
Tie off one side of your ribbon to secure the end, it can be a knot or a bow, as long as it acts as a beginning point. Leave a little extra ribbon on that end, just in case you want to add to it later (as I should have, see photo below). Thread a couple of straw pieces onto the other side and push all the way down the ribbon to the bow/knot. I alternated between 3 straw colors and it looked very cute!
Add the folded money lei flowers
Align a dollar bill vertically to the horizontal ribbon, and place it next to the last straw you added. With the dollar bill folds pushed together (accordion closed), hold the bill in place, and carefully tie a nice, tight double knot around the dollar bill in the desired spot on the money lei necklace.
I put my dollar bills right next to the straw so that ribbon would not show throughout the necklace while it is worn. Pull the sides of the dollar to fan it out, making it look like a flower or bow tie. Next, add the appropriate piece of straw and tie on another dollar bill in the same fashion you did the last one.
Then, continue the pattern you created until all of your dollar bills are on the money lei. To even it out, you can finish off the necklace with 3 more straws, just like you started it, and tie the two string ends into a knot. Finish with a pretty bow, curl the ends of the ribbon off like I did, or cut the extra ribbon off entirely.
Have fun making this easy money lei for graduation!
We loved this lei so much that we’ll make it our go-to fun way of giving money at future graduations and even birthday parties. I personally am a fan of how this project turned out, pretty good for a DIY graduation gift! It was a little tedious at first, but once I got the hang of the pattern, it was smooth sailing from there. I hope you try making this fun money lei tutorial, a favorite of the creative ways to gift money!
More fun DIY gift ideas
- Make Your Own DIY Holiday Photo Coasters
- DIY Housewarming Gift Basket
- DIY Peppermint Bath Salts In A Jar
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My son graduates from 6th grade next year. I’ll be making one of these as a token of appreciation for all of his hard work. I’m like you I am not paying someone to make one of these if I can make it myself.
Deanna, these look amazing and simple (Thank you!) so I’ve started to make one. Any tips on tying the knot around the bills? I can only seem to make a knot between the straw and the dollar. I can’t seem to get a knot tied to the other side of the dollar so I can move to the next straw.
Thank you for this tutorial! This is the easiest (by looks of) lei I’ve seen so far. I have a graduation next week and I think I’ll give it. Try!
And congrats to your baby girl 😉
Thanks so much!