Dream catchers were used traditionally by Native Americans, although now they are seen all over the world. They were hung above beds of babies and young children, as a way of catching their bad dreams, but allowing good dreams to pass through then. The bad dreams would be caught in the web like part, but good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper below. They may look complicated, but dream catