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Lei Day

The creation of "May Day as Lei Day" in Hawaii was the brainstorm of Honolulu Star-Bulletin writer Don Blanding. His thinking was that there should be a holiday celebrating the craft of making, and the custom of wearing, lei. The holiday, which began in 1927, continues today with festivities focused on island flowers, love, laughter and aloha.



  • Pipe cleaners of assorted colors
  • Card stock of various colors
  • Oil pastels or crayons
  • Tissue paper
  • Pom-pons
  • Hole punch


  • Brown paper grocery bag
  • Coffee filters and/or cupcake papers
  • Watercolors
  • Tempera or acrylic paint -- shades of green and yellow
  • Stapler
  • Paper clips


1. To make the lei necklaces, cut at least 8 approximately 4" wide flowery shapes from the cardstock.

2. Decorate each flower with the oil pastels/crayons, tissue and pom-pons. Punch two holes into each flower so that the flowers can be "woven" onto the length of pipe cleaner and lay flat.

3. To make your necklace longer, twist on another length of pipe cleaner. Easy-island-breezey! And P.S.-- you can even mix in the paper flowers described below if you wish! Just staple them to a cut-out flower shape, punch two holes, weave and Voilá!

4. To make the grass skirts, cut down the side of a brown paper bag and cut off the bottom of the bag.

5. Now you have one long rectangular strip of brown paper. Using various shades of green and yellow paint, brush the paper with "grass stripes." Let it dry.

6. Cut strips, making sure to leave a 3" band at the top.

7. Next, paint the coffee filters and/or cupcake papers with watercolors. Let them dry.

8. Place a square of tissue paper and stack it on top of each. Bunch the middle to make a flower and staple onto the skirt. Continue adding flowers as you like.

9. When you're ready to wear it, wrap the skirt around your waist and clip in place with a paper clip.

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