Graduation Gift Idea – A Money Lei

Graduation season is here.  I’ve been getting lots of emails lately for ideas on graduation gifts and parties.  I’ve done my share of both.  I don’t have anyone graduating from anything at my house this year but I thought I’d revisit some of the graduation themed ideas I have shared in the past.

The first part of the week we will talk graduation gift ideas and then the second half of the week it will be graduation party ideas.

I know a popular graduation gift to give is cash.  Everyone loves cash.  Everyone can use a little cash so that is always a good choice. It’s fun to be able to present that cash in a creative way.  When we attended my son’s college graduation a few years ago I loved the idea of this money lei as a graduation gift.  The graduate kindly posed for a few pictures for me with his money lei.

Money Lei

What graduate wouldn't love a money lei!?

He was actually wearing three leis! A traditional flower lei but then he also had a candy lei and a money lei.

The candy lei was made out of plastic wrap and candy bars and tied in between each candy bar with ribbon – so cute.

But the lei I liked the most was the money lei – what graduate wouldn’t love a money lei!!


Dollar bills were gathered up with a piece of ribbon and tied in the middle and then attached to another piece of ribbon.  Curling ribbon works great.


There were also little bags of Hershey Hugs and Kisses tied in between the dollar bills. So fun!!

What a fun way to give a graduate a gift of cash.  Who wouldn’t love a cash lei!?
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  1. 1
    Kris Wolverton says:

    My traditional graduation gift for high school graduates is a tool kit. It doesn’t take long when moving the freshman into the dorm to hear the question, “I need a screwdriver for….”

  2. 2
    Bridee says:

    I love the lei idea! How much is “typical” to give to a college graduate these days? Be honest… I have no clue. It is for my husband’s 2nd cousin. Thanks!!

    • 2.1
      Leigh Anne says:

      That’s a hard one. It was a wide range for my boys anywhere from 20 -100 I thought 100 was extremely generous. I am sure they would be grateful for any amount!

      • 2.1.1
        RobinLynn says:

        For our very close friends who were relying on FAFSA for their college, we gave $50.00. Otherwise, my daughter either received $20-25 for her High School graduation

  3. 3
    Donna says:

    What a fantastic and original idea! I would love to see a step by step tutorial on how to make a money lei, any suggestions as to where to look?

  4. 4
    Crystal says:

    Gifts to bring to a graduation party: A personalized laundry bag with detergent, fabric softener, and change for the laundrymat, a bucket with car cleaner, a sponge, and car wax, a dry-erase board for the dorm with markers and cool thumbtacks, magnetic picture frames.
    Crystal recently posted..PR Agencies Devon

  5. 5
    Dawn says:

    Find out restaurants near the college and get some gift-cards. They will be appreciated when dorm food gets old, or they just need a change of scenery. For local grads (or those traveling in a car) I also bought a couple of bath towels in their new school colors (easy to google) and a bottle of detergent and a roll of quarters for the laundry. Even if they don’t end up having coin operated washers, the quarters will be appreciated.

  6. 6
    Susan says:

    Great idea! Does anyone know how much time it would take to make the lei that is pictured? Also, about how many dollar bills are part of this lei? I’d like to do something special for my nephew who is graduating next month.

    • 6.1
      Leigh Anne says:

      It goes together pretty quick – should take less than an hour. I don’t know how many bills were used in this one but I would just decide on an amount you want to give and work with that number of bills.

  7. 7
    Jessie says:

    Wow this is a great idea! I just made a Money Tree for a graduate and I was trying to think of another graduation money gift. Thanks for the great idea! Check out my money tree if you’d like :)
    Jessie recently posted..More Fake Stained Glass and Some Baby Paintings

  8. 8

    This is one of the more unique graduation gifts I’ve seen. Thanks for sharing at Handmade Tuesdays!

  9. 9
    Charissa says:

    I love both the candy and money lei ideas! Thanks. I actually have a graduate this year I can use it on.

  10. 10
    Heidi says:

    This is such a neat idea!! Thanks so much for sharing! This is being featured today at {Junk in their Trunk}!!

  11. 11
    AhYou says:

    This grad is Matt AhYou… former BYU football player and noe LAPD!! :-) Great pix! Thank you!


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