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Does anyone have any instructions or information on making a Navy Ship homecoming lei to decorate the ship with? Like the one that is pictured below. I have heard of using plastic bags or the rolls of plastic table cloths. Any info would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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Comment by judy r on March 8, 2012 at 1:41pm

The FRG for the Normandy made one several years ago and they used plastic colored tablecloths and a 2 in diameter rope. They spent several Sunday afternoons working on this and then had to arrange for it to be taken to the ship and placed on the bow. It was several feet long to get the drape. The lei was then stored in a cargo area of the ship in aplastic box and labeled for the next time these last for several years which is a good thing.

Comment by Denise-- Seabee Mom on March 8, 2012 at 1:50pm

I found this online


DISCLAIMER: All information contained herein is given gratis as a service to our customers. It has been provided by individuals who have previously, and by their reports successfully, fabricated ships leis. We believe this data to be reliable. However, we have never attempted this process ourselves and consequently cannot warrant it’s accuracy.

DETERMINE: 1. The length of the lei you would like to produce
2. The color(s) you want the lei to be

MATERIALS: Item one - HDPE bags size 16x4x24 (your choice of colors)
Quantity - Approx. 500 bags for 20 feet of lei (2 bags make one flower)
Source - San Diego Bag & Supply, phone 858-693-4238
Packed - 500 bags per box (each box of 500 contains a single color
but you may buy multiple boxes/colors.

Item two - Nylon cord or rope about the thickness of a drinking straw
Quantity - The same length as your lei plus a few extra feet for tying
Source - Any hardware or building supply center
Packed - You can usually buy this by the foot or in prepackaged lengths

Item three - Large thick rubber bands
Quantity - Approximately one per flower
Source - Any office supply center
Packed - Varies with brand

PROCEDURE: 1. Cut open the bottom of the bag(s)
2. Fold the bag in a pleat style (like a tissue flower)
3. Tie the folded bag directly onto the line and double knot. By tying it right
on to the line you don=t need extra ties OR secure with a rubber band
4. The result is a large Ships Lei.

HOW TO MAKE A LEI (as reported by Team Nimitz)

To make a three drape lei for an aircraft carrier:

We used 313 of a 346 ft long rope for our lei. It had three drapes. The first drape was 102 feet long and 20 feet deep. The second drape was 109 feet long and 24 feet deep. The last drape was 103 feet long and 20 feet deep. Each drape had three sections of color.(red, white and blue) First and Last drapes were marked with 3 sections of 34 feet each. Middle drape was marked with 3 sections of 36 feet. With figuring 500 bags make 20 feet of flowers; you will need approx. 3000 bags of each color. You will have bags left over and can make pom poms for the kids to wave as the ship comes in.
To Fold Bags:
It=s best to have a work party and show as many people as you can how they are made. They are folded (not rolled) at 1 inch widths, like a fan, then folded in half lengthwise. Take a large thick rubber band and tie them about 2 inches from the folded end. Be sure to put the rubber band on tight and leave an opening for the rope to thread through.(this process is much like the Kleenex flowers you may have made on floats in high school)
Our rope for our lei was 346 feet; the actual lei was 313 feet. leaving 16 1/3 feet on each end of the rope to use for tying on the ship. Since our lei was different from the usual lei, we bough two separate 16.5' pieces of rope so there were four tie offs. Two at either end and two to tie off the middle swags.
It is best to predetermine the length of each color section before buying the rope. You can mark color section and ends with electrical tape when you buy it. This is much easier then doing it later. For our lei we used the following guidance: measure off your first 16 1/2 foot tie off; mark it by winding some tape around the rope. Your second measurement will be 34 feet from that point, mark with tape. Then 34 more feet mark, 34 more feet mark this will make your first drape of three colors sections. It will be 102 feet long and drap approx. 20 feet. The next section will be 36 feet from that point, mark. 36 more feet mark, 36 more feet mark. This is your second drape measure 34 feet from this point, mark...34 feet mark, 34 feet mark. From the last mark will be 16 1/2 feet tie off.

Comment by Chefswifey on March 8, 2012 at 8:48pm

Thank you for the quick responses. :)



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