Skip to Content

50 Creative DIY Graduation Leis

Graduation leis are a fun way to celebrate a graduate…but who says they have to be made of flowers, money or candy? DIY Graduation Gift Leis are versatile, affordable and FUN gifts for graduates of any age. Whether you are celebrating a kindergarten graduation, an 8th grade promotion, high school graduation or college graduation these GIFT leis are a great way to reward your grads!

I thought up 50 Creative GIFT Leis that you won’t see anywhere else. I also created printable gift tags for your lei that will take your DIY graduation lei to the next level! Click here to jump straight to the adorable lei gift tags. Read on to see what you’ll need to make a unique and creative Graduation Lei.

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you anything)!  Get more information in my full disclosure.

How do you make an easy graduation lei?

The hardest part of making a graduation lei is thinking about what to put inside of it, (Look below, I’ve got you, boo!). The actual construction of the lei is very simple. 

You will need clear cellophane gift wrap , some curling ribbon or fabric strips, scissors, scotch tape, a rubber band and whatever items you want to put inside the lei (Keep Reading for 50 Gift Lei Ideas!).

Don’t forget to print off an adorable and PUNNY Lei Gift Tag found at the end of this post!

DIY Graduation Leis for Teens/adults

Going-to-college Lei: It would be fun to put some gift cards (fast food, restaurants, grocery store). You could also put vitamins, ibuprofen

Laundry Lei: Here is another fun one for high school graduates to send them off to their independence ready for tackling laundry. It has everything they need for laundry: a roll of quarters, a Tide  stain Pen, a bleach penlaundry soap pods.

New Driver Lei: If you have a 16-year-old who’s about to hit the road here is a lei is filled with things for new drivers: car air fresheners, gas gift cardkeychaincar window wipesmints).

Soda/Pop Lei: Their favorite cans of soda

Barbecue Lei: Spices for barbecuing

Artist Lei: You could do lots of different versions of this using pastels, colored pencils, oil paint, paint brush

Gift card Lei: This could be catered to a lot of different occasions. For high school graduates you could do fast food gift cards, restaurant gift cards, and grocery store gift cards. For newlyweds, you could do gift cards to major stores like an Amazon gift card, Home Depot gift card. You could do a Housewarming lei with gift cards for Lowes gift card and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Travel Lei: It would be so fun to surprise a friend going on a trip with a lei full of travel sized shampoo, conditioner, travel body wash, travel shaving cream, travel hand sanitizer etc.

Makeup Lei: This would be fun for a girl just starting to wear makeup (and I wouldn’t complain if someone gave ME a bunch of new makeup either!) . You could add mascara, makeup brushes, eyeshadow, lipstick, lipgloss and an Ulta Gift Card etc.

Fingernail Polish Lei: A bunch of beautiful fingernail polishes, add some emery boards and maybe a bottle of fingernail polish remover.

First Aid Lei: This lei could have band-aids, antibiotic cream, travel Tylenol. It would be fun for a nursing or doctor graduation gift.

Cooking Lei: (Maybe for a bridal shower or high school grad who will have their own kitchen) : You could include a few favorite recipes on index cards plus some spices, measuring spoons, wooden spoons, vanilla.

Fix-It Lei: Basically a small tool box in lei form. This would be a fun one for college goers, or newlyweds or new homeowners. You could add a screwdriver, a small hammer, a wrench.

Chewing/Bubble gum lei: Buy a bunch of different chewing gum flavors!

Bath bomb Lei: Add a bunch of mini bath bombs and shower steamers to this relaxing gift lei

Movie Lei: Microwave popcorn, treats, Redbox movie codes

Spa lei: massage oil, foot cream, bath salts

Garden Lei: Seed packets, small gardening shovel and rake, garden signs

Sewing Lei: thread, sewing needles, mini scissors

Having a baby Lei: baby thermometer, baby fingernail clippers, baby Tylenol

Fitness: Itunes Card Pedometer, Fit BitHeadband, headphones

New Phone Lei: Headphones charging cablePhone Fan, Pop Socket

Skiing: Sunscreen, hand warmers, chapstick, Ski pass

Jewelry Lei: This one would work for kids or adults, add some cute earrings, rings and maybe necklaces

Playing card/Poker lei: Playing cards, poker chips, spoons

DIY Graduation Leis for kids:

Mini car lei: Put a bunch of matchbox cars!

Mini dinosaur lei: You can buy a pack of miniature dinosaurs and hatching dinosaur eggs and put them individually in the lei. I bought these dinosaur eggs for my son’s Valentine’s cards. They are SO much fun! The eggs dissolve and crack open in the water and there are different dinosaurs inside that grow.

