Graduation Gifts: DIY Candy Leis

Leis symbolize affection of a giver towards a receiver. They are usually presented when a person is arriving or leaving. It explains why leis make great graduation gifts; graduates are leaving school and starting new stage of their life. Flower leis are the most popular types but they are expensive. Go with candy leis instead; they are really fun and easy to make and don’t cost a lot. They look beautiful as well and are unique. See instructions on how to make candy leis below.

Supplies you need to make candy leis: wrapped hard candy, clear plastic food wrap or clear cellophane, curling ribbon and scissors.

Candy leis – step 1. Buy wrapped hard candies; Werther’s Original was used in this example. Don’t use sweets that will melt due to body heat and temperature.

Graduation gifts – step 2. Decide on the length of your candy lei (for example, 4 feet long for an adult and 3 feet long for a child). Take a roll of clear cellophane or clear plastic wrap and measure it to that length. Cut the plastic food wrap or cello off the roll.

Graduation candy leis – step 3. Lay out your cellophane or plastic food wrap on a flat surface. Smooth it out; it should not have big wrinkles. Lay the chosen sweets (one piece at a time or several pieces at a time) on the plastic wrap leaving the space of about 1 to 2 inches in between individual pieces of candy or groups of candy. This space is where you will tie your curling ribbon. Leave approximately 3 inches on both ends to tie your lei together.

graduation gifts - candy leis

Graduation Gifts – step 4. Fold your plastic wrap over and carefully roll the tube of sweets until they are tightly secured in the plastic wrap. Cut off the excess plastic wrap if necessary (Note: if you roll sweets more than 3 or 4 times, you will not be able to see through the colors of your candies well).

graduation gifts - candy lei

graduation gifts - step 4

Graduation Gifts – step 5. Cut curling ribbon into 10 to 12-inch pieces. Slide the curling ribbon under your tube of sweets between each piece of candy and tie the ribbon; knot it twice then curl the ends with scissors.

graduation gifts - step 5a

graduation gift - step 5b

You can make candy leis in one color (like in this example) using one type of candy and ribbon of matching colors.

Or you can use assorted hard candies and curling ribbons of various colors to create multicolored leis.

graduation leis - step 5c

You can use fun size or miniature candy bars. However, if the weather is too hot or the graduate is going to wear the candy lei for a long time, the sweets might melt.

how to make graduation candy leis - step 5d

Graduation Gifts – step 6. The last step is to tie the ends of your candy leis together. If desired, tie the curling ribbon or a bow to decorate the knot.

how to make graduation leis - step 6a

graduation candy leis gift - step 6b

graduation candy leis gift

Variant: Instead of curling ribbon, you can tie bows in between the candy pieces using wired ribbon or usual ribbon of the corresponding color. It takes more time and more supplies but it looks more ‘flowery’ this way.