How to make a chain money lei

Written by judy kilpatrick Google
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How to make a chain money lei
Hawaiian leis are used to welcome guests and celebrate special occasions. (Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The chain money lei combines customs from two different cultures: Hawaii and Japan. In Hawaii, floral leis are given at times of celebration. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, parties and arriving at someone's home are all occasions for giving and receiving Hawaiian leis. In Japan, the intricate art of origami is used to decorate for special occasions or to create handmade gifts. A lei made from banknotes bestows both good wishes and a monetary gift to the receiver.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 25 paper money bills

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  1. 1

    Fold a paper money bill into thirds lengthwise. Crease the folds with your thumbnail. Unfold.

    How to make a chain money lei
    Use alternate sides of the bill for the outside of the chain links for variation in colour. ( Images)
  2. 2

    Lay the bill on a flat surface and fold back approximately 1/4 to 1/3 inch of the narrow edge of the bill. Turn the bill over and fold back the narrow edge of the bill on that side.

  3. 3

    Pick up the bill and curl it around so the narrow ends overlap. Make certain the lengthwise creases are on the outside of the circle.

  4. 4

    Interlock the two folded edges, creating a locked circle.

  5. 5

    Turn under the right side of the bill, folding at the crease and pressing the right outside edge of the bill inside. Turn the left side of the bill inside in the same manner. This step locks the chain link and prevents it from coming apart.

  6. 6

    Make another paper money chain link in the same manner, except, before interlocking the narrow edges together, slide the bill through the first ring and complete the steps to make a paper money chain link.

  7. 7

    Continue adding links until the chain money lei is the desired length. Link the last chain link to the first chain link.

Tips and warnings

  • Decorate your Hawaiian origami money chain lei with a banknote rosette: Accordion pleat the bill by folding 3/8 inch in one direction and then 3/8 inch in the opposite direction. When all folds are made and you have a long strip, fold it in half and tie at the fold with a piece of ribbon, leaving two 10-inch tails on the ribbon. Unfold the pleated bill to form a rosette. Use double-stick tape to hold the ends together. Pull the ribbons through one of the chain links in your origami money lei. This is your pendant link. Pull one ribbon through the link to the right of the pendant and the other ribbon through the link to the left of the pendant. Bring the ribbons together behind the banknote rosette and tie it in a bow.

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