Kool-aid packet lei: What kid doesn’t love kool-aid? Put a bunch of different flavor packets. You could do the individual serving packets or the normal packets that make 2 quarts.

Tooth brush Lei: My kids go crazy over the new toothbrushes they get at the dentist. Put a toothbrush, toothpaste, some flossers

Slime Kit Lei: Have you seen my slime kit gifts? Here is the lei version! This gift lei has glue, clear glue, food coloring, borax (in labeled baggies), and measuring spoons.

Otter Pop Lei: This one would be fun as a summer gift! Use (unfrozen) otter pops and add a popsicle holder.

Bubble gum lei: You can buy colorful bubble gum balls and package them prettily in a lei.

Pen/Pencil/Eraser lei: My kids love new pencils, pens and erasers. Buy a variety of patterned supplies and put them in the lei

Water fight lei: little squirt guns, and water balloons

Balloons: Punching balloons, long noisy balloons, balloons you tie into shapes, air pump

Juggling lei: juggling balls, scarves

Sticker Lei: A bunch of fun stickers, scratch and sniff stickers, glitter stickers, glow-in-the-dark stickers, maybe a small sticker book

Tye Dye Lei: Buy a Tye Dye Kit like this, then package the bottles, elastics and roll up a white t-shirt or white cotton tote bag.

Fourth of July Lei: Confetti Poppers, Sunglasses

Beanie-Boo Lei: My kids love Beanie Boos, this would be a fun lei!

Squishy Toy Lei: These squishy toys are all the rage (and not too expensive!)

Jump Rope Lei: Put a normal jump rope, the fun jump rope rhymes you can print free from my Gift Printables Library, and a Chinese jump rope.

Sock Lei: Teen boys love crazy socks, there are a lot of great choices. These socks or maybe some holiday socks

Beach lei: sunglasses, sunscreen, uninflated beach ball, goggles

Camping/Scout Lei: mini-flashlight, glow sticks, mosquito repellent, compass, waterproof matches containercompact marshmallow roasting sticks, Protein Bar

S’more Lei: Graham cracker packages, mini chocolate bars, marshmallows, compact marshmallow roasting stick

Back to School Lei: School supplies like pencils, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, erasers

Bouncy ball Lei: Bunches of bouncy balls!

Bubble lei: sticky bubbles, smelling bubbles, small bubbles

Hair products Lei: Comb, Brush, hair elastic ties, mini hairspray

Glow stick lei: glow sticks, other glow stuff,

Fairy Lei: Fairy Garden furniture

Digital Download of Printable Lei Gift Tags

Click on any image to purchase and download an adorable printable lei gift tag for only $.99 cents!

What other Gift Leis can you think of? I hope you found one (or many!) ideas that you love! These would be super fun high school or college graduation gifts.

Happy Gifting!


How to make a Graduation Lei

How to make a Graduation Lei

Yield: 1 amazingly fun gift lei
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10-100

These simple DIY Graduation Leis are easy to make and so much fun to give!


  • Clear Cellophane Wrapping Paper
  • Fabric Strips or ribon
  • Items for the Gift Lei (see post for 50 creative themes!)
  • Scotch Tape
  • Rubber band
  • Free Printable Lei Tag


  • Scissors


  1. Assemble all of the items needed on a flat surface
  2. Depending on the width of the widest item, cut the cellophane into a long strip. Wide enough to wrap around the largest item, and at least 55 inches long for kids or 65 inches long for adults.
  3. Place the items in the center (widthwise) of the strip, spacing them out enough to tie in between each item.
  4. Wrap the cellophane around each item and tie fabric strip or ribbon in a double knot between each.
  5. After all the items are secured, use a rubber band to tightly hook the graduation lei together at the top.
  6. Tie on a free LEI gift tag (from and TA-DA! Done!

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Saturday 7th of April 2018

Hello, Steph! Love your list! Very unique and can definitely be enjoyed by teens. I'd like to make a Lei of gift cards! Hehehe. Thanks for sharing!

The Gifty Girl

Tuesday 17th of April 2018

Thank you Nicky!


Friday 6th of April 2018

Hi Steph! This is my first time on your blog! Great article. I'm part Hawaiian so leis have always been a big thing for us. We used to get the candy leis all the time when we were little, but we always get flower leis at graduations and big ceremonies. I've seen some clever leis over the years. One of my favs was a lei made of bags of potato chips haha.

The Gifty Girl

Friday 6th of April 2018

Potato chips! Why didn't I think of that!! I love it! Thanks for stopping by Andy!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Instructions