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Puffy Star Money Lei

money made into an origami puffy star and arranged into a lei

I used to make these puffy origami stars all the time when I was in middle school. We’d take tiny strips of colorful paper and make these leis for graduation and they were cute, easy and cheap.

But when my brother graduated from high school I wanted to do something a little more special. So I channeled my origami-making days and made this easy money star lei for him. Give it a try for the graduate you’re celebrating this year!

Items needed:

  • Fishing line
  • Wooden beads (you can use any kind of bead you’d like, small or large)
  • Dollar bills (or higher value if you’d like, just remember you need quite a bit of them)
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon for bow (optional, perhaps in the school colors)
  1. Take a dollar bill, fold it in thirds length wise.
  2. As if you were going to tie the bill in a knot, fold the long ends over each other (like a ribbon) and loop one strip through. Try to get it as far to one side as possible.
  3. Following the outer edges of the shape you’ve created, keep folding the other strip until you have nothing left and tuck that end in nicely. (there should be 5 flat edges and 5 points)
  4. Take a pen, ruler or you can use your fingernail to press the middle of each flat edge in. This will puff up your star. Repeat until all of the sides have been puffed.
  5. Cut your fishing line to the length you’d like your lei to be and tie a knot on one end.
  6. Alternate stringing completed puffy money stars with beads.
  7. Once you get to your desired length, connect the 2 ends and tie on a pretty bow.
  8. and that’s it!

If my written instructions on making the stars were a little confusing, not to worry, we made a video you can watch. Good luck and happy origami-ing!