Graduation DIY Gift Idea: Easy and Cool Money Lei

tying money to a graduation lei

Want to make a fun graduation lei that looks fancy (but is actually so easy to DIY)? 🎓🤑

This creative homemade money lei is the easiest DIY graduation gift we’ve seen anywhere! Make this for the special graduates in your life by simply folding paper bills into accordion-style “flowers” and tying them to an inexpensive beaded party necklace.

Customize your lei using school colors, and the denomination of bills is completely up to you!

graduation lei with orange paper flowers and folded money

No fancy origami paper folding here!

There are so many different ways to make money leis, and some of them are pretty time-consuming and complicated. I promise you that this version is a simple, FUN, and very doable DIY project that you’ll actually enjoy doing! You can make a few paper “flowers” made out of colored construction paper as I did, or just use additional bills.

supplies needed to make money graduation lei

Hip tips for making this easy DIY graduation money lei:

  • Glue dots are small circles of removable adhesive commonly used in papercrafts. They are nice to use in this craft so that your recipient doesn’t rip their money when they take the lei apart. You can, however, use removable tape instead, if desired.
  • To make construction paper flowers, just fold them using the same directions listed for the money below.

folding a dollar bill

holding a folded dollar bill

holding a folded dollar bill wrapped in a rubber band

holding a dollar bill folded accordion style

holding a rosette made from a folded dollar bill

adding money to a graduation lei

DIY Graduation Money Lei


Supplies Needed



Fold a bill accordion-style back and forth, about 1/2 an inch wide.


Secure a small rubber band around the center.


Fan out of the bill and place glue dots or double-sided tape on the sides, and secure both ends together to form a circle or “flower”.


Thread a piece of ribbon through the middle of the “flower” and tie it to the necklace.


Continue tying “flowers” all around the necklace as desired.

graduation money lei made from paper flowers and dollar bills

What a fun and unique way to gift money!

If you’re giving money to a graduate and you want to do a little something special for your graduation gift (other than giving a check or gift card), this is a neat idea. I love that this project isn’t super complicated and it can be customized for your grad by using their school colors.

I would have loved receiving this at my graduation! It’s such a great alternative to expensive flower leis and trust me – your graduate will appreciate money a whole lot more than flowers. 😉

wearing a graduation lei made of orange paper and dollar bills

Check out these thoughtful graduation gifts for $15 or less!