In Hawai’i it’s a tradition to give every graduate, both high school and college graduates, a lei. Leis are made from all kinds of materials: flowers, leaves, vines, yarn, eyelash yarn, candy, money and ribbon. Last week I shared my tutorial on how to make a ribbon lei tutorial (including a video tutorial). This week I’d like to show you how to make a ribbon lei with 3 colors. You can make a one-strand 3 color ribbon lei for $1.50 about and in about 30 minutes.
The traditional ribbon lei is made in the graduate’s school colors. Many school have three colors and sometimes you want to soften the combination of the two school colors with the addition of a third color. If you look at the combination of black and purple in my how to make a ribbon lei tutorial, you’ll see why I wanted to lessen the harsh color combination of purple and black by adding white to the ribbon lei. Learning how to make a ribbon lei with 3 colors offers you additional creative options.
You’ll start with three spools of ribbon from your local craft store or big box store. You want 10 to 12 yards lengths of ribbon in each color. Two spools of ribbon needs to be 1/4 inch wide and the third needs to be 1/8 inch wide. You can find these spools of ribbon for about $.50 each.
How to Make a Ribbon Lei with 3 Colors
Find the middle point of each strand of ribbon and crease it. (You can see my tip for a quick way to find the mid-point of the ribbon in my How to Make A Ribbon Lei tutorial).
Place the thin ribbon on top of one of the wider ribbons. Slip one ribbon, ribbon 2 (the dark blue ribbon), through the other ribbon, ribbon 1 (the white and light blue ribbon).
Holding the base of the two ribbons together, make a loop of ribbon 1 and pass it through ribbon 2. Pull ribbon 2 tight, but not so tight that it makes the ribbon buckle. You want the ribbons to be woven tightly together and to lay smooth at the same time.
Now make a loop of ribbon 2 and pass it through ribbon 1. Pull ribbon 1 tight.
Continue the weaving pattern. Take your time to keep all the ribbons from twisting. You want to straighten the ribbons so that your final woven pattern is uniform and smooth.
When you get to the end of the ribbons, pass the end of the shortest ribbon tail through the final loop and pull tight.
Knot the two ribbon tails securely together. Trim the ribbon tails close to the knot.
Sew the ribbon lei closed covering the knotted end with the finished end.
Add a bow to cover the joined ends of the lei.
You can present a single strand of this three color ribbon lei or you can give a traditional three strand lei of this ribbon lei with three colors to your favorite graduate.
Now that you know how to make a ribbon lei with three colors, there’s no end to the creative combinations of ribbon leis you can create.
More Lei Tutorials