Getting Lei'd on Graduation Day

DIY Ribbon Lei | craftycarmen

As mentioned in my first blog post, I will be bringing back some of the old blog posts from the old blog. With graduations quickly approaching us, I thought it would be the perfect time to bring back the DIY ribbon lei post.

DIY Ribbon Lei | craftycarmen

The first thing I thought of doing when one of my best friends was graduating was to make a lei, and that was for a very specific reason. You see, I never make leis, but she is all about making leis for everyone else's graduations. I knew I need to make her a lei now that it's her turn to walk the stage.

I searched for a few ideas and found one on Sakacon that I thought was pretty. The only thing is that it took FOREVER and tons of concentration. As I was creating it, I was thinking to myself, why did I have to pick the most time-consuming design?!

But hours later, yards of ribbon and thread later, ...more hours later, I wanted to cry tears of joy for finishing it and for how it turned out. It’s just so pretty and it’s priceless knowing it can make the graduate’s day just a little more. 

DIY Ribbon Lei | craftycarmen

01. 1 1/2-inch ribbon of the primary color, 21 feet minimum
You need at least 21 feet. Feel free to go longer if you'd like (refer to the very last picture below to see the approximate length 21 feet of ribbon gave me, especially comparing with her other leis).

02. 3/8-inch or 5/8-inch ribbon of the secondary color, 21 feet minimum
A picot ribbon gives you a “guide” for the running stitch because of the loops, but regular ribbon work just as well.

03. Embroidery thread
Embroidery thread is highly recommended because it is a lot sturdier. Regular sewing thread will get tangled and can easily break if you accidentally pull too hard while scrunching up the ribbons. Anything thicker might be too difficult to stitch with.

04. Needle

05. Optional: Hot glue gun 

PRO TIP: Make sure you take advantage of those craft store coupons! I was surprised how pricey ribbons are, but nothing beats getting 40% or 50% off a whole spool at Michaels or Joann. 

DIY Ribbon Lei | craftycarmen

01. Tie the embroidery thread into the eye of the needle. 

02. Place the 3/8 or 5/8-inch ribbon on the edge of the 1 1/2-inch ribbon.

03. Place the needle through the first loop at the end of the ribbon.

04. Create a running stitch through every two loops if using a picot ribbon, or approximately 1/2 cm for a regular ribbon. (running stitch: a needlework stitch consisting of a line of small even stitches that run in and out through the cloth without overlapping)

05. Pull the thread and scrunch the ribbons down as you continue your running stitch.

06. Stitch the two ends together once you've finished your running stitch.

07. Optional: To secure the ends even more, use a hot glue gun to glue them together.

Loree's Graduation Day w/ DIY Ribbon Lei | DIY Ribbon Lei | craftycarmen