Cellophane, Saran Wrap, netting, or iridescent tissue paper (this is what I like to use and I get it from Michael's craft store)
Bag of Candy (about 36-40 small or 18-20 large individually wrapped candies)
Ribbon (however many colors you want)
Here's a close-up of the iridescent paper (1 pack of this makes 5 leis)
Get out one sheet of iridescent paper or a piece of cellophane about 20x26"
Cut the paper wrap in half hot dog style, so you have two long rectangles. Each long rectangle will be one side of the lei.
Fold one long rectangle in half (hot dog style)
Then fold it in half again
If you need to, flip it over so that the two open edges are on top. So in the pic above, the open edges are going along the right side and the closed edges are underneath. Ok, this is trickier than I thought to explain. Sorry! Tie one of your *long ribbons on the end and then double knot it (leaving about an inch of wrap at the end).
I like to cut out my ribbons before I start so I'm not stopping to cut between candies.
The number you'll need depends on the size of the candies and how tight you tie them together, but I usually get 9 candies on each side of the lei. So you'll need about 20 ribbons total. I cut them at about 8'' long, and I usually cut 4 of them a little longer (*like 10'') for the end pieces.
So put in your first piece of candy (I did two small Jolly Ranchers). I lift the top layer/flap of wrap open (in the pic above I am picking it up from the right side and pulling it to the left), then sneak the candies under the next layer.
This is showing how it's opened. I push the candy as close to the ribbon above it as possible. (And you may way to put the candies in all going the same direction, so on the reverse side the candy wrappers all go the same way).
Then I hold onto the candies I put in...
and straighten out the wrap by tugging at the opposite end (so it ends up always looking like the folded over strip that you started with before you tie each ribbon)
Then put a ribbon underneath and tie it tight and double knot it. To get the ribbon as close to the candy as possible, I usually start with the ribbon underneath the candy when I start tying, so it ends up tying right at the bottom edge of the candy. I'm sure none of this is making sense.
Double knotting pic :)
Just keep putting in candy, straightening and tying. You can also put candies in through the open end of the paper, but you'll usually have to straighten the candies out at the ribbon anyway.
This is one half done. So I have long ribbons on the top and bottom ends.
Now, repeat the steps above to make the other side of the lei.
Trim the extra wrap off the end (just don't go too short)
This pic is blurry, but line up the two sides.
Put one end on top of the other to tie them together.
Take the bottom ribbons and tie them on top of the end you place on it (and double knot).
Flip the lei over and tie the top ribbon pieces around the bottom of the lei (and double knot).
Now, circle it up and tie the other ends the same way.
Go around and curl the ribbon
This is what it looks like once it's curled. Sometimes I leave it like this and but I usually go around and add more ribbon.
Here's is what it looks like with double ribbon. There are lots of ways you can embellish these...you can add dollar bills folded up cute (secured with wire), or those plastic rings that come on top of cupcakes are fun to tie in, add flowers, use tulle or fabric ribbon, etc.