Introduction: How to Create a Money Lei

Picture of How to Create a Money Lei

In this instructable I'm going to teach you how to make a money lei! This money lei is made with 100 $1 bills. It's a great alternative graduation lei.
Note: Takes considerable time.

Step 1: Equipment and Materials

Picture of Equipment and Materials

100 Crisp New $1 Bills (you can get change from any bank)
Balloon Curling Ribbon
Invisible Scotch Tape
3 Clear Straws
Plastic Sandwich Bag
Double Satin Gift Wrapping Ribbon

Step 2: Straw Pieces

Picture of Straw Pieces

Cut the straws up in small pieces, about 1/4 inch thick, and store them in the plastic sandwich bag.

Step 3: Folding the Dollars

Picture of Folding the Dollars

1. Fold the bill horizontally to make a crease and open it up - this will make it easier to find the center later.
2. Fold the bill back and forth to create fan pleats.
3. Fold the fan in half, as shown in the picture.

Step 4: Preparing the Ribbon

Picture of Preparing the Ribbon

1. Draw about 14 feet of ribbon - does not have to be exact. There will be leftover which will be cut off.
2. Clench the ribbon in half and crease as shown in the picture.
3. Double knot the closed end - this is where the money lei will begin.

Step 5: Adding the First Bill

Picture of Adding the First Bill

1. Place the folded bill in-between the two ribbon strands after the knot.
2. Make two knots to hold the bill in place. The bill does not have to be tightly held.
3. Affix a small piece of tape on one end and attach it to the other end. Repeat on the other side to complete a fanned circle. Don't be afraid to maneuver the bill to keep the center in place.

Step 6: Continuing the Lei

Picture of Continuing the Lei

1. Insert a straw piece through the ribbon - this will uniformly space the bills and provide structure.
2. Place another bill in-between the two ribbons.
3. Repeat how to tie and tape the bill as described in the previous step.
4. Continue adding straws and bills until 100 $1 bills are secured.
5. When the 100 $1 bills are completed, tie the lei together and cut off the excess ribbon - this is where a decorative ribbon can be attached.


mary gago (author)2009-06-10

Thank u 4 showing me how to make a money lei. I made one 4 my son's graduation. It turned out great. Here is a picture of it.

frenzy (author)mary gago2010-06-07


Your posting  has won today's "I Made It challenge. For winning you are receiving a free 3 month pro membership.

Thanks for using instructables!

JoshS1 (author)frenzy2015-05-28
marie408 (author)mary gago2010-02-17

hey I love what u made ur son with the money and candies want make something like this can you tell me please thanks

Sharku (author)2008-06-15

i want it....... nice although some one would steal it if they figured out it was real

pohakuL (author)Sharku2016-05-17

The trick is to put it on first and then pile the candy leis and flower leis on top so when people hug you they can't see it.

RajaZ1 (author)2016-02-27

find out the similer article at here

jmau1 (author)2015-06-02

this is a great how-to, very clear instructions.

JoollyH (author)2015-01-09

I found a blog on google that are easy money I recommend to all

springlora (author)2013-06-03

I feel positively cheated. I got conned into joining then couldn't download the instructions. Needed apparently to join some kind of "Pro" which probably means paying money. Stop making people think that they can get downloads when they really can't .

2012lei (author)2012-03-18


destructopop (author)2011-06-22

Eee! I can't wait until I have

wgrazier (author)2009-07-15

This is a great project. I wasn't prepared to spend $100 for this gift so I strung the 'flowers' a little differently ($20 was unimpressive to say the least). I think it turned out really well. Thanks for the great instructable!

MortalWombat7 (author)wgrazier2011-06-16

how did you do that? I would love to make those for my cousin! I tried tying them together, but I was pretty unsuccessful.

lsio (author)wgrazier2011-05-23

how did you make that? info plz

detamac (author)lsio2011-05-23

looks like you would just use less dollars then spread them out and lay them flat against your string :)

detamac (author)wgrazier2011-05-16

thanks for the pic! I love your version too :D

f4ithrivera (author)wgrazier2011-04-10

Can you describe step by step how you made this.

pmgu (author)wgrazier2010-01-30

I'm really interested in trying this, but like you, I'm not ready to spend 100 dollars, could you give me insructions on how you did yours?

wgrazier (author)pmgu2010-01-31

I used 20 one dollar bills and spread them out a little more. Cheap, but still cute and unique.

iakiak (author)wgrazier2010-06-03

It is not clear to me how you attached the circles.  did u use a longer straw?  would you mind giving a little more detail.  I would really appreciate it.  thank you I love your design.

