Making the Raffia Base
A somewhat long, not amazingly exciting video of how to prep greens and flowers. One easy way to remember what your prepped material should look like is copy a small palm tree. Bushy at the top and slim for the trunk. Pinch the material softly and you will see what it will look like in the lei since it will be snug in the middle of other material. A slender stem will keep the lei from getting too heavy and bulky.
This video demonstrates the rope style for the ties on the lei. It is a little challenging to hold your rope and tie at the same time, so some people use a weight to hold one end, a nearby friend, tied around their toe, or pinned under a heel For better or worse, it also demonstrates the difficulty one will get into if there is not enough raffia to make a knot.
To avoid this, leave 9 or 10" of raffia to make a tie, stop at about 6" of finished rope, and use the rest to tie a knot. I could have fixed this by tying the knot higher in the rope.
I find it easier to work with raffia when it is wet, so I soak the raffia for a few minutes. It tightens as it dries, another benefit to keeping it wet. Occasionally spritz what you're using with water, and keep the raffia you will add moist, too.
You can pre-make bases and keep them until you are ready to use them.
And if you have ever wondered how a ti leaf rope lei was made, it's the same technique!