The first hula skirts were made from the leaves of the Hawaiian ti, or good luck plant. Sometime in the 1800s grass hula skirts came to Hawaii. Today's hula skirts are made from many different materials. This simple and easy project is made with raffia, a tropical stringlike weed. Raffia is readily available by the spool or by the bag in craft, hobby and some department stores. Synthetic nylon raffia, less expensive than the natural product, works just as well for this project.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Raffia strips
- 1" Elastic strip, long enough to encircle your waist
- Measuring tape or yardstick
Wrap the elastic strip around your waist. Mark the point where it meets snugly, and cut it an inch longer than that. Sew the ends together with a needle and thread to create the hula skirt's waistband.
Measure out 28" to 30" of the raffia, depending upon your height. Most hula skirts are 26" to 28" long, although you can make yours as short or long as you like. Make a fold in the strand at that point, but don't cut it yet. Hold the fold with one hand, and pull out enough raffia to give you two strands which are the same length. Cut the folded raffia strand from the roll. Use this strand to measure out the rest of the raffia strands for the skirt, and cut them from the roll, also.
Hang a strand of raffia over the elastic waistband, which will give you two strands. Even up the ends of the strands so that they are the same length.
Tie a knot with the two strands of raffia just below the elastic waistband.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until the skirt reaches the fullness you desire.
Try the skirt on to see that it looks and fits the way that you want it to. If it's not quite tight enough, folding the waistband under all the way around should take up unnecessary slack.
Tips and warnings
- You can fasten the raffia strands to the elastic waistband with fabric glue, if tying individual strands tries your patience too much.
- Alternately, cut the bottom out of a large green handle-tie trash bag. Cut the bag into strips, and use the handle ties to tighten and secure this quick hula skirt at your waist.