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Floral Hat Band and the Traditional Lei

7U6A2027Hello darlings. How are you all? Surrounded by flowers, I hope;)

A few weeks back, my flower loving designer pal Corrina brought me back a Lei needle from Hawaii, homeplace of the art of traditional Lei making. It got me thinking about stringing flowers and plants together with a needle and thread, to make flower crowns, floral necklaces, and……..Hat Bands? It was time to experiment.

This is Corrina with a Lei made of Hawaiian Pussy Willows. Gorg, right?

I spent several hours last week foraging plants and playing with flowers in my studio. What came out of it was a killer Floral Hat Band, and a million and one more ideas for using a needle and thread to make beautiful floral adornment.7U6A1996

Today, I’m going to show you how to make a Floral Hat Band in the Lei tradition, with foraged flowers, a needle, and thread. Get yourself a Lei needle to make it easier to string, or you can just use a regular needle and thread. I used white nylon thread for this tutorial.

A note about foraging flowers……..

Lei’s require foraging in the native forests, collecting seeds, pods, vines and flowers. The wise lei maker who is perpetuating the continuation of a culture and a lost art, must keep in mind the damage of foraging as well as the interruption of the natural cycle of these plants. It is important to cause as little damage as possible to the area and to restock when possible. –

7U6A2004That said, find flowers that are sturdy and bountiful, and cut off their stems.

Thread your needle with your thread double-d over, and tie a knot at the end, leaving a tail about 2 feet long.7U6A2006

Begin threading your flowers, gently through the strongest point at their base. Keep adding them in whatever order you want, using flowers as well as greenery.

7U6A2013Keep your hat nearby to measure when you need to. Add flowers until your floral band has reached a length that can be tied snuggly around your hat. 7U6A2030

Wear your floral hat around, letting it wilt over time. Rock it all Summer long, swapping it out for a new one when petals  begin dropping.7U6A2209

xoxox, HTHG

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