Dreamcatchers originated with the Native Americans, but are loved by just about everyone nowadays. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to make one!
History of the dreamcatchers
Dreamcatchers originated with the Native Americans, became popular with the hippies of the 1960s and 1970s, and are now loved by just about everyone everywhere.
According to Ojibwe legend, there was a spider woman known as Asibikaashi, who took care of all the children on the land. But as the Ojibwe nation expanded, Asibikaashi wasn’t able to reach all of the children every night. So the mothers and grandmothers crafted dreamcatchers for the children, using willow hoops, natural twine, and feathers. They would then hang the dreamcatchers above the beds of babies and children. These dreamcatchers were thought to filter out the bad dreams, only allowing the good dreams to pass through and reach the minds of the children. When the sun rises in the morning, the bad dreams disappear. Cute, right?
Materials you need to create a dreamcatcher
Making a dreamcatcher is a fun project you can do by yourself. This is the list of materials that I used (however, you can use different ones):
- A hoop (it can be a cross-stitch hoop or a metal hoop)
- Macrame cotton strings (a thicker one and a thinner one – 3mm and 2mm)
- Decorative materials (beads, feathers)
How to create a dreamcatcher
1. Start by wrapping the hoop with the thick macrame cotton string
Tie a knot at the top of the hoop and then just wrap the macrame cord around the hoop, covering all the wood and trying to keep it as tight and close together as possible. Tie another knot once you have finished.
2. Create the web by weaving the string along the frame of the hoop
Start by tying a knot at the top of the hoop. Tie a double or triple knot to ensure that the string is secure. Then loop the string around the hoop and back over itself to create a hitch. Make sure to pull the string tight to secure it before moving on to the next loop. Be careful – by pulling too hard on the string, you may warp the shape of the dreamcatcher.
Loop the string around the entire frame until you reach the top of the hoop where you started. As you do this, go slowly to make sure the loops are evenly spaced. Once you reach the top, loop the string around the hoop next to the starting knot. Pay attention: There should be an odd number of loops.
Then, create the second layer of web. Loop the string around the midpoint of the first line of thread. Using the same technique, loop it around the string and over itself to create a hitch. Continue weaving the thread this way until you reach the top of the hoop.
3. Finish the dreamcatcher by decorating it with your favorite accessories
You can also loop beads into the web. You will need to do this as you make the web. Place a bead on the string before you loop and hitch it to the next string. You can either space them out randomly or create a pattern by placing a bead on every other string.
Continue the weaving until a small circle forms in the middle. As you weave the web, the circle in the middle will get smaller and smaller. Weave the string until only a small circle is left in the middle of the dreamcatcher. Make sure to pull the string tight to secure the web.
Once the circle is small, about the size of a penny or dime, tie a knot around the next string instead of hitching it. Tie a double or triple knot to make sure the string is secure and will not come undone. Then trim off any extra string with scissors.
Cut a piece of suede lace. Tie the loose ends into a knot to make a circle. Secure the lace around the top of the hoop by pushing the knot through the loop. Then pull tight to create the hanging loop.
Finally, you can hang some feathers. Group four to five feathers together. Use a small binder clip to hold them together while you tie and knot a string around the tops of the feathers to secure them. Then tie and knot the string along the bottom of the dream catcher.
My first dreamcatcher
I didn’t have any feathers, unfortunately, so I had to improvise a bit. Even though it is not perfect, I was still very pleased with the final result and proud of myself. It was definitely a fun project that I intend to repeat again soon!