How To Make A Rattail Pikake Lei

14 Jun

Pikake Flowers

To make a pikake flower lei out of rattail, start with a roll of 2 mm rattail. A 200 yard spool will make about 5 lei.

Real pikake flowers  are off white. You can make lei in any color you want. Mother nature doesn’t mind.

For other lei, see eyelash, braided, spiral, or candy lei. This photo shows what we will be making in this post.

You will need:

Rattail, "H" crochet hook, eyelash yarn.

I’m using white rattail here.

Make a loop leaving 4-6 inches for tying off later.

The Knit Witch has instructional videos for how to make a chain stitch and how to single crochet, at her site.

Use a H crochet hook to go through the loop and pull the cord through to start a chain

Pull tight to make a knot. Loop over the hook to make the first chain stitch.

Pull it through and now you have a knot AND your first chain stitch.

Make a chain of four.

Go into the third chain from the hook.

Loop the cord around the hook.

Pull the cord through.

Make a loop on the hook.

Pull the cord through all and you have a single crochet.

Go into the fourth chain from the hook and do another single crochet.

It will look like this.

Pull tight while curling it over on itself.

Your first pikake flower.

Chain four more for your next flower.

Continue until you have 36 inches of flowers.

The average lei is 36 inches, finished. You can make them a little bigger or smaller depending on the size of the wearer.

Or 92 cm.

Make another flower and turn. Hook into the back of the last flower before you turned.

Single crochet these two together side by side.

Chain four and make another flower.

Attach it and continue up the line of flowers making a double row.

At the end, knot it and leave 4-6 inches.

Make a knot on the hook using the eyelash yarn. Leave 4-6 inches for tying.

Turn the flowers over and start at the end with the ties. Insert the crochet hook into a loop in the back of the first flower. Single crochet the yarn to it. Hook into another loop on the back of the same flower and repeat.

We are putting the eyelash yarn along one row of flowers and then we will come back along the row of flowers on the other side.

Continue along hooking the yarn into the back of each flower twice. Return along the second row of flowers and arrive back at the ties.

Anastomos the ends of the lei. Pull the ties through the end of the lei without ties. Tie securely. Use the hook to thread the ends through so they dont show.


You can make a single row of flowers. If you make it smaller its good for dolls.

You can make wrist size which also fit on stuffed animals.

You can make a shorter lei to decorate a hat.

You can make a few flowers with tie ends...

To use on a gift.

You can think of many ways to use these flowers. Have fun.

<p> © 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved. </p>

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on June 14, 2010 in How to, Uncategorized


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36 responses to “How To Make A Rattail Pikake Lei

  1. blkdrama

    June 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Wow is that is gorgeous! How long does it take to get comfortable with the process and how long does a piece take to complete. I love you how to series

    • purplume

      June 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks Bonnie. It takes me almost two hours to make one. I do them while I watch TV. It does take a few lei to get comfortable with making them. (For me anyway.)

  2. Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds

    June 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Very cool. That’s something my daughter would love to do, but doesn’t yet have the patience for.

    • purplume

      June 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      How old is she? I wonder how old is the right age. When I try to teach my granddaughters, it hasn’t worked yet.

  3. ~ifer

    June 15, 2010 at 3:23 am

    That is so amazing… I haven’t crocheted in years, but just seeing these pictures gives me the urge to pick up the hook again. Actually, now that I stopped to think about it, I crocheted my husband an afghan a couple Christmases ago… but I still miss it..

    • purplume

      June 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm

      Yes the hook will call to you, doesn’t it?

  4. Angela Cerrito

    June 15, 2010 at 4:46 am


    I am impressed!

    • purplume

      June 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Angela. It really is easy. And fun if you have hands that want to be doing something.

  5. Holly

    June 15, 2010 at 6:22 am

    That’s a beautiful project! I had no idea that silky cord was called rattail.

    • purplume

      June 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Yes, I see they use it a lot for wedding things and Chinese frogs.

  6. Kortney

    June 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I am going through a headband phase with my short hair, and I think this would be so fun to wear! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • purplume

      June 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Ooh Kortney, thank you for that inspiration. A headband is a great idea. Here they wear them like a crown, but you make me think of making one that goes under your hair in the back. The usual headbands of anything stiff give me a headache. I’m going to have to try one. thanks. XD

  7. danseusesabine

    June 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    It’s been years since I’ve crocheted a lei. I think I still have the last ilima lei I made and that was almost 5 years ago! You make me want to get some yarn and start crocheting again– just in time, too! I’ve got family from PA coming to HI for the first time.

  8. Jb

    June 17, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Those look so fun! I bet those would make really cute hemp bracelets (minus the fun fur).

    • purplume

      June 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      I bet they would Jb. Show me if you make one will you?

  9. Heather

    June 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    This must only work with that type of thread. I just tried it with yarn and it doesn’t pull tight into a cluster properly. I’m going to keep working on it though!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog!

    • purplume

      June 29, 2010 at 6:01 pm

      I bet you’re right Heather. The rat tail is a little stiff and satiny.

  10. Craig

    May 18, 2013 at 3:20 am

    First of all, allow me to say YOU ARE AWESOME! If I knew that I would find your marvelous tutorial, I would have skipped going to the library just to borrow book on how to do these, which by the way where useless. Yours have been easy to understand. Kudos to you!

    • Purplume

      June 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you Craig, I do love clarity. : )

  11. dragonfly55

    June 8, 2014 at 7:33 am

    I just finished my first lei from this pattern. It took me about 2-2.5hours and it looks FABULOUS. The instructions were very easy to follow and after 3-4 flowers, it was a Hawaiian breeze to complete. I’ve have some colorful macramé cord that is approximately 2.5mm-3mm. If the pattern was repeated in an oblong fashion, would it be feasible to make a table runner?

  12. Purplume

    June 12, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    What a great idea Dragonfly. Please send me a photo of it when you make one. It sounds lovely. It does seem like it would work. Instead of hooking flowers together in pairs, hook them together in rows. Is that what you mean?

  13. Susie

    May 15, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Can you use another size hook, like J?

    • Purplume

      May 15, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Try it and see. You might like a looser effect. I’d like to see a photo of your result. The rattail is stiff and comes in a thinner gauge. I haven’t​ seen any thicker rattail.

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  15. Anonymous

    October 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Where can I get the green fuzzy yarn?

    • Purplume

      October 22, 2017 at 5:53 am

      In Hawaii it’s available at Walmart and Ace Hardware. In other areas, maybe an internet search will turn up a place. Best luck.

  16. Iwalani

    April 4, 2018 at 8:10 am

    I just finished my first double lei pikake and will add my eye lash yarn this week. This will be a graduation lei for my niece. Can’t wait to finish it and show it to you. Thank you for your Pin.

    • Jeanne Litt

      April 4, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Beautiful, I’m happy for you all. I would love to see a picture of it.

  17. Debbie Dunning

    April 4, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I made a Rattail Pikake green and red garland for my Christmas Tree using this pattern. I used 800 yards for my 7.5 Foot tree in the Foyer. It came out gorgeous.

  18. Jeanne Litt

    April 4, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Wow, I’m impressed. Do we get to see a picture of your creative expression?

    • Debbie Dunning

      April 5, 2018 at 4:59 am

      I have tried to post a picture, but the site will not allow. 😦

      • Jeanne Litt

        April 5, 2018 at 7:01 am

        Thanks, can you post a link to your photo?


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