Lei Making 🌺 🪡 🌺
The beginning and the end
Aloha! I had the chance to take a free lei making class at a hotel I was staying at when in Hawaii for a work conference. (My day job is usually not this exciting but in this week and next week’s post you will see I took advantage of being in a beautiful place that’s about 5000 miles from my home).
To start, I was provided with a basket of orchids, a long piece of embroidery thread and a special long thin needle with a hook on the end that only required me to hook the thread and not spend a crazy amount of time trying to get the thread through a tiny hole. We started by taking the stems off the orchids. Then we threaded each orchid through the center in sets of threes before sliding them down the thread to the knotted end. I kept this up until I had approximately 75 orchids on the string, or enough for a lei.
This was easy and fun but trying to recreate this at home would be really expensive. I can’t imagine what loose orchid blooms would cost but it would not be cheap. My lei making teacher suggested I try when I return home with carnations instead.
I also learned a very important lesson about what to do with leis when they are starting to wither. I learned that Hawaiians never just throw leis away but instead, out of respect, return them to the earth. They can be placed on bushes, hung on a tree, or my favorite, placed in the ocean. I had my own little lei disposal ceremony for a lei I first received when I arrived at my hotel in Hawaii. The one I made will hopefully make it home!
How to Make a Hawaiian Lei in 3 Easy Steps
Find a few flowers, a large needle, and some embroidery floss and try to string a few flowers together. If you are ambitious, (and have a lot of flowers) make an entire necklace!
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