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5 Unique Materials Used When Creating Hawaiian Lei

People have long used Hawaiian lei as symbols of friendship, love, and celebration. They often give these beautiful garlands to honor recipients on various occasions, including weddings, birthdays, and graduations. Although you may have considered purchasing an orchid lei for someone as a gift, consider a few other options to customize your gift. Here are five unique materials used when creating Hawaiian lei that make them perfect for gift-giving.

Ti Leaf

A ti leaf is one option for lei creation, which Hawaiians have used for centuries for various purposes, such as food wrapping, roof thatching, and medicinal applications. The symbolic meanings of the ti leaf in Hawai’ian culture include good luck, protection, and spiritual blessings.

The ti leaf’s distinct texture highlights the lei beauty while representing Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage. Consider purchasing a ti leaf maile lei to gift your friend or family member.


Pikake is another unique material used when creating Hawaiian lei. It is a delicate white flower with a sweet and alluring fragrance. The pikake came to Hawaii in the 19th century, and it has become popular in lei-making for its exquisite fragrance and stunning appearance. Today, demand is still high for pikake lei, making them a beloved gift choice for special events.

Kukui Nut Shells

Why not gift a lei made of kukui nut shells if you are looking for one that will stand the test of time? These lei come from the kukui tree, Hawaii’s official state tree.

The hard, shiny, and dark brown kukui nuts create a lustrous, natural, and durable lei when polished and strung together. Kukui nut lei symbolize enlightenment, peace, and protection.

Tuberose Buds

Try gifting a lei made of tuberose buds if you want to enrobe the wearer in wonderful fragrances. This flower, native to Mexico, has found a home in Hawaii. The bud’s enchanting scent and elegant appearance make it a perfect choice for crafting lei. Lei-makers will often pair these white buds with other flowers to create more texture and dimension.

Shell Clusters

Shell clusters are a reflection of Hawaii’s spectacular marine ecosystems. Shell lei showcase Hawaii’s natural beauty in a truly one-of-a-kind fashion.

Like the kukui nuts, shell clusters are also very durable so the wearer can wear their lei repeatedly. They also won’t have to worry about it wilting, like they would with one made of flowers.

Contact Hawaii Lei Stand if you want to purchase lei that features one or more of these special materials. We can help you make your gift more memorable and add more significance to your loved one’s special day.