How to Make a Plumeria Lei

Plumeria LeI making is easier than you thought. With the right supplies and a little guidance, you’ll have a ready-to-wear plumeria lei in no time!

Let’s dive right in.

Supplies for Making a Plumeria Lei

  • Jar of vaseline
  • 6″ or 12″ lei needles
  • 3″ or 4″ upholstery needle (buy the smallest diameter)
  • 4 to 8 pound fishing line or strong thread
  • 50 to 60 plumeria flowers
  • One gallon ziplock bag
  • Measuring tape
flowers for plumeria lei
Pile of flowers for plumeria lei. Yellow ones smell the best but white ones smell good too.

Making a Plumeria Lei Step by Step


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 plumeria
Into the eye of the flower
threading plumeria flowers for lei
Threading is fun


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 flowers on a 12″ needle
7 yellows then 1 pink
7 yellows then 1 pink
7 yellows then a pink
7 yellows then a pink
Pink is 'Guillot's Sunset'
Pink is ‘Guillot’s Sunset’
Almost done with one
Almost done with one
Close-up shot
Close-up shot
Almost done with two
Almost done with two


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.

Some more Plumeria Leis

plumeria lei 1

plumeria lei 2

plumeria lei 3

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