How to Make a Money Lei for Graduation

Welcome to our guide on how to make a money lei for graduation! A money lei is a great way to celebrate a graduate’s achievements, and it’s a fun DIY project that you can do with friends and family. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of making a money lei, provide some helpful tips, and explain the significance of this traditional Hawaiian gift.

Steps how to make a money lei for graduation

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you get started, you’ll need to gather your supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dollar bills (you’ll need at least 50 for a full lei)
  • String (we recommend using ribbon or elastic cord)
  • Scissors

Step 2: Fold Your Bills

Next, it’s time to fold your dollar bills. Here’s how:

  1. Fold each bill in half lengthwise, creasing it in the middle.
  2. Unfold the bill, then fold each end in towards the center crease.
  3. Fold the bill in half again along the original crease.

Step 3: String Your Bills

Now it’s time to start stringing your bills. Here’s how:

  1. Cut a length of string that’s twice as long as you want your finished lei to be.
  2. Tie a knot in one end of the string, leaving a short tail.
  3. Thread one folded bill onto the string, pushing it down towards the knot.
  4. Tie another knot in the string just above the bill, making sure the bill doesn’t slip off.
  5. Repeat with the remaining bills, tying a knot in the string between each one.

Step 4: Add Extra Embellishments (Optional)

If you want to add some extra flair to your money lei, you can weave in ribbon, flowers, or other embellishments. Here are some ideas:

  • Tie small bows between the bills.
  • Thread small silk flowers onto the string.
  • Weave in strands of colorful ribbon.

Step 5: Finish Your Lei

When you’ve strung all your bills and added any extra embellishments, it’s time to finish your lei. Here’s how:

  1. Tie the two ends of string together in a knot or bow, leaving a short tail on each end.
  2. Cut off any excess string.
  3. Adjust the bills and embellishments so they’re evenly distributed and lying flat.

Explanation how to make a money lei for graduation

The money lei is a traditional Hawaiian gift given to celebrate special occasions, like graduations or weddings. It’s made by stringing folded dollar bills onto a lei, which can be worn like a necklace or draped over the shoulders. The lei symbolizes love, respect, and congratulations for the recipient.

Making a money lei is a fun way to add your personal touch to a traditional gift. It’s a great DIY project to do with friends and family, and it’s a creative way to celebrate the graduate’s achievements. Plus, they’ll love the fact that they’re getting a gift that’s not only beautiful, but practical too!

Tips and Tricks how to make a money lei for graduation

1. Use Crisp Dollar Bills

Make sure your bills are fresh and crisp, as this will make them easier to fold and string. Old or crumpled bills won’t hold their shape as well.

2. Add Personal Touches

Consider adding small photos or personalized trinkets to your lei to make it extra special. This is a great way to show the graduate that you put extra thought and effort into their gift.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re new to making money leis, take some time to practice folding and stringing bills before you start. This will help you get the hang of the technique and ensure a neat and polished finished product.

4. Mix and Match Bill Sizes

You don’t have to stick to just one type of bill! Mixing different denominations and bill sizes can add depth and texture to your lei. Just make sure to fold each bill to the same size, so they all look uniform.

5. Get Creative with Embellishments

Consider adding small candy or other treats to your lei to make it even more festive. Just be sure to wrap them securely in plastic wrap before stringing them onto the lei.

6. Add a Personalized Card

Include a small card with a personalized message or inside joke to make the gift even more meaningful. This will let the graduate know that you’re celebrating their unique personality and accomplishments.

7. Coordinate with School Colors

If you want to go all out, consider using ribbon or other embellishments in the school’s colors. This will add a fun and festive touch to the gift, and show that you’re celebrating the graduate’s academic achievements.

8. Tie the Knot with Care

Make sure your knots are secure and tight, so your lei doesn’t come apart. You don’t want the graduate to lose any bills!

9. Double-Check Your Counts

Count your bills at least twice to make sure you have the right amount. You don’t want to realize halfway through that you’re short a few bills!

10. Have Fun with It!

Remember, making a money lei is all about celebrating the graduate’s achievements and having fun. Don’t stress too much about getting every detail perfect. The most important thing is that you put your heart into the gift and show the recipient how much you care.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making a Money Lei for Graduation


1. Customizable – You can choose the design, colors, and denominations of bills to tailor to the recipient’s preferences.

2. Can be used – The money lei can be worn and used during the graduation ceremony or later on to buy things the graduate needs.

3. Thoughtful gift – Making a money lei shows effort and thoughtfulness, making the gift more meaningful.

4. Unique – The money lei is not a common graduation gift, making it stand out from the rest.

5. Versatile – The money lei can be made with different types of paper money, such as bills or gold coins.

6. Creative outlet – Making a money lei can be a fun and creative activity, allowing you to explore different designs and techniques.

7. Easy to transport – The money lei is lightweight and easy to carry around, making it a convenient gift to bring to a graduation ceremony.

