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Sunday, May 16

Making a Money Lei

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I also demonstrated this idea on the 
lifestyle TV show Studio 5.

So, my darling nephew graduated from college this weekend. I wanted to give him money in a creative way--then I remembered seeing those fun "money leis" at graduations I've attended in the past. I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO MAKE ONE! So, this is the "trial & error" method I came up with:

Supplies: 1) at least fifty one-dollar bills, 2) a lei with the school color(s), 3) curling ribbon in one of the school colors.

Instructions: Cut a LONG piece of curling ribbon--much longer than the length you want your lei to be. Then, fold each of the bills in a "fan shape" like you used to do in elementary school.

Cut lots of shorter pieces of curling ribbon. You will use these to tie each of the bills on the long piece of curling ribbon.
Tightly tie each bill on with the separate, shorter pieces of curling ribbon. "Curl" the ends of the short ribbon. Then, "fan" the ends of the bill. (They stay fanned out pretty well without any tape or anything). You can slide the bills around on the long piece of curling ribbon to fit them tightly together.
 This is where the other fabric lei comes in. I took the other lei apart first, then interspersed the dollar bills with the fabric lei petals.  I used a repeating pattern of two bills followed by three petals. I did have to cut wider holes in the fabric petals for the curling ribbon to fit through. And I taped the top of the curling ribbon that I used to thread through the petals, because it kept splitting.
When I ran out of money . . . WHICH ALWAYS SEEMS TO HAPPEN WITH ANY PROJECT . . . I tied off the long, remaining ends of the ribbon in large loops. If you know me, you already know that I never measure anything! Therefore, I don't know how long my lei turned out to be. I can only say that I wished it would have been a little longer on my tall recipient! So next time I'll probably use 70-75 bills.

Cost for this project: Cash - $50/fabric lei - free (I already had it!)/curling ribbon - free (I already had it!). Seeing Kevin smile when I gave it to him - PRICELESS!
Congrats, Kev--you make us proud!

PS - Click here to see how to make a MONEY NECKTIE!


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog! I sure love this money lei...what I great idea, never seen that before.

  2. I've been looking for money lei tutorials for the last 2 hours. This is by far the easiest and best tutorial that I've found. Love your idea of repurposing an existing lei Many thanks!!!


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