Graduation Cookie Lei + a Letter

I'm graduating college today!

graduation cookie lei 1

It's so hard to believe that these four years have flown by so quickly. I could write some sappy thing about how I've made some really great friends and have had all these wonderful memories and blah blah blah. While this is in fact true, I'd like to actually take this time to write a letter to my freshman self. So here goes...

Dear Freshman Kara,

Here is some advice for you for your next four years of college. You're probably thinking, "But I already do these things!". While this is half true, three and a half years later, I still think these things need work.

  • Speak up and don't be afraid to say what's on your mind, especially if it's something that's bothering you.
  • I know that dorm room seems mighty comfortable, safe, and quiet but venture out and make friends! 
  • Don't assume things, just ask.
  • Be nice to others. 
  • If something matters to you, make time for it.
  • Learn how to compliment others and humbly take a compliment.
  • Accept who you are (even the weird things).
  • Everything will come time.
  • If anything, remember to breathe and stand tall.

Love, Kara of June 2015

Now that that is said and done, on to the lei. As someone who graduated from a high school in Hawaii, I've seen what it's like to be "lei'd" to the extreme. As a tribute to this experience, I've made my own version of lei that can be adapted to fit any sort of celebratory occasion.

graduation cookie lei 2

First, we start off with the cookies. I used Joy the Baker's Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies. It is expected to be in the high 90's today (yuck) so any cookies with chocolate did not seem like a good idea. If you can't have chocolate, rainbow sprinkles are the next best substitute. Any cookies should do depending on the situation of the lei giving and the weather. They should be miniature versions (1.5 - 2 inch diameter or less). They also can be baked the day before lei assembly and stored in an air tight container.

graduation cookie lei 3
graduation cookie lei 4

To assemble the lei, we also need cellophane (I bought a tube of 30 inches by 8 feet), ribbon, and scissors. Cut the cellophane into long strips of approximately 4 feet by 7.5 inches. To do this unroll the cellophane and cut into 8 pieces. Cut the ribbon into 6 inch strips. These things can also be done ahead of time.

After the cookies have completely cooled, place 10-11 cookies an inch apart in the middle of the cellophane. Fold both sides of the cellophane over the cookies and flip the whole roll over so that the cookies are now upside down. It helps to flip it on the folded edge rather than the open edge. Start tying off the individual sections of cookies starting with one of the ends. This can start fairly close to the edge so that the maximum number of cookies can fit in the lei. To finish, tie both ends of the cellophane together attaching a gift tag if desired. Continue until all cookies are used.

holding lei.jpg

Education. Check.

Graduation Cookie Lei

Yields: 8 cookie lei // Total Time: Cookies: 2-3 hours, Lei Assembly: 2 hours