NNN5 (author)wgrazier2010-05-26

You may buy a deck of souvenir (fake) money and make a really cheap and spectaculous garland.

nberning (author)2011-06-06

This was very well explained...the only question I had was the original length of the ribbon, was the 5 1/2 feet doubled? Obviously, it was otherwise the lei would be too short. It turned out beautifully! Thanks!

darkmuskrat (author)2008-06-15

What the hell is a "Lei"? A Hawaiian necklace? A Chinese Tie? A German torture device?

Bartboy (author)darkmuskrat2008-06-15

A german assasins weapon.

ninjaimasta (author)Bartboy2008-06-17

The mysteriously generic german assasin dropped from the shadows, his dastardly lei in hand. He stalked his prey, a man with a red armband and a charlie chaplin-esque moustache. He flitted between the shadows like a confused moth. As he approached his target he grabed him by the shoulder and spun him to face before using his pei to... lol kudos to whoever can come up with a funny useage/ending :P

Kryptonite (author)ninjaimasta2010-05-28

I used to like Charlie Chaplain's mustache, but now I don't.
I hate you.

Bartboy (author)ninjaimasta2008-06-17

using his lei to... ... Congratulate him for being the worlds easiest target to kill. "How do you know that?"he asks. "Simple, Watch" as he kills the man. "Oups" he says, as he slips away into the night.

Jakub (author)2008-06-10

wouldn't any one try to smuggle it if you put it on your neck?

ninjaimasta (author)Jakub2008-06-17

you mean steal? lol smugglings where you hide contraband or something illegal while crossing a border to sell or use in the place where its banned

Jakub (author)ninjaimasta2008-06-21

same thing but smuggling is more effective

Kryptonite (author)Jakub2010-05-28

Not quite...

uthus (author)2010-05-27

Having been to my brother-in-law's graduation in Aiea back in '95, I decided that I wanted to do one for my daughter's graduation a few years back. I hadn't found Instructables at the time and never got it done, but now I understand how to do it and will make some of the through the year to give as needed. Thanks.

weaponscollector94 (author)2010-05-26

i wish i could do this, i am just too damn poor.

zascecs (author)2010-05-26

Great idea, great i'ble.

...just that it would really suck to get this stolen...  =/ 

454774 (author)2010-05-11

I loved these steps....very well detailed! Thanks a bunch!!!

jengss (author)2009-12-18

Thank you!

This one was much easier to do than the other one I was following.


ddogwife (author)2009-06-09

I cut 6 feet and folded it in half. Therefore, I was down to 3 feet. I was only able to fit about $25. I think it should have been a total closer to 12 feet then fold ribbon in half, giving you 6 feet to work with.

kalalala (author)2009-05-29

Thank you so much.... I'm making my daughter one this year.....

nor4 (author)2009-05-26

i always wonder how it's done:D. something for my k4 son this year:). tanx!

Brother_D (author)2008-06-11


Lady_S (author)Brother_D2008-08-11

It's obviously intended to be given as a gift, then the money spent by the person receiving it. It's a clever way to give a money gift, rather than sticking it in a common gift card.

Brother_D (author)Lady_S2008-08-12

Oh! Now I see. Still... a hundred?

mg0930mg (author)Brother_D2009-05-21

Would you rather get a dollar for graduation?

Brother_D (author)mg0930mg2009-05-22


mg0930mg (author)Brother_D2009-05-23

Exactly. :)

123456789115 (author)Brother_D2008-07-04

yes agree with ya

Sgt.Waffles (author)Brother_D2008-06-11


Brother_D (author)Sgt.Waffles2008-06-17

... I'm gonna assume that means you agree. Thanks.

Sgt.Waffles (author)Brother_D2008-06-17

Indeed. Its only a waste if you all aren't making them in sweatshops to be shipped to the Sgt. himself.

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