How to Make a Haku Lei: A Step-by-Step Guide


To make a haku lei, gather flowers and greenery, cut them to size, and string them together to form a wreath that sits on top of the head. A haku lei is a traditional hawaiian flower crown often worn at weddings and special events.

To create a haku lei, you will need to select the right type of flowers, greenery, and materials to achieve the desired effect. The process involves carefully cutting stems, arranging flowers in a specific pattern, and placing them onto a base.

With a little patience and practice, you can create a beautiful haku lei that will add a touch of hawaiian charm to any occasion. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create a stunning haku lei that you can wear with pride.

How to Make a Haku Lei: A Step-by-Step Guide


Step 1: Choosing The Right Flowers And Greenery

Haku leis are beautiful garlands made with stunning flowers and greenery. These traditional hawaiian leis are usually worn around the head and are used to mark important occasions such as weddings, graduations, and birthdays. If you want to make a haku lei yourself, the first step is to select the right flowers and greenery.

Here’s all you need to know about selecting the perfect blossoms for your haku lei:

Discuss The Importance Of Selecting The Right Flowers And Greenery.

Choosing the correct flowers and greenery is a crucial step in creating your haku lei. In fact, selecting the wrong type of flowers can result in a poorly crafted lei that will quickly wilt. Thus, it’s essential to know what flowers and greenery work well.

Suggestions For Types Of Flowers And Greenery That Work Well For Haku Leis.

Here are some recommended flowers and greenery that you should consider using when making your haku lei:

  • Orchids: Orchids are incredibly popular for haku leis since their long-lasting petals can resist the heat and humidity of the hawaiian climate. Moreover, they come in a variety of colours, making them great for combining with other flowers in your lei.
  • Roses: Roses are a timeless, classic flower that adds elegance to any haku lei. These flowers are also suitable for a range of occasions, from weddings to graduations.
  • Ferns: Ferns make great greenery additions to a haku lei. They are sturdy, long-lasting, and are abundant in hawaii’s tropical climate. They also come in many varieties and can add texture to your lei.
  • Tuberose: Tuberose is a fragrant flower that can add a sensual scent to your haku lei. They often appear in hawaiian leis, and their white petals contrast well with other coloured flowers.
  • Plumeria: Plumeria flowers are bright and bold, with thick petals that make them perfect for a haku lei. They boast a sweet, subtle fragrance and are a favourite for leis given as a symbol of affection.
  • Ginger: Ginger is a common flower used in haku leis due to its vibrant colours and unique shape. It has delicate petals that add texture and variety to your lei.

To ensure your haku lei looks its best and lasts as long as possible, choose flowers that are in their prime and have little to no damage or wilting. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to select your flowers and start crafting your beautiful haku lei!

Step 2: Preparing The Flowers And Greenery

Now that you have gathered all the necessary materials, it’s time to prep the flowers and greenery for your haku lei. Follow these steps:

  • Cut the flowers and greenery just before you begin assembling the lei to ensure their freshness.
  • Remove the leaves from the stems of the greenery and flowers, leaving only the blossoms and stems.
  • Gently wash the flowers and greenery with water to remove any dirt or debris, and pat them dry with a towel.
  • Peel off any thorny or prickly parts from the stems to avoid injuring yourself or others.
  • Keep the flowers and greenery hydrated by placing them in a vase of water or a damp cloth before use.

Tips For Maintaining The Freshness Of The Flowers And Greenery

To keep your haku lei looking fresh and beautiful, here are some tips:

  • Store any unused flowers and greenery in a cool environment, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • Mist the flowers and greenery with water regularly, especially if you live in a dry climate.
  • If you are not using the haku lei right away, wrap it in damp paper towels and place it in a plastic bag, then store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
  • Avoid touching or handling the flowers too much, as they are delicate and can easily become damaged.
  • Finally, if you notice any wilted or damaged flowers, remove them immediately to prevent the rest of the haku lei from being affected.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a beautiful and long-lasting haku lei that will brighten any occasion.

Step 3: Making The Base Of The Lei

Making your own haku lei is a beautiful and rewarding experience, and the base is one of the most important aspects of the lei. Without a sturdy base, the flowers and greenery you add to the lei won’t stay in place, and the final product won’t be as beautiful as it could be.

Here’s how to create the base of the lei:

Using Floral Wire

  • First, measure the amount of floral wire you will need to make the base of your lei.
  • Cut the wire to the appropriate length, and then bend it into a circle shape.
  • Twist the ends of the wire together to secure the circle shape.
  • You can add additional support by wrapping the wire with floral tape.

Using Ribbon Or String

  • Cut your ribbon or string to the appropriate length for the size of your lei.
  • Tie the ends of the ribbon or string together to create a circle shape.
  • You can add additional support by gluing or tying the ribbon or string around a piece of cardboard or stiff fabric.

No matter which method you choose to create the base of your lei, make sure that it fits comfortably around your neck and is sturdy enough to support the weight of the flowers and greenery you’ll be adding. With this strong and sturdy base, your haku lei will be a beautiful and eye-catching adornment.

