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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts Making real flower leis
Making real flower leis
Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-06-21 11:09 am   Permalink

I have a vintage luau party book with good ideas for making leis with flowers other than orchids or plumeria. Flowers you can find closer to home. I have also found a local florist that sells wholesale to the public, so I should be able to get a pile of flowers for a reasonable price. Having orchids shipped from Hawaii would cost about $8 per lei and that's a lot when you have 30 guests. So I am working on making at least some leis and I wondered what size needle to use. I think I also read you should put some vaseline on the needle.

Anyone made their own and have some helpful hints? I will post the list of flowers from the book when I get home.
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dangergirl299
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Feb 18, 2003
Posts: 893
From: Bay Area
Posted: 2006-06-21 11:17 am   Permalink

my mother has had good results using a large sewing needle and floss instead of thread. Carnations for leis are an inexpensive choice; trader joes in our area sometimes sells mass amounts of fresh orchids for a reasonable price.

I have also tried to order fresh leis online and have NOT had good results with hawaiian-leis.com aka tropical-flowers.com. If anyone can recommend a good internet lei supplier, I would like to know as well.

Mahalo!


 
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Tikiwahine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Ontario, Canada
Posted: 2006-06-21 12:43 pm   Permalink

http://www.mauigoose.com/

I ordered loose orchids and plumeria from this company with great results. The flowers arrived in perfect shape, they suggested that I order a few more than I needed, in case of bruising etc.

They even called me in Canada to be sure they arrived in time for my wedding! Great customer service. Another TCer suggested them to me.









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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-06-21 1:20 pm   Permalink

The best price I have found is HERE for the flowers. Carnations are a good choice. List to come later.
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tikiwinebear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 30, 2004
Posts: 578
From: Santa Rosa, CA (Sonoma - wine country)
Posted: 2006-06-21 1:54 pm   Permalink

I have very good luck with Hawaiian Tropical Flowers- http://www.hawaiian-tropical-flowers.com/index.html . I believe they had a shortage over Mother's Day, but I placed my order a couple days after, and everything arrived perfect. I got all kinds of mixed flowers (proteas, gingers, birds, heliconias - I ordered bouquets and created 5 flower arrangements myself) as well as loose denbrobium flowers (a mixture of beautiful greens and whites) so I could make my own leis. My order arrived the day I had requested in my on-line order, and was still very fresh. They packed the boxes with cool gel packets and wrapped stems with tissue soaked water in baggies. I have a set of lei needles from my previous trips to the islands, so I was able to create 4 fresh leis from the 200 loose orchid blossoms I got, and used the leftovers for table accents. I am going to be placing another order with them in the next week or so.

I have found a mixture of tropical orchids (denbrobiums) and local / domestic blooms (carnations or roses) work out well, and help keep the cost down. But, if at all possible, you should get a bunch of tuberose to use in your leis so you get the fantastic island smell!

- Myke
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marika
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 29, 2006
Posts: 115
From: montreal
Posted: 2006-06-21 2:54 pm   Permalink

I did some flower garlands with carnations and like suggested a large wool needle does it well and I used regular white cord (the same you use in the kitchen) and it held fine.

 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-06-21 3:25 pm   Permalink

Listed in the book as flowers that won't bleed and work well: carnations, stocks, jasmine,pinks, chrysanthemums, asters, pom pom dahlias, daisies, cornflowers and marguerites. Hope that helps.
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2125
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2006-06-22 03:05 am   Permalink

Swanky,
Use waxed dental floss, it slides like a dream.

Andy


 
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I dream of tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 494
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 2006-06-22 06:44 am   Permalink

Thanks for this tread. My parents' plumeria trees are bursting with flowers. I've been dying to try my hand at making a real flower lei.

Thanks for all the suggestions on how to thread them together. Any recommendations on how long they will last if kept in the refrigerator?


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-06-22 06:54 am   Permalink

Plumeria are the shortest lived. They won't ship them from Hawaii, except to the west coast.

To keep them the longest, put them in a zip lock bag and spritz them with water. Seal the bag almost, and blow the bag up, then seal it. Put it in the fridge. I have had orchid leis last near a week that way. Plumeria I have no idea.
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nuimaleko
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 03, 2005
Posts: 70
From: Sacramento CA
Posted: 2006-06-26 12:57 am   Permalink

Lei flowers are traditionaly types that grow on bushes, trees and large vines, since you need a lot of them. But really, you just need flowers that are abundant in season, nontoxic and won't stain cloths or skin. In spring try azalea, bluebells and the many blossoms of trees like quince, plum or cherry. If you have room and you can grow enough annuals for your needs, try the various salvias, nemesias, snap dragons, nasturtiums, rosa vinca and African marigolds (some varieties have no smell) Perennials that could work to provide enough flowers are; the tall lobeleas, campanulas, penstimens, vinca major and ground orchid. Or if you can grow vines, try honeysuckle (there are many kinds, most are fragrant) trumpet vines or the annual cup and saucer vine. Many late spring and summer bulbs like coprosmia, freesia, ixia and small types of gladiolas will work. If you live in a warm climate try using agapanthus flowers, they are super abundant in California. Some bushes like Pittisporums are covered with small fragrant flowers each spring, not large enough for the usual lei, but you can always make multiple strands and braid them. How about making a braided lei of lilac flowers. Heavenly!
Of course leis can be made of leaves too. How about a lei of small orange or lemon tree leaves or rose scented geranium leaves. Waxy leaves will hold up best. How about making leis out of the boxwood clippings from a neighbor's hedge, weaving in small flowers. Or if you use a scentless flower, weave in
a few scented leaves as well. The possibilities are endless.


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-06-26 06:47 am   Permalink

A mint lei!

 
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nuimaleko
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 03, 2005
Posts: 70
From: Sacramento CA
Posted: 2006-06-29 4:26 pm   Permalink

I thought about mint, but it would be really strong. Maybe a combo of mint and lemon. I have also been thinking about sliver dollar eucalyptus leaves, they are medium in size, round and don't have a very strong cough drop smell. Of course if you have a cold that wouldn't be bad thing. LOL. You could make eucalyuptus leaf lei especailly for sick friends.
You can make lei of polished nuts and seeds too, but you will problably have to drill a hole in them and that becomes more like making jewelry than lei making. A bit too advanced for me.
Hawaian Ti does not like our dry climate, but we have a close relative in abundance, Cordyline stricta and I think you could make ti leaf type lei from them. I was wondering if colored canna leaves like tropicana or Bengal Tiger could be knotted like a ti lei, or in place of ti leaves use butterfly ginger leaves? The shape and thickness is very similar.
The flowers of butterfly ginger don't travel well but can be grown anywhere in zone 8 or higher and are used all the time in Hawaii. They thrive here in Sacramento CA and flower abundantly in late summer. There are two ways to use them, strung through the center or sewn through the side as buds to make a flat colar like lei.


 
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mathhhausin
Member

Joined: Feb 28, 2010
Posts: 1
Posted: 2010-02-28 8:08 pm   Permalink

Hi Swanky...
I found here very beautiful and realistic flowers at best price ...once try here ...
artificial silk flowers

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