Friday, May 31, 2013

Paper Flower Graduation Lei

Tonight my niece is graduating from high school.  Since we are not celebrating her graduation with a party until later in June I wanted to make and give her a little something special.  I'm planning to surprise her with this Paper Graduation Lei, made in her school colors, right after her graduation ceremony when friends and family are all able to go down on the Football field to spend a little time with the graduates before they jet off to their all-night Sober Grad celebration.  I didn't want to spend a bundle on a gift since we will be giving her a little something more at her graduation party in a few weeks, but I also wanted to do something unique and special for her that would stand out among the other grads.  I thought this would be something fun she could wear at her Sober Grad Party and something she could keep as a keepsake of her graduation night.  I had searched Pinterest for ideas and I found several flower leis or candy leis, but those seem to be fairly popular.  I wanted something different.  Since I'm a paper crafter, who loves nothing more than to craft with paper, I started thinking about things I could do with my paper supplies and tools.  That is how I came up with this Paper Flower Lei.

I posted a photo of it on my personal Facebook page and a scrapbook message board I frequent and several friends asked me for the how-to instructions so I decided to write up this quick and simple tutorial.  It really is a super easy craft and if you have all the supplies ready you can whip one out in no time.

Here is what you will need:

At least 2 sheets of 12"x12"  thick cardstock in at least two coordinating colors (I chose black and gold glitter cardstock since my niece's school colors are black and gold)  You will want to use the thick cardstock so that the lei holds up well.  Thinner printed scrapbook paper will not work well for this project since it is something that is going to be worn.

coordinating colored brads (one for each layered blossom)

An electric craft cutter - such as a Silhouette Cameo (that is what I used) or a Cricut and a flower shaped cutting file of your choice, or a flower shaped cutting die that has at least two different sized blossoms and a Big Shot (or similar die cutting machine).

A "Class of 2013" cutting file or similar image (I got my "Class of 2013" file and my blossom file from Silhouette Studios Online Store).  You can also use a die cut, you can make your own, choose a saying or image that fits your occasion or eliminate it all together and use more blossoms.

o rings (I used these 10mm sized rings from Darice)

a small hole punch (just large enough to cut a hole big enough for your jump rings)

paper piercer, Crop-A-Dile Big Bite, or other long reaching small hole punch (or do what I did add the small circle in the center of the flower cutting file and allow your electronic cutter to do the work)

small pliers (to close the o rings)


Using your cutting machine of choice cut out 11 large blossoms in your first color.  Then cut out 10 large blossoms in your second color.  Repeat for the smaller size blossoms, 11 of your first color and 10 of your second color.  My larger blossom measured about 2 1/2" and my smaller blossom was about 2" in size.  You can customize yours to fit your needs, but realize you may need more or less blossoms to make the lei your preferred length.

Punch or pierce a small hole in to the center of each blossom.

Using your fingers or a smooth barreled pen roll the petal on each blossom toward the center to give it some dimension. 

Layer a small blossom on top of a large blossom and secure with a brad to hold them together.  Make sure you alternate colors of your small blossom and large blossom so that they are two toned.

Next punch two small holes in the petals of your larger blossom.  Punch one on one petal and then the second on a petal closest to the opposite side of the first hole.

If you are using a "Class of 2013" die cut or similar type image, punch a hole in each side of the die cut and attach an o ring in each hole and then attach a blossom on the o ring on each side before securing them closed with pliers.  Next attach a second o ring to each blossom and again attach a blossom to each side before securing each o ring closed.  Be sure to alternate blossom colors as you go.  Once your lei is the length you like, close the circle by securing the final two blossoms together with an o ring.

There you have it, your very own Paper Flower Lei to give to someone special on their graduation day.

These would make the perfect fun accessory for any number of occasions.  Imagine the bride and bridal party wearing them at a bachelorette party or bridal shower, or the new mommy-to-be wearing one at her baby shower.  Really these would be fun to make and wear for any special party occasion.

1 comment:

Mrs. Ahuna said...

Thank you so much for the idea. I just made two lei -- one for my own graduation (masters's) and one for my niece (high school).

Mahalo nui (thank you much),