Ideas for Graduation Leis

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Graduation is a special time in a student's life, and many students want to find ways to dress up their cap and gown ensemble. The parents of students may also wish to give their accomplished child something special to wear on the big day. Consider lei ideas for the graduate. A lei is a festive accessory that is worn around a person's neck, and will make a student stand out in the crowd.

School Colors

Whether you use real flower petals or silk ones to make the lei, an effective way to show school pride is to make the lei out of the student's school colors. If the school colors are red and white, a combination of red and white carnation flowers, roses or tulip petals can serve as a tribute to the school. You can also get a bunch of graduating friends together to alternate wearing red and white floral leis. That is, one person wears an all white lei, and the student next to her wears an all red lei.

Money Leis

A money lei is a lei that is made out of folded up dollar bills instead of flowers. Students can be given money leis as their graduation gifts, and then disassemble the lei after graduation in order to pocket the cash and put it to good use. With a money lei, students are not able to tell how much money is really tied together. You can interchange one dollar bills with five dollar bills, or even add a ten dollar bill in a couple of random places within the lei. The student will enjoy counting up his gift.

Candy Leis

Candy makes a sweet main ingredient in a graduation lei. To make one, simply string together the graduate student's favorite candies. It is easiest if you use candies with holes in the center, such as LifeSavers, but you can also make holes in gummy and softer candies to sew them together on a string. It is not a good idea to use chocolate candy, as chocolate can melt and get all over the graduate student when she wears it. If you want to keep the candy in the wrapper or miniature box, you can string the wrappers and boxes together by using cellophane wrap and ribbons. Wrap each candy box in the cellophane and connect them together by tying ribbon around the edges so that they become a lei.


If the graduation is taking place in a beach town, a seashell lei is appropriate for the graduate to wear or receive as a gift. The lei can be made out of one type of seashell that is consistent throughout the lei, or a variety of seashells that add different hues of color, size and texture. For those who want to attempt making the seashell lei themselves, it is important for the seashells to be washed and free of sand at the time that it is worn by the student.