In Hawaii the lei is often given out as gifts during celebrations, birthdays, and for those arriving and leaving the island. Though the more common form is a garland of flowers, they’re also created out of money, candy, and paper. 

Be aware while creating the origami lei is simple, it does take some time.


  • Paper (I used foil wrapping paper)

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  • Floss

  • Sewing Needle

Step one: Cut out 4x4in squares of paper. You will need to cut at least 200 pieces. (You can buy pre-cut paper online but this is the cheaper method)

Step two: With the colored side facing you, fold in half.

Step three: Fold in half again, turning it into a small square

Step four: Take one flap and fold it down

Step five: Fold down the other three flaps on the other side

Step six: Push in your finger into the slot and pop it open. You should get a little pyramid shape.

Step seven: Repeat 200x

Step eight: Once done, string your needle with the floss. Push the needle through the center of your folded paper.

Step nine: Repeat for all the paper.

Step ten: Once done, pull the floss taunt and tie off. Cut off excess pieces.

Step eleven: Twist the paper into alternating directions. This will give the lei a “flow” look.

Step twelve: Voila! You’re done! Aloha!