A lei is to Hawaii as kangaroos are to Austrailia. Okay, I don't know if that analagy works, but who doesn't think of a flower lei when you think of Hawaii. If there is ever a reason to celebrate, congratulate, or even console someone a lei will be there.
I have to admit, this is the first real flower lei that I have made since living on the 'Mainland.' The same flowers are not as readily available here, but I figured out a way to turn this frown upside down.
Carantions are inexpensive, colorful, and easily available from groccery stores and florists.
What you need to make a carantion lei:
Lei needle, or 5" long doll needle
Caranations - I made five leis with three garden bunches from Costco.
1. Cut about a three foot peice of dental floss. If you want your lei shorter or longer, adjust accordingly.
2. Thread one end of the floss through your needle and clamp the other end with your clothes pin. This will prevent your flowers from slipping off the end.
3. Use you scissors to cut the stems off your carnations.
I like to cut my flowers just barely from the base of the flower. You can peel off the extra leaves, just be careful with your flowers. The red flower fell apart because there wasn't much at the base.
Don't fret if you flowers are only partially opended up. You can help the petals by gently pressing the bloom open.
4. Take your needle and pierce the bottom of the flower pushing the needle through the center of the petals.
Continue to string your flowers until you get the length of lei you want. The flowers can be placed in a pattern or at random. Both will look and smell pretty.
The fuller the carnations, the less green stem you will see. If you are squishing your flowers really close be sure to have more flowers on hand.
5. Tie the two ends of your dental floss into a square knot. Add a ribbon of you like and enjoy!
I had the happiest feeling as I was stringing these leis. It reminded me of High School graduation. Getting together with my friends and walking down the street with groccery bags full of plumerias. Free plumerias I might add, just picked from all the trees in the neighborhood.
Don't forget to give your leis away with a hug and a kiss. Can you tell which one is my sister?