Delicious Adornment: Make Your Own Big Island Candies’ Cookie Lei! A Handcrafted Gift for the Graduate!

There’s a longstanding custom here in Hawai`i of giving a lovely lei to a graduate on their graduation day. Whether it’s a high-school or college, preschool, kindergarten, or eighth-grade graduation, or really just about any event where congratulations for a job well done are in order, rows of lei are likely to adorn the recipient’s neck.

But how about taking this tradition and making it tasty? Here, we’ll show you step-by-step how to create your own lei, not with flowers, but with flavors—Big Island Candies’ flavors!

You can use, for example, our individually wrapped signature shortbreads to handcraft a lei for the special honoree you have in mind. And if you know their favorite shortbread flavor, well, that’s even better! There’s another option where you can use our Shortbread Cookie Bags to create a medallion-style lei. It’s like giving a gold medal, but this medal is full of goodies!

Ready to create some delectable D-I-Y?

Cookie Lei

Materials Needed

  • Big Island Candies’ Product of Choice
    • Recommended for:
      • 1-2 lei: Petite Gift Box (~10 cookies) or Small Gift Box (~19 cookies)
      • Contact us to purchase cookies in bulk if you need to make a lot of lei (bulk = ~200 cookies)
  • Lei netting or poly tubing
  • Curling ribbon (~8-inch pieces)


1. Purchase your Big Island Candies’ product of choice. We recommend using one of our non-dipped shortbread flavors, but any product that is individually wrapped will work.

Depending on the length of the lei you want to create, each lei will need about 8 to 10 of our shortbread cookies.

2. Place cookies inside the tubing/netting, leaving about 2 inches in between each cookie. Ensure you leave about 3 to 4 inches at the end of where you were putting in the cookies. Do not cut the tubing/netting yet.

3. Once you’re happy with the length and spacing, cut your curling ribbon into approximately 8-inch pieces.

4. Double knot the curling ribbon in between each cookie, starting at the end where you placed the cookies inside the tubing. Repeat this process until each cookie is sectioned off.

5. Cut the tubing/netting, leaving 3 to 4 inches at the end.

6. Secure both ends of the lei with a double knot. Trim excess tubing/netting.

7. Curl the curling ribbon in between each section.

8. Done!

Optional Steps

Use a bow to cover the knot securing both ends together.

For a fuller lei, place two cookies back-to-back in each section, instead of one.

Use two different curling ribbon colors to tie off each section, perhaps the person’s favorite colors or their school colors. This is a great way to personalize the lei even further.

Medallion-Style Lei

Materials Needed

  • Big Island Candies’ product of choice
    • Recommended: Just about any of our products that comes in a bag
    • Item used in this example: 11-oz Shortbread Cookie Bag
  • Ribbon
  • Stapler/tape


1. Staple or tape each end of the ribbon to the bag.


Staple each end of the ribbon together. The ribbon should now be in the shape of a loop.

2. Unroll the bag, and place the ribbon between the folds.

3. Roll the bag back up.

4. Your final product should look like this.

Optional Step: Use a woven lei in school colors, and secure it to the bag using one of the methods listed above.

And lastly, congratulations to the graduates! Stay tuned for more ways to “think outside the (cookie) box!” Have fun!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *