A small departure from literary thoughts, in honor of flowers.

Lei it on Thick
By Christine Thomas

Lei Chic

What? Forgot it was May Day today? No more flowers at your house? Neighbors raided your plumeria trees? Oh, but need to make lei still yet?

Search around your yard (or your neighbor’s—but be better and ask first) for these unusual, oldie-but-goodie lei making materials. Then grab your needle and get to work.

Hair Will Do
No, not your hair, but Pele’s hair, also called hinahina or Spanish moss. Be sure to leave some where it hangs, and take enough to braid or double twist, and knot together.

French Braid
Braid ferns together (palapalai or pala`a are good choices), weaving in new ones as the stems get short. Knot at the end and it’s ready to go.

The Old Standby
Thread bougainvillea flowers together (these buggahs are everywhere) including the colorful papery leaves, or weave into fern lei.

Never Woulda Thought
Gather leaves from the Kukui Tree, and continuously knot stems together until you have a fresh green, full lei.

No Mocking
Sew mock orange leaf clusters onto a fabric or ribbon backing for an unusual look.

Ti Time
Cut long, dark green ti leaves and if you’d like, soften in the shade for an hour or so. Debone them, knot stems together, then either braid three or twist two together, or simply shred with your fingernails and place around the neck in an open lei.