How to make a beautiful frangipani flower lei necklace – lovely nature craft idea for kids.
We’re lucky that we have several large frangipani trees in our neighbourhood, each dropping a carpet of white and yellow frangipani flowers towards the end of summer. I don’t let my kids pick flowers from these trees, but I’ll happily let them collect a few from the ground, as there are just so many! They usually hand them on to the next person they meet, as a little heart-felt gift. So sweet!
Sometimes we bring a few flowers home and put them in a glass of water (frangipani flowers float, and they stay fresher that way). Sometimes we use some for arts and crafts.
Here’s how we used some to make a frangipani lei necklace.
How kids can make a Frangipani Lei
- a few dozen frangipani flowers
- a wool needle (or hand sewing needle with a large eye)
- kitchen twine
I threaded the needle with a long piece of twine, and showed my daughter JJ (who was 3 years & 9 months old when we did this) how she could push the needle through the stem of the flower and thread it onto the twine. A couple of the flowers did split, but most threaded on quite easily. She pushed each flower down toward the end of the twine, and then threaded on another.
Once we’d used up all the flowers, I tied off the ends of the twine, making sure the necklace was long enough that it could be easily put over someones head without having to untie it. (You could also tie the ends in a bow, but it’s easier for preschoolers if they can put the lei on and off themselves).
Our lei only stayed looking fresh for a day or two. (You could probably extend it’s life by spraying it with water, but we forgot to). But that’s OK – it was only ever supposed to be a transient flower craft, and it’s a good introduction to basic sewing skills. Plus, it’s pretty!
Have you ever made a lei?
You can find more nature-based art, craft and play ideas here.
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In Hawaii, this is the first lei kids learn to make…plumeria lei. We use a longer lei needle and thread the needle through the center of the flower to make an entire lei with no yarn showing. For hula dancers, we do the method you do, only with toothpicks, peeling a few petals off to make a fuller effect when we pin it in our hair.
Plumeria lei – love it! Thanks for those tips, they’re great. The hula dancers always look fabulous!