I want to make a post to share the ribbon lei that I made for my sister, who will be graduating college in about a week. This is not really a tutorial, but I want to post up a picture to give you the new twist to the popular ribbon lei that you can learn from Youtube/Pinterest. I will provide some links to where I learn how to do both single and double braided ribbon leis. A while back, I have seen a tutorial on Youtube where Mulberry paper flowers and leaves were use to make a very beautiful head piece/hat decoration. That tutorial to me was a little bit more advanced and I wanted to make something that was less time consuming. Moreover, I want to make something like a lei for graduation, so I incorporated both two projects into one.
At first, I wanted to do a single braided lei but the width of my ribbon was 3/8 in or 1cm. The end result was too skinny to have a beautiful effect. If you happen to have the same width ribbon, I recommend you to do the double braided lei. It will give you a wider base which is a fuller effect as you see in the picture. Most tutorials recommended 1/2 in, 3/4 in, or 1 in width ribbon for single braided lei. You also should get satin ribbon rather than sheer ones (like I have) if you want the color to really pop. You can use school color or the graduate's favorite color. You need about 10 yards each color for single braid, and double that amount for double braid. I bought my ribbons from eBay a while back because it was on auction and I won them for less than $1 each. To me it was quite cheap for a 50yrds spool.
The paper roses are about 1 cm each. I am not sure if these were true Mulberry paper, but you can definitely buy them on eBay or Amazon with 144 roses with stems for around $3-$5. After I finished the double braid, I counted the loops in the middle row and used it as a guide to space out the roses. I cut off the wired stem and glued them on with hot glue gun. I added additional roses in the middle just like a necklace.
Tips: I recommend you to start out with single braid first. It's easier and if you mess up, you can unbraiding them without any harm to the ribbon. You don't need to measure how much ribbon needed because you can start from the spool, keep braiding until you reach the desired lenghth when you put two ends together. I kept braiding until I felt it might be long enough and measured it from neck to about midsection. If it still short, you continue to braid and if it too long, you can undo a few times to shorten it.
Because my spool was 50yrds, I had to start with the single braid first to get the desired length. Then, I cut from the spool, undo all the braid, and start the double braid. You will have 4 strands in double braids, so that means two strands will be from the spool and two are from the single braid (unattached). It will be easier when you see the tutorial from links provided.
You can definitely add more roses if you preferred less ribbon as a base.
Also, if ordering from Amazon or Ebay, I suggest that you order them about 1 month ahead because delivery time could take that long to arrive. You don't want to miss out on the occassion.
Single braided ribbon lei:
144 pcs paper roses from Amazon here and Ebay here
I truly love the end result and it took me total of 2 hours with first try on the double braided lei. The ideas are definitely not mine, but I have not seen anyone that done it like I did. I hope you guys will try it out.
Thanks for reading until the end. I hope this is helpful and if you have any question, please leave it in the comment below