How To Make a Lei : A Fresh Flower Lei With Roses

Rose Lei Garland

I was recently inspired on how to make a lei, specifically a fresh flower lei with roses. The inspiration came from a trip to our local farmers market.

I love how you never know what wonderful handmade goodies you will find at the farmers market, it just depends on the season and the vendors.

On this particular trip I saw a rose lei. It smelled lovely, the roses themselves were beautiful, colorful, and I realized that even after the roses were no longer fresh the lei would still be a wonderful keepsake.

Instantly I wanted to make my own. However, since I tend to find it difficult to treat and make myself such gems I decided I would make one for my wonderful sister. She was graduating that next weekend, becoming a paralegal, and I thought it would make a delightful gift for her.

Here is what you will need to make a beautiful rose lei –

Scissors – any old pair will do.

A Tapestry Needle – or any that has a large eye hole.

Thread – I used a thicker cotton thread but I think next time I may use a hemp cord instead.

Fresh Roses – depending on what you are making the rose lei or garland for will determine how many roses you will need. I used about 40-50 for this one. The trick is to buy grower direct – but more on that later.


How to Make a Lei :

Start out by simply cutting the thread or string to the length you desire – I always add a few inches more to give myself some wiggle room.

Thread the needle

Tie a double knot at one end

To prepare the roses I cut them about 1/4 – 1/2 inch below the petals

Thread the rose onto the string going through it closer to the base of the petals


Continue threading the roses – I decided to alternate the direction of the rose each time, however, this method does take more roses. You can choose to keep them going all the same direction as well. It is a personal choice and ultimately what ever looks best for what you are making it for.


Soon you will begin to see the progress and can start to adjust adding splashes of color or using smaller buds if desired…


When you have your desired length tie a double knot at the other end and you are done. You now have a beautiful rose lei or garland depending on how you choose to use it.

Rose Lei Garland

The rose lei was absolutely gorgeous and my sister adored it.

After making this I realized that there are so many different occasions and ways to use a rose lei or garland.

They would be beautiful for an altar, around the center piece of a table, draped across a window, or across the back of a chair. It could be draped across a photo or just simply hung on the wall.

One of the best parts is that the roses will dry and keep for a long time.

I am definitely going to be making one for myself 🙂

**NOTE ON BUYING ROSES (or any flowers for that matter)

Buy growers direct!

I am so lucky to be living in an area where finding roses was not too much of a challenge. After brainstorming and researching a bit I went to Neve Roses II, located in Sonoma County and  the San Francisco Bay Area.

Neve Roses II

(707) 766-7693- Petaluma, Sonoma County

(415) 543-3988 – San Francisco

Their Facebook Page

Yelp Reviews

I spoke with the lovely Corinna Neve she was wonderful, extremely helpful, and gracious. I highly recommend them, I will be going back for sure. Their roses are gorgeous, last a good amount of time and bloom beautifully.

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