I was asked by my friend from work if I could make money leis for her niece who was getting married this summer. She was having a garden wedding and thought they would be a nice touch. I was looking online and I began to get stressed because there really wasn’t any good how to tutorials out there on how to make a money lei, let alone a bridal money lei. I did a little research and looked at picture after picture untill I decided what would work the best. I wanted something that was going to be classy and pretty. This is the design that I came up with, and I think it is perfect for a wedding. So, here is my very detailed tutorial for anyone who wants to make a real conversation piece for a wedding.
Here’s what you need for 2 money leis (Bride and the Groom):
- Scrapbook Paper (6 sheets of coordinating paper. Double sided works the best and will save you the most time.)
- Small piece of cardboard for a stencil template
- Roll of 1/8″ Ribbon
- 40 dollar bills (20 per necklace)
- 80 or so large wooden beads
- 80 plus acrylic craft beads-iridescent clear color
- Acrylic paint in coordinating color
- Paint Brush
- Punch (optional)
- Hammer (optional)
Start by creating your flower stencil. With a pencil, I lightly drew my outline of the flower until I was satisfied with the overall shape. This was roughly 2 1/2″ to 3″ in length. Cut out the stencil.
Take the scrapbook paper and lightly trace around your stencil. You will need lots of flowers. Cut them out. If you find a piece of scrapbook paper that is not double sided, you can still use it. This is what I did. I took the two sheets and used Super 77 to adhere them together. This way I could still use the paper I wanted and the pattern would be showing on each side. This is important because both sides will show.
Next, I took a nail punch and made a hole in the center of several of the flowers at once. I didn’t show this step. But, you could also use a tiny hole punch if you had one or you could very carefully make you own hole in the center of each flower.
Double up the ribbon and cut a little over 2 yards of ribbon. Make a loop at the top and double knot it.
Next, fold your dollar bill accordion style. once folded, firmly crease with any object that has a hard, straight edge. I used a metal ruler.
Start stringing on the items for the lei. Use a cutout flower to begin your pattern. Make sure the hole for this flower is not too large or the flower will slip over the knot.
To tie the dollar bill onto the necklace, place the dollar bill in the center. Hold the dollar bill in place and make a knot to secure it. Continue your pattern.
The wooden beads that I used were hand painted with an acrylic paint to match the colors of the scrapbook paper, etc. These were perfect because they have a larger hole for the ribbon to go through. The smaller clear beads were used to hold the larger wooden beads in place and they added a nice extra detail to the necklace.
While stringing the beads, money, and paper flowers, you will want to slightly bend the petals of the flowers as you go. You can also wait until your lei is completely assembled, and go back and curl the flower petals. I curled them as I put them in place so when the last flower was put in place…I was done. Either way, curling the petals will give the flowers a much more natural look.
Here it is all together! Stay tuned because I hope to have a picture of the bride and the groom wearing their leis. What a fun thing to have for a wedding. I wish I would’ve had these at mine.
Here’s the picture! They look awesome. The colors of the leis match their wedding colors perfectly!