How to Make a Plumeria Lei

Lei Making
Don't worry it's easy!!!

Click on image for a larger photo.

  • Jar of Vaseline
  • 6" or 12" Lei needle or... Click Here to Buy Lei Needles
  • ( 3" or 4" Upholstery needle, buy smallest Diameter.)
  • 4 to 8 Pound Fishing Line or strong thread.
  • 50 to 60 Plumeria Flowers
  • One 1 Gallon Ziplock bag
  • Measuring Tape

Pile of Flowers
Yellow one smells the best

Pile of Flowers
White one smells good too.
Step #1 :  Gather all supplies.  Gather the flowers early in the morning and for best results use Plumeria flowers that have a thick waxy feel, such as 'Celadine' , 'Nebels Rainbow' and 'Hilo Beauty'.  These flowers are thick and waxy and have a 2 or 3 day "keeping quality" once they are made into a Lei.  If you choose to use other types of plumeria flowers, expect the Lei to last 1 day. 

Now is a good time to decide if you are doing a solid or mixed Lei.  If you choose mixed flowers, don't just string them up; do a pattern.... 3 yellows, 3 reds, 3 whites... or 6 yellows then 1 red. etc.

'Celadine' Flower
Into the eye of the flower

'Celadine' Flowers
Threading is fun!
Step #2:  Measure & cut the string at about 46" to allow yourself 6" to tie it.  Thread the string through the needle's eye, and either pull the string back or crimp it in place with pliers. Tie anything around the other end to keep the flowers from coming off.  Dip the needle in the jar of Vaseline and thread the first flower going into the eye of the flower.  Slide each flower onto the string. Don't fill the needle up with six flowers and expect all six of the to slide properly.  One at a time is the key to not tearing the flowers.  Redip into the Vaseline as needed.

7 flowers on a 12" needle

7 yellows then 1 pink

7 yellows then 1 pink

Pink is 'Guillot's Sunset'

Almost done with one

Close-up shot

Almost done with two

Close-up shot
Step #3:  Once you're finished stringing the flowers, cut the string from the needle and tie the ends.  Then cut off excess string from the knot area.  Next, place the lei into the 1 gallon bag.... splash a little water into the bag....  close the ziplock part 90% of the way.... then blow into the bag filling it full of air.... ziplock it shut.  Store the lei in the refrigerator until it's time to wear it.

Click Here for Lei Tradition Information....

More Lei Photos

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Plumeria 101 / Michael Anders