Step 4: Adding The Flowers And Greenery

Adding flowers and greenery is the most crucial step when making a haku lei. This is where you have the opportunity to showcase your creativity and make a visually appealing and balanced design. In this section, we will discuss how to attach the flowers and greenery to the base of the lei and offer tips for creating a stunning final product.

Describing How To Attach The Flowers And Greenery To The Base Of The Lei

When adding flowers and greenery to your haku lei, follow these simple steps:

  • Choose the flowers and greenery you want to use and prepare them by trimming their stems. You’ll want to keep them at about 2-3 inches in length.
  • Take your prepared flowers and greenery and place them between two strands of raffia.
  • Secure the flowers onto the base of the lei with a knot.
  • Continue this process until you have added the desired amount of flowers and greenery to your lei.

Tips For Creating A Visually Appealing And Balanced Design

Here are some tips that can help you create a visually appealing and balanced design when adding your flowers and greenery:

  • Use odd numbers of flowers and greenery. Odd numbers are more visually appealing than even numbers as they naturally create a sense of balance.
  • Vary the size and colors of flowers and greenery. This will add depth and texture to your haku lei.
  • Place larger flowers lower on the lei, near the bottom, and smaller flowers higher up, near the top. This will create a tapering effect and make the lei look more organic.
  • Step back every now and then and take a look at your lei from a distance to ensure it’s balanced and visually pleasing.

Now that you know how to attach your flowers and greenery and have some tips for creating a beautiful design, you’re ready for the final step – finishing the haku lei.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

How To Tie Off The Lei

Once you’ve completed your haku lei, it’s time to tie it off securely. This is an essential step that will prevent your lei from falling apart. Here’s how to tie it off:

  • Take both ends of the lei and tie them together in a double knot.
  • Trim the excess ends of the twine, leaving a small tail.

Adding Decorative Elements

You can make your haku lei look even more impressive by adding decorative elements. Here are some ideas for embellishments:

  • Flowers: You can add more flowers by weaving them into the lei or attaching them with small pieces of twine.
  • Greenery: Add more texture to your lei by including sprigs of leaves, ferns, or other greenery.
  • Ribbons: Add a pop of color to your lei by tying small ribbons to the base of some of the flowers.

Displaying And Caring For Your Haku Lei

Here are some tips for displaying and preserving your finished haku lei:

  • Display it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight to help it last longer.
  • Mist your lei with water occasionally to help keep the flowers and greenery fresh.
  • Store your lei in the fridge if you won’t be wearing or displaying it immediately.
  • Make sure to handle it delicately, as the flowers and leaves can be easily crushed or broken.

By following these tips, you can create a beautiful haku lei and keep it looking fresh for longer. Experiment with different flower and greenery combinations, and don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch with additional embellishments. Happy lei-making!

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Make A Haku Lei

What Is A Haku Lei Made Of?

A haku lei is traditionally made from woven plant materials, such as leaves, flowers, and bark. The specific plants used can vary based on availability and region, but many haku leis are made from fragrant and colorful flowers like plumeria, orchid, and hibiscus.

How Do You Measure The Head For A Haku Lei?

To measure someone’s head for a haku lei, use a soft measuring tape to wrap around their forehead, just above their eyebrows and ears. Make sure the tape is snug but not too tight. You can also gently place a piece of string around their head and then measure the length of the string.

What Is The Technique For Making A Haku Lei?

The technique for making a haku lei involves weaving the chosen plant materials together in a circular pattern to create a lei that can be worn as a headpiece. Follow these steps: gather your materials, cut and strip the leaves/flowers, weave them together in a circular pattern, and then finish and tie off the lei.

Can I Make A Haku Lei Without A Specific Plant Species?

Yes! While certain plants are commonly used in traditional haku leis, you can use a wide variety of plant materials to create a beautiful and unique lei. Look for plants with strong stems and attractive leaves, and experiment with different color combinations to create a one-of-a-kind look.

How Long Does A Haku Lei Last?

The lifespan of a haku lei can vary depending on the type of plant materials used and how well the lei is cared for. In general, a fresh haku lei can last several days up to a week if stored carefully in a cool, dry place or refrigerated in a plastic bag.

Over time, the flowers and leaves will wilt and dry out, and the lei will need to be discarded.


A haku lei is not just a beautiful accessory, but also a representation of the spirit and culture of hawaii. From selecting the right flowers to carefully weaving them together, a lot of effort and care goes into the process of making a haku lei.

With the right instructions and some practice, anyone can create their own unique haku lei. Remember to choose fresh and vibrant flowers, take your time while weaving, and be creative with your choices. Whether it’s for a special occasion or simply to appreciate the beauty of nature, making a haku lei is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the hawaiian culture.

So go ahead and try making your own haku lei, and experience the joy and satisfaction that comes with creating something beautiful and meaningful.

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