Hawaiian Yarn Lei For the Graduate!

Hawaiian Yarn Lei For the Graduate!

My dear friend, Terri, was working on a yarn lei and I was intrigued. When I asked how I could do one she told me that it was from a kit that she got from the Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT). RAFT is a non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a resource center for teachers. Since 1995, RAFT has served more than 8,000 teachers throughout Silicon Valley. According to RAFT, their “vision is that all teachers inspire their students with the joy and discovery of learning. RAFT’s innovative process for converting commonly discarded business materials into “hands-on” classroom activities supports teachers and preserves the environment. These hundreds of packaged classroom kits are created around important concepts in science, math, reading, technology and art make it more exciting for kids pre-K-12 to learn.”

Terri took me to RAFT as a guest so I could see first hand the work they are doing in our community. Upon entering this warehouse she signed us in, then we wondered around the building. Kits of all kinds were in bins for teachers to choose from. The kits have all of the supplies to make the projects or experiments. Once teachers make their choices, they go to the checkout counter to pay a nominal fee for the kits. There are also large bins of recycled materials that teachers can purchase for just pennies to enhance their classroom and teaching abilities. To find out more about RAFT, or how you can make a donation, please go to: http://www.raft.net/main

I tried one of their kits, the Hawaiian Yarn Leis kit. The directions were simple. It had all the materials needed to make the project. I could see how this would be a fun project if you were doing a lesson on Hawaii. It does take some time, and the children would have to work on it over a few days to complete. The PDF is available online:


Following are my photo step-outs:

1)    Tie string to paper clip, feed through straw, tape other end of string to straw

2) Wrap eyelash yarn around straw 6-8 times, push down

3)    Continue this method

4)    Tie off the ends

5)    There you have a Hawaiian Yarn Lei

My nephew, Jimmy, was graduating from Bellarmine College Preparatory, so I made a copy of his announcement. Cutting out the logo,  made a button. Then I tied ribbon in his school colors to cover the knot and pinned the button. Jimmy loved the yarn lei and wore it the entire day!

Congratulation, James Hare, and thank you RAFT for sharing one of your classroom lessons with me!

“Teaching the world to craft one door at a time!”


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