I made ribbon lei cigar flower because I needed two lei for some honored visitors from Hawai’i and I did not have 4000 cigar flowers! I really enjoyed this craft and I am excited that these lei can be keepsakes.
Cigar flower is one of The Gardener’s favorite lei when we visit Hawai’i. We found a plant that would grow in our garden. Our nurseries here in North Carolina call it firecracker plant. It takes 2000 blossoms to make a cigar flower lei. I’ve got the right needle, but not enough flowers!
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You will need
upholstery or carpet needle
40 yards 3/8″ satin picot ribbon
40 yards 3/16″ satin picot ribbon
50 inches 3/8″ acetate ribbon
if desired, 1/8 inch double sided tape
Cut 10 feet of thread. Thread the needle and bring the two ends of thread together Tie a double knot about 4 inches from the end.
Find shiniest side of 3/8″ ribbon. Lay shiny side down. Find shiniest side of 3/16″ ribbon. Lay shiny side up on top of the 3/8″ ribbon. (You may want to use 1/8 inch double sided tape to fold in the raw edges.)
The ribbon I found came in 50 yard spools. I just kept the ribbon on the spool while I worked, so I didn’t cut it.
Notice that the picot loops on the 3/16 inch ribbon are 6 loops per inch. You will come up with your needle on the first loop and go back down at the 6th loop so that each stitch is one inch.
Sew in and out along the center of both ribbons until you have 8 or l0 loops.
Push the loops down to the knot. Start turning the loops so that it starts to make a spiral stripe. Continue to sew in and out every 6 picot loops, push down the loops, and twist until the lei is 40 inches long.
If you run out of thread, tie a knot tightly against the ribbon leaving 4 or more inches of thread. Tie your next length of thread at that point and continue.
At 40 inches, make sure your loops are pushed down and twisted to make the spiral design. Tie the thread as close as you can and cut so that you have at least 4 inches of thread. Cut the ribbons about 1/2 inch and use your double sided tape on the ends if desired. Take the two ends of the lei and tie together tightly with several knots using the two thread ends. Carefully cut the threads.
Next you will make a bow to cover the joint. Cut a 12 inch piece of ribbon and another piece at least 37 inches long. I used the 3/16 inch picot in these photos, but it’s a little easier to use a stiffer ribbon such as acetate or stiff nylon. Cut the ribbon diagonally to cut down on fraying.
With the long piece of ribbon, make a fold about 3 inches from the end. Hold this with your thumb and finger. Now make a loop that will be like a circle around your thumb, and hold. Twist the ribbon and make a loop about two inches long, grab with your thumb, and make a loop on the other side. Keep going back and forth, with a twist at your thumb. You should end up with 3 loops on each side, and a smaller circle loop over your thumb. If the ribbon has a shiny side, it should be showing on the outside of each loop. (I can manage to do this with one hand holding the ribbon, but you may want to use a clothespin to hold the loops.)
Use the 12 inch piece to go through the center of the top round loop and wrap around all the loops. Tie into a tight knot under all the loops. Use this same ribbon to tie the bow onto the lei at the spot where you joined the threads.
- Braided ribbon lei from Island Scene
- 7 of Hawaii’s most popular lei from Hawai’i Magazine
- Joy of Crafting bozu flower lei from Ben Franklin Hawai’i
|Coconut palm leaf lei||Gathered skirt for hula||Yarn lei|