Making your own Hawaiian lei out of Plumerias is fun and easy to do. The process is very similar with any flower lei but we will be using fresh Plumerias for the lei. These tropical flowers give off an aroma that is quit pleasing. Not all Plumerias have the same scent, so mix your flower combinations to create distinctive scents.
Step 1: Collect the Plumerias: Making a 40 inch double spiral lei you will need to collect around 200 fresh Plumerias.
* If you are making a lei for your head, wrist or ankle you will use less flowers.
After you have picked the fresh plumerias give them a light rinse with water. Lay the flowers on a napkin to dry. This will help with the wilting of the flowers. If your not using them at that moment place in the refrigerator until you will need them.
Step 2: String the Needle: Cut a piece of string about 80 inches. Loop through the end and fold in half making sure that each end is even with the other
Note: You may want to cut the string slightly larger due to all the extra knots you will be adding at the end.
Step 3: Tie a knot: Where the two strings meet tie a knot. This will stop the Plumeria flowers from falling off. You will want to tie at least 3 knots in the same area towards the end.
Tip: Once the tropical Plumeria lei is complete you may want to add a ribbon of choice over the knots. This will conceal the knots without having to rearrange the flowers.
Step 4: String the Plumeria: While holding the Plumeria on the stem, pierce the needle through the center of the stem. Gently pull the flower down the string towards the knots. Continue to string your plumeria in the same fashion. The plumeria will naturally twist to give you that spiral affect.
Note: If you have double colors: String one color at a time. Follow step 4 with one color. After several plumerias have been strung switch colors. When working with the two different color Plumerias in this fashion it will give your tropical lei a definite spiral look. Remember the less manipulating of the flowers on the flower lei, the fresher the flowers will appear
I decided to use yellow plumerias as the majority flower for the lei. I added white plumerias for the second color.
Step 5 Final Step: Cut the string from the needle. Tie both ends together making 3 or so knots in the same area.
* If you have the proper Lei needle unhook the string from the needle and tie the two ends
After you have made your tropical Plumeria lei you may store it in the following processes:
1) Place the lei in a storage bag.
2) Mist the fresh Plumeria flowers.
3) Place the entire bag in your vegetable drawer in your refrigerator.
If you don't have time to make your own lei you can always purchase them. They have so many beautiful leis to pick from. Some will even have a fragrance!
To make other tropical flower leis.
For the following tropical flower leis I have included different types of stranding techniques. You may use these different techniques with any of the tropical flowers.