When I come up with a new craft idea I can’t wait to share it with everyone on Etsy. I rush to get it done, photographed and stocked in the shop.

About two days later I start to realise that I could have made the item a lot better if I’d spent more time on it. I then redo the item, take new photos, write a better description and finally I am happy with the piece. By rushing I’ve wasted my own time and my stock.

This is something I promised myself I would stop doing. From now on, I only stock items in my shop if I’m completely happy with it and one item spurred me on to do this.

My boyfriend and his friends are really in to vintage Volkswagen. I recently overheard them giving out about how hard it was to buy leis or garlands for their vans or cars. I figured I could make a lei easily enough so away I went.

I cut three circles of felt and sliced a small hole in the middle.  I threaded twine through the hole and put a blob of hot glue near the thread. I then pinched the circles together over the glue to create a ‘petal’ affect. All in all it took about 20 minutes to make. The finished product is below.



I thought it looked great but when I showed it to my boyfriend he didn’t share my enthusiasm. I was still adamant that it was good but his lack of interest stopped me putting it on Etsy.

I left it where I could see it for a couple of weeks and slowly realised that it was, well, crap. If I just spent a bit more time and effort on it I could make something much better.

I went at it again. This time I used brighter colours for the flowers. Each flower is made up of 5 individual petals which are sewn together. Again, I threaded twine through the centre of the flower and put a small bit of glue under the flower to stop it slipping. This technique takes about an hour per lei but I am 100% happy with how it looks. I’ve put this one on Etsy and have already sold a couple to my friends!

You can see the side by side comparison in this picture.



Sometimes you might have a great idea that you can’t wait to show everyone but a poorly made item will do more damage than taking a few days to get it right.



  1. Anne-Marie (@handmadebyAMOR) · April 10, 2013

    What an interesting point for a blog post. I enjoyed reading it and I love the finished piece. I’d love to see a pic of it hung in a vintage car (such photos might also help sell the leighs on Etsy)

    • quillinginthenameof · April 11, 2013

      Thanks Anne-Marie! As soon as the weather clears up and the cars are out of the garage I plan to take that photo!

  2. anchorcrossheart · April 16, 2013

    Love the lei – we spent two years in Hawaii (Navy) and these are a great idea! I’m going to favorite one right now. I have a graduation coming up and can’t afford to fly in a fresh lei. 🙂

    • quillinginthenameof · April 17, 2013

      I’m glad you like it! If you’re thinking of buying one and would like some custom colours just let me know and I’ll see what can be done 🙂

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