Paper Money "Leis"

June 4, 2013

Last year, my son graduated from High School! (big sigh...when did he get so big??)

I wanted to give him a graduation gift but also make an unusual Lei for him. I couldn't stand the idea of a "candy lei" because they are just too overdone and not unique. I don't know about other parts of the country, but Lei's are BIG here in Utah. I believe it's because of how many "Poly's" (Polynesian/Tongan/Hawaiian) we have living here in the state. It's a sort of "requirement" for graduation and other big events to be wearing a lei (or multiple...see the last photo in this post!), especially for the football players like my big boy. (He's a beautiful 6 foot stud!)

After doing some playing around with pieces of paper that were the same size as a money bill, I figured out a design.  In addition to my son's lei, I also made one for his girlfriend at the time. His had $30.00 in it, and her's had $10.00. She's a petite little thing, so I didn't want hers to be as big and overwhelm her. In addition to being smaller, I added clear "glass" beads and paper leaves to hers for a little girly "bling"!

Excuse the quality of the pictures the rush of the morning, I neglected to take a photo at home before I left, so I had to resort to the bleacher seat for my background.

His, with $30.00
Hers, with $10.00, beads, and paper leaves.
I included a gold bow and a really awesome blue and gold compass medallion on each of the lei's. Their graduation "theme" was "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams", and their school colors were blue and gold. MEANT. TO. BE.

I have posted a full tutorial on creating your own Money and Paper Lei. Go and check it out now!

One last thing to share here. This is my son with his best friend from the age of 6. They went to 6 years of school together, but then each of our families moved...and they even left out of state. Fast forward to their senior year of high school, and they ended up being in the same graduating class!! Crazy coincidence, right?  It was very fun to take a photo of them together after the ceremony and see how big they had both grown to be! They are not little boys anymore!! As I noted before, some of the kids will have MULTIPLE leis....I think his friend had at least TEN!! I can't even imagine how much money and candy that kid had hanging around his neck!

So, SO, SO proud of my son. I love him so much. I can't even express how much.


Caitlin said...

Would love a tutorial on how to make this lei, it's beautiful and I think much more attractive than the usual money lei that I've seen in many posts. Thanks very much!

mamap said...

What a wonderful gift idea! Yes Yes Yes...please post instructions!

BusyBee Emily said...

Thanks for the nice comments! I'm finishing up a custom "Money Lei" order tomorrow evening and I will post pics of the individual stages when I complete it. Watch for the tutorial online by Wednesday morning!

BusyBee Emily said...

The tutorial is on my site! You can find it by following this link:

Make sure to share it!