Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Penny Leis

It's graduation season and in Hawaii, it's traditional to give leis. Many years ago, I learned how to make leis using pennies. There are many different styles of money leis. Some use paper bills (fan folding, origami) and others use coins. I prefer to use pennies because the size and weight are just right. Dimes are too small and light, quarters are too heavy--and expensive! With a lei like this made with quarters, the graduate may be tempted to take it apart for the money!
The leis in the top two photos each took about 250 pennies. I wrapped the pennies in 4" x 4" cellophane squares (using the graduates school colors) and strung into a lei.
I made the lei in the middle photo for my 11 year-old niece who graduated from 5th grade. A full penny lei would be too much for her, so I made a lei with $5 in quarters decorated with lace trim.
The leis in the bottom two photos are also penny leis. I took 140 pennies and wrapped them individually in 3" x 3" cellophane squares tied with curling ribbon. Then the pennies are strung together carefully rotating each penny 90 degrees so that they form a circular pattern.


  1. What an interesting tradition!

  2. You could make then into garters if you used elastic!

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