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Candy and Origami Money Lei


I’m writing this post ahead of time, but by the time it goes live, I WILL BE IN ITALY!!! YAY!!!!!!!

Even though I’m now living in Italy, I’m still trying to live an “aloha life”, and a chunk of my heart is still in Hawaii. So today’s post is perfect.

I’m representing Hawaii in Beckie’s blogging tour of the U.S.–“Show Your State Pride”. Visit her amazing blog Infarrantly Creative to see what the other states have in store for you as well!

This is a blog hop, so if you’re following along, you should have just visited from Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage

This is a fun little project that is perfect to give away for almost any occasion. A birthday boy or girl would be thrilled to have this as their gift or added to their gift!


* Curling ribbon
* Saran Wrap
* Treats
* Cash (optional)

That’s it! Super basic supplies that most moms have on-hand, right?!

This week we spent a lot of time waiting for dad to out-process (military translation: spend a full week driving around your post getting random signatures and waiting in lots and lots of lines and meetings). During one of those meetings, I had to get creative with 4 bored children, so I started busting out my origami skills with some dollars.

If you’ve spent much time on Oahu, you may know that the Japanese culture also has a large presence on the island. My kids’ school actually teaches both Hawaiian and Japanese, and they spend some time doing origami. I’ve always enjoyed tinkering with paper, and with three girls, it provides hours of entertainment!

This day’s creations were a fish, a jumping frog, and a heart flower. You can find decent tutorials for those on YouTube, so I’d recommend searching there if you’d like to add them to your lei as well.

Now let’s get working on our leis!

Spread out your cling wrap on a flat surface. The length will depend on the size of the recipient. If you scroll to the end, you can see mine is on a 7-year-old, and the length of my wrap was about 30″.

Position your treats on the wrap. I put them in about 2″ from the front edge, so it’s easier to make the first wrap.  I use 6 or 7 treats depending on their size.

And I leave maybe 2″ or 3″ between each item, depending on their size.

Fold the bottom edge up and over your treats.

Continue rolling the rest of the wrap with the items in it until it is all rolled up. I did this project with a class of 2nd graders and a class of 1st graders, and they got really nervous about this part. DON’T STRESS YOURSELF OUT! It’s all going to look about the same anyway. Just roll it up! 🙂 It doesn’t have to be perfection.

You can see my fishy was kind of hard to make out once he was all wrapped up, but I wasn’t too worried. I know they’ll see $$ and will be thrilled! Then once they get it open, they’ll be excited to see it’s in a shape. 😉

Cut your curling ribbon into pieces about 6″ long (longer if you want bigger curls), and tie them at the ends and between each of the treats.

BONUS:  As always, I was looking for extra things to keep my girls content and occupied while I was working on this, and they love to “help”, so I put them to work cutting out tons of these little flowers. I drew a template for them, and they got to work. Then I just slid them on near the pieces of ribbon for a little added color. The center holes of some were a bit too large, so they fell off. If you’re going to do this step, I’d recommend adding a piece of tape to close that slit end back together after attaching them to the lei.

I loved all the colors, though! And keeping my kids entertained, involved, and in the same room as me is always an added bonus.

Curl your ribbons and then take the two ends and tie them in a knot together. You can trim the excess plastic if it bugs you too much. It didn’t bother me until I was editing my photos and noticed it. Ha!

And there’s your super easy, inexpensive gift that will brighten anyone’s day!

 Next on the tour is Kim at Today’s Creative Blog. Go check out what Washington has in store for you!



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