8. Saves time – Instead of spending time searching for a gift, making a money lei can save you time and money.

9. Low-cost – Making a money lei is a relatively inexpensive gift compared to others.

10. Symbolic – The monetary value of the lei can symbolize the hopes and dreams of the graduate’s future financial success.


1. Time-consuming – Making a money lei requires time and patience, especially if you plan on creating a complex design.

2. Not for everyone – Some people may not appreciate or have a use for a money lei.

3. Could be perceived as impersonal – Depending on the person’s personality, a money lei may be seen as an impersonal gift compared to a more practical or sentimental one.

4. Risk of loosening or unraveling – The bills used in the lei may loosen or unravel depending on how it is made, making it inconvenient for the graduate to wear or use.

5. Cumbersome – Depending on the size and weight of the lei, it may be difficult to wear or carry around for the entire graduation ceremony.

6. May not fit dress code – Some schools or graduation ceremonies may have a dress code that prohibits wearing lei or floral accessories.

7. Unprofessional – Depending on the person’s field of work or career aspirations, a money lei may be deemed unprofessional or inappropriate.

8. Complicated for those unaware – Some people may not be familiar with how to create a money lei, making it a challenge to make one themselves.

9. Not a universal gift – Money lei is not common in some cultures or regions of the world, making it a gift that may not be understood or appreciated.

10. Risk of theft – Since the money lei has tangible currency woven into its design, there may be a risk of theft or loss during the graduation ceremony.


1. What is a money lei?

A money lei is a traditional Hawaiian garland made from folded currency and worn around the neck to show respect, love, and appreciation. It is a meaningful and thoughtful gift for special occasions like graduations, weddings, and birthdays.

2. How much money should I use to make a money lei?

The amount of money you use to make a money lei depends on your budget and the recipient’s preferences. You can use as much or as little as you want, but it’s recommended to use at least $50-$100 in total.

3. What types of currency can I use to make a money lei?

You can use any type of currency to make a money lei, such as dollar bills, five dollar bills, ten dollar bills, and twenty dollar bills. You can also mix and match different types of currency to create a colorful and unique design.

4. What materials do I need to make a money lei?

You will need currency, ribbon, beads, and scissors to make a money lei. You can also use other decorative elements like flowers, shells, and feathers to add personal touches to the lei.

5. How do I make the folds in the currency?

There are different ways to make folds in the currency, depending on the design you choose. You can find step-by-step instructions and video tutorials online to help you make the folds correctly.

6. How long does it take to make a money lei?

The time it takes to make a money lei depends on your skill level, the complexity of the design, and the number of currency bills you plan to use. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete a money lei.

7. Can I customize the colors and patterns of the ribbon and beads?

Yes, you can choose the colors and patterns of the ribbon and beads to match the recipient’s favorite colors or theme of the occasion. You can also mix and match different colors and patterns for a unique and eye-catching look.

8. Can I add personal messages or other decorations to the lei?

Yes, you can add personal messages, names, or other decorations like flowers or charms to the lei to make it more special and meaningful to the recipient. Use your creativity and imagination to make the lei unique and memorable.

9. How do I tie the ribbon around the currency folds?

You can tie the ribbon tightly around the currency folds by making simple knots or bows. You can also use beads to secure the ribbon and add more visual interest to the lei.

10. How should I present the money lei to the recipient?

You can present the money lei in a gift box, a decorative bag, or a traditional Hawaiian-style gift wrapping. You can also attach a small card with a personal message or instruction on how to wear the lei.

11. Can I make a money lei with coins?

It’s possible to make a money lei with coins, but it will require more patience and skill to handle the small and fragile pieces. It’s recommended to use larger coins like quarters or half-dollars instead of pennies or dimes.

12. Are there any cultural considerations I should keep in mind when making a money lei?

Yes, it’s important to respect the cultural significance and traditions of the Hawaiian lei-making when making a money lei. You should use proper materials, techniques, and etiquette when presenting the lei to the recipient.

13. Where can I find inspiration and ideas for making a money lei?

You can find inspiration and ideas for making a money lei from online tutorials, books, magazines, or by observing the traditional Hawaiian lei-making. You can also ask for advice or help from experienced lei-makers or artists.

Conclusion how to make a money lei for graduation

In conclusion, making a money lei for graduation is not only a meaningful gift but also a fun DIY project. With the right materials and patience, you can create a beautiful lei that will surely impress the recipient. Remember to personalize it by choosing their favorite colors or incorporating their interests. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different techniques. Your efforts will show that you care and appreciate their accomplishments. Hopefully, this guide has provided you with the inspiration and guidance you need to make a memorable money lei for the graduation season.

Closing how to make a money lei for graduation

Thank you for reading this guide on how to make a money lei for graduation. We hope that you found it useful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below. We would love to hear about your money lei creations or any tips you have to share. Remember that DIY projects are not only a way to save money but also a way to express your creativity and show your loved ones that you care. So, don’t be afraid to try new things and have fun while doing it. Until next time, happy crafting!