If you grew up in Hawai’i or know anyone who grew up in Hawai’i, you know that graduation season is lei season. There are many different kinds of leis, but a candy lei is always a hit. It’s a fun, colorful, tasty way to celebrate the milestone of graduation. Learning how to make a candy lei really is easy. You can make one in about 15 to 20 minutes. With a bit of planning, you can make a candy lei in your graduate’s school colors as a personalized celebration.
How to Make a Candy Lei
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Cut the poly tubing to a length of approximately 40 inches long. You can make it longer for a taller graduate.
Cut ribbon to approximately 8 inch lengths. Group two or more school color ribbon pieces together.
Slip candy into the poly tubing. Alternate candy colors and types. Leave about a 1/2 inch space between each piece of candy. Some people prefer to place all the candy in the poly tubing before tying the ribbon. I find it easier to tie the ribbon after I add each piece of candy.
The ribbon stays in place best by tying square knots with the ribbon. Many people use curling ribbon and curl the ends after tying. I had satin ribbon on-hand from making ribbon leis and chose it use it for the candy lei.
I start from the center of the lei and work out to the ends by alternating adding candy to each side. If you find the ribbons are too long, trim them to the desired length. When you reach the ends of the poly tubing, insert one end into the other and tie the ribbon to hold the tubing together. Add a ribbon bow to the area where you joined the ends of the poly tubing.
Using candy in the graduate’s high school colors is an easy way to personalized the candy lei gift.
Once you get the hang of tying the ribbons in place, the candy lei making really does go pretty quickly. It’s a project that you can make with elementary school aged children with a bit of supervision. If your graduate is celebrating in warm weather, be sure to choose candy that won’t melt (that means no chocolate!)
I used a similar technique to make a dog treat lei for my dog, Lila.
Now that you know how to make a candy lei, how many students do you know graduating this year? These candy leis also make great party favors.
More Lei Making Tutorials
Lei Niho Palaoa