How to Make Money Leis

How to make Money Leis on { } Such a great graduation gift!!

Do you have a friend or family member graduating soon?

As previously mentioned my BIL graduated from ASU recently, so I’ve had graduation on the brain. As I’ve thought about graduation, I realized that there are so many fun things you can do with this theme!! One of things I wanted to do was figure out  how to make money leis since I featured one last year and thought it was awesome! I mean, let’s face it – it looks so much cooler than a gift card or check, right?! And this version of the lei doesn’t take as many $1 bills which means you can get away with giving an awesome gift for $30-$35!

Although this project does take some time, it is really easy and the end product looks FAB!

{Thank you to the hubby who modeled this grad gown and lei since I didn’t have it finished in time for my BIL to model it!! – LOL!}

Here is what you’ll need…


– 30-35 Crisp $1 Bills

– Printing paper in whatever color you choose (I did white)

Elmer’s Glue Spots

– Hot Glue Gun & sticks

– Ribbon


How to make Money Leis on { } Such a great graduation gift!!

1. Begin by gathering your $1 bills. You will need about 30-35 of them.

How to make Money Leis on { } Such a great graduation gift!!

2. You will then turn your dollar bills into accordions. To do that you will zig-zag your dollar bill like Image 1 and finish with image 2. As a hint, I folded mine half way between the number 1 on the President side of the bill in the top left corner (if that makes sense). Folding it there made it come out pretty even at the end. From there, I folded the bill in half to create an indent. Then I stuck 2 glue spots and pulled the sides of the bill down so it stuck. I did that for the other side as well. Glue Spots work perfect because they stick really well, but also come off pretty easy so they don’t ruin the money. NOTE: Don’t put the glue spots too close to the indent because that is where we will be sticking the ribbon through to string the dollar bills.

How to make Money Leis on { } Such a great graduation gift!!

3. You will then do the same thing with the bills to pieces of paper that are cut out that are the size of a dollar. You can do all dollar bills if you want but this looks just as awesome and saves you half the money! You will also need 30-35 of these. Instead of using glue spots on these I hot glued which was quicker. NOTE: Be sure not to glue all the way to the indent so you can fit your ribbon in.

How to make Money Leis on { } Such a great graduation gift!!

4. String your dollar bills with ribbon alternating between the accordion dollars and the accordion papers. When you are finished, tie it off. NOTE: You can also stick other items in between the bills/papers if you want to do even less money. I had thought of Butter Rum Lifesavers since they are a gold-ish color. Just a thought. 🙂

How to make Money Leis on { } Such a great graduation gift!!

How to make Money Leis on { } Such a great graduation gift!!

Voila!! Practical and fun at the same time. What more could you want?

For more great Graduation gift and party ideas be sure to check out:

EASY Mini Cupcake Graduation Caps! So fun and easy to make! Your guests will enjoy the mini cupcakes, grahams, & candy!

 Mini Cupcake Graduation Caps

Graduation Cap Toppers and Flags on { } The perfect little treat for your grad!!

 Graduation Cap Toppers and Flags

Money Cupcake Toppers - great idea for graduation party! What grad doesn't love money?!

Money Cupcake Toppers

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Kristyn Merkley

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  1. Fun, I might need to do this for my neice, we are all giving her money, so perfect to make it a cute gift!!! 🙂

  2. Looks good! You can use tape instead of the glue. We’ve been making these for years as well as other types of leis. Then again, leis are a part of my culture so it’s one of those things that you learn when you’re a kid and never forget 🙂 Happy lei making!

  3. I’ve been working on this for my nephew, but I’m having a problem. I guess the glue dots I purchased aren’t strong enough because after sitting around for a bit while I’m folding more, they pop apart. I’ve even gone back and added a second glue dot to each side and it doesn’t seem to help much. I’m going to Joann’s and purchase larger and hopefully stronger dots.

  4. Love this, just finished making $50.00 worth using 2 different colors of paper disks in the school colors. I was a little worried about the bills coming off so used two pieces of ribbon which I threaded through either indent and then tied after each bill. It’ll be hard to get that thing apart but then maybe she’ll think twice before splurging on something. LOL

  5. I am making the lei today. What a great idea. I am buying colored paper that matches the high school’s colors. So, blue and yellow paper alternating with the dollar bills.

  6. It’s very effortless to find out any topic on web as compared to books, as I found this post at this website.

  7. If you use glue dots, does it come apart easily one the graduate wants to undo the lei? Is using glue dots better than tape? I saw someone mention tape below.

    1. I like glue dots because I feel like they stick really well but can still come off without ruining the money. If you want to use tape that’s fine… I just don’t think it sticks as well. 😉

  8. This is a great idea! I’m making them for senior recognition night for our high school swim team! I will use school colors. Thank you for sharing!