Creating a Threaded Lei

Creating a fresh flower lei is easier than you may think! Long a symbol of Hawaii’s “aloha sprit”, the lei is also a perfect choice for anniversaries, graduations – any celebration where you want to feel extra-special – and they make fabulous floral gifts. In this Flower School How-To Video Leanne takes you step-by-step as she creates a dendrobium orchid lei and shares professional care and handling tips for your creation, including how to make your own lei needle. Enjoy!

Video Transcription 

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. Today, we're going to learn how to make a fresh flower lei. The easiest to make is the threaded version, and they're perfect for weddings, anniversaries, graduations, any celebration where you want to feel extra special. 

If you're fortunate, you may own a lei needle. Yes, they have needles specifically for doing threaded leis, but you may not. You can do it easily without. I start with a 22 gauge wire, then using a jewelry pliers, just tip the end, bending it tight, squeezing it, creating a hook and that becomes your needle. Then your thread, the best that I have found, the strongest, is to use dental floss. Yes, simple as that may sound, dental floss pulled out longer than you think you need, better to be safe than sorry. Give it a cut. And then that can just thread directly into the hook that you created. You don't even have to thread the needle. You slide it into that hook, give yourself a little space and it's ready to work with. The blooms, you want to remove them from the stem completely detaching so that there's no stem. Just like so. Depending on the size of your blooms and the size of your stems, you can take anywhere from one to two bunches for a full, luxurious lei. 

Once you have all your blooms ready, just start feeding them on, piercing straight through the throat, pulling it down and repeating that over and over and over. And you can see having a long wire makes it easy because it gives you the support. Then as you go, you can push them on down over the hook, onto the thread and then feed them down there. Then go back and continue until you use up all of your blooms.

As you get all your blooms in place, continue sliding them down, pulling it to the end and then squish it together. Make sure that you don't have any gaps. You don't want any areas that are loose. Then go ahead and unhook, take your needle off and using the two ends, tie it together tightly so that you have a full circle, pull it, tie it in, know it. And I always knot it again, just to be safe. Then you can clip the end and you're ready to go. 

To make sure it lasts as long as possible, spray it down with fresh water, mist it, just water, that's all you need. Then set it inside of a plastic bag. Get it all in. Then it will last the best if you actually blow in with your breath and then seal it and put that in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator or in your flower cooler. Yes, even though it's an orchid, bag like this with the air pocket, the hydration chamber makes it perfect. Refrigerate that until it's time to deliver. 

This small lei, it took 10 stems of dendrobiums and it's a perfect size for a flower girl at a wedding, or to put around a hat for an adult. It gives you a nice little accent. If you wanted it longer, it might take two bunches or your bunch might have been fuller. Either way, it's a beautiful accent to wear for any special event. You'll find more creative inspiration at our website, Flower School .com. If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone and give us a call at (503) 223-8089. Now it's your turn. Get yourself a few bunches of dendrobium orchids, create a lei, put it on, or give it to a friend. Be sure to take a picture, hashtag Floral Design Institute, because I want to see what you do as you create your lei and do something you love.

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