How to Make a Graduation Money Lei

Written by jeffrey brian
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How to Make a Graduation Money Lei
A graduate holding a diploma. (graduate girl image by Maria Bell from

Wearing a lei has become a popular trend at graduations. Turn an ordinary lei into a gift by crafting a money lei. The graduate will have the gift of cash around his neck and feel like a million bucks. Making a money lei is a fun, creative way to give the graduate money and make him feel special on his big day.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Plastic straws
  • 6 feet of curling ribbon
  • Tape
  • Coloured cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Crisp bills

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  1. 1

    Lay a bill out on a flat surface. Fold the bill in half lengthwise then unfold. Fold the bill into even pleats accordian style. Set aside.

  2. 2

    Repeat Step 1 for all the bills. Then cut out some bill-size pieces of coloured cardstock. Repeat the same folding process with these. The cardstock will be added to the lei for more colour and to fill in if you don't have enough bills.

  3. 3

    Take a 6-foot long piece of ribbon and fold in half. Hold the looped end and about an inch down tie a double knot. Place an accordion style folded bill below the knot. Tie a knot around the centre of the bill. Pull the sides of the bill out and tape the edges together on each side to form a rosette.

  4. 4

    Cut a plastic straw into small segments. Poke the ends of the ribbon through the straw and push the straw up against the bill rosette. Tie another bill onto the ribbon below the straw divider. Again open the sides and tape the edges together on each side. Place another straw segment on the ribbon.

  5. 5

    Create a pattern by adding in coloured cardstock accordion folds and alternating bills with the colours. Add a straw segment in between each bill or cardstock fold. Continue until the ribbon lei is completely filled. Tie the lei onto the graduate.

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