How to Make Crepe Paper Leis




About: I am a mostly stay at home mommy with two little ones. I enjoy crafting, photography and working with my hands. Baking and cooking are also two of my favorite hobbies. Most days are filled with entertainin...

Instructions on how to make leis out of crepe paper. Originally posted on my blog

Easy and great for Hawaiian themed parties.

Step 1: Supplies Needed

  • Crepe paper in rolls (or in folded sheets cut into 2 inch strips)
  • Needle and Thread (I measured about 2 yards, but this depends on how long you want or need your lei to be&whatever you determine double it and thats your thread length)
  • Scissors

Step 2: Start Sewing

First measure your thread and cut it to size. Thread your needle and make the thread doubled so it is stronger than just one strand, and tie a knot at the end.

Start hand sewing through the center of your crepe paper. You want to do about 1/4 inch stitches and pull your thread all the way through to the end as you go.

Step 3: Gather It

Bunch up (like a fan) as you go.

Step 4: Twist and Twirl

Once you have maybe an inch or more in length bunched, stop and twist clockwise, maintaining the tightness somewhat to keep the twirl.

Step 5: Repeat to End

Keep going and repeat until you have reached the desired length of lei (on average it takes me an hour or so to do one).

Step 6:

When you get to the end, sew into the beginning and knot off to connect the lei.

Step 7: Cut Excess Thread

Cut remaining thread and you're done! Enjoy!

Step 8: Finished Lei

Good job. Here is what your finished lei should look like. :)



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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    using to teach middle school students recycling... reusing by utilizing plastic grocery bags.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is sooo easy the cost of making these would be $1 but they sell them for $3
    and now I can make so many, lei's are great for the beach(if your not swimming)!!!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Aloha! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Easy to follow and easy to make :) Good job!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    MAHALO (thank you) for the tutorial!! I found this site by chance and used it to make my first fabric lei. I used a yard of fabric (about 45" wide) to make a lei that measures approximately 32" in diameter. Took me a while, but it was worth it!


    9 years ago on Step 5

    I tried to make one of these and it took me an hour just to make 10cm worth. I gave up in the end because I didn't have the time to continue. Was I maybe packing it all on too tight?

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    Probably. If you keep it too tight it takes considerably longer to complete. But this is a project that takes me about 1 hour or more for one like I stated. First time may take a bit longer, but shouldn't take much longer than that.

    Cool! Wish I'd seen this a couple of months ago for my friend's 20th - we had a Hawaii theme and it cost us a fortune to buy these things! Nice Instructable! :-)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You can use dental floss for the thread. I've used floss for sewing on my sons buttons for years. If I need it to be a color, I just use a Sharpie closest to what I need.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    very pretty and much cheaper than buying them ready made!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like this, camp as a row of tent pegs, well done.