Getting Lei'd

Getting Lei'd

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I know what you're thinking. You thought this was a respectable blog and now this title has you wondering WTF? {lol}

According to Wikipedia, a "Lei (/leɪ/) is a garland or wreath. More loosely defined, a lei is any series of objects strung together with the intent to be worn. The most popular concept of a lei in Hawaiian culture is a wreath of flowers presented upon arriving or leaving as a symbol of affection. This concept was popularized through tourism between the Hawaiian Islands and the continental United States in the 19th and 20th centuries."

Wikipedia also says that "A lei can be given to someone for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, these reasons include love, honor, or friendship for another person.[1] Common events during which leis may be distributed include graduations, weddings, and school dances.[1] Often the composition of a lei determines its significance; a lei made using a hala fruit, for instance, is said to be connected to love, desire, transition, and change.[2] "

That's a lot of supporting data for a thoughtful pinch that I really enjoy giving out. May and June are busy months filled with many birthdays, graduations and teacher gifts. Leis are the perfect thoughtful pinches! Not only are they festive, but they soften the cold, harsh cash that we give and receive for birthdays and graduation.  I also think leis are the ultimate symbols of relaxation and warm weather. 

I make birthday leis for all ages.  Here are some of my tips:

  1. Determine the amount of cash you want to give to the recipient. For example $40 for someone turning 40 years old.
  2. The bank is a good place to get single dollar bills (or you may know a stripper who can help) 
  3. Party City has fake, plastic leis all year round. Another store, Dollar Tree, usually begins selling their summer stuff by April or May and leis are sold for a $1 each.  Stock up if you have storage space.
  4. Determine if you want to use ribbon or wire to secure the cash onto the lei.  Ribbons add color and decor but require more labor.  Wire ties that come when you buy a loaf of bread work well.  Ties can also be purchased at a craft store. 
  5. Be creative - roll up or fold the dollar bill lengthwise any way you like. 
  6. Secure the bill. If using ribbon, tie it around the middle so that the ribbon is halfway in between. If using a wire tie, bend it around the middle and then twist the wire closed so that the dollar stays in place.
  7. The dollar will bend in half which fluffs up and creates the fullness of the lei.
  8. For added personalization, add your own touches by using additional ribbon, notes or more decorations. 
Many single dollar bills for my aunt/Godmother's 75th birthday.

Many single dollar bills for my aunt/Godmother's 75th birthday.

I couldn't find a plastic lei in time so I made one using a beaded necklace and ribbon in his favorite Dolphins' colors for our really good friend in Florida. I also couldn't fit single dollar bills so you'll notice larger denominations in the mix.

I couldn't find a plastic lei in time so I made one using a beaded necklace and ribbon in his favorite Dolphins' colors for our really good friend in Florida. I also couldn't fit single dollar bills so you'll notice larger denominations in the mix.

For someone super crafty, I wanted to do more than just use a plastic lei.  When I was shopping around for fresh leis, I couldn't find one for less than $75.  I get it, leis are labor intensive and the flowers themselves are very expensive.  Seventy-five dollars was for a lei made out of carnations. Not that my friend wasn't worth $75, I just wasn't sure how fragile the lei would be if I put forty dollar bills on it.  I didn't want to risk it.  I'm sure prices would be different if I lived where flowers grow all year long.  Besides, my friend makes everything from scratch so I You-Tubed  "How to Make a Lei"  .  I found a wonderful, yet easy lei-making video but  I couldn't find carnations.  I settled for a flower that I thought would be tough enough to survive the threading.  

For someone super crafty, I wanted to do more than just use a plastic lei.  When I was shopping around for fresh leis, I couldn't find one for less than $75.  I get it, leis are labor intensive and the flowers themselves are very expensive.  Seventy-five dollars was for a lei made out of carnations. Not that my friend wasn't worth $75, I just wasn't sure how fragile the lei would be if I put forty dollar bills on it.  I didn't want to risk it.  I'm sure prices would be different if I lived where flowers grow all year long.  Besides, my friend makes everything from scratch so I You-Tubed "How to Make a Lei" .  I found a wonderful, yet easy lei-making video but  I couldn't find carnations.  I settled for a flower that I thought would be tough enough to survive the threading.  

A fortieth birthday  thoughtful pinch . Making a lei is something I've never done before but now I feel empowered because I tried something new!  

A fortieth birthday thoughtful pinch. Making a lei is something I've never done before but now I feel empowered because I tried something new!  

For teacher gifts, I wish we could give out cash (something they would gladly appreciate).  We made gift card leis instead. 

Instead of cash, we attached gift cards onto the leis. 

Instead of cash, we attached gift cards onto the leis. 

Click  here  for the post on teacher appreciation gifts. 

Click here for the post on teacher appreciation gifts. 

Last year, I didn't think about taking a picture of the final product. The teachers took off their gift cards and notes but wore the leis all day on the last day of school. 

Last year, I didn't think about taking a picture of the final product. The teachers took off their gift cards and notes but wore the leis all day on the last day of school. 

In this picture, one teacher left the notes on the lei but none of the gift cards.  Lesson learned. Take pictures of everything!!

In this picture, one teacher left the notes on the lei but none of the gift cards.  Lesson learned. Take pictures of everything!!

We wrote special notes on flower-shaped paper and added them to our parent educator's End of the Year cash lei. The notes added warmth and a personal touch. See this  post . 

We wrote special notes on flower-shaped paper and added them to our parent educator's End of the Year cash lei. The notes added warmth and a personal touch. See this post

Whether you're the one giving away the lei or the one getting lei'd, it's a thoughtful way to give and get what you really want - CASH!  Have fun making and giving!

Pinches,

Barb

Rolling the Dice

Rolling the Dice

Thoughtfulness Jr.

Thoughtfulness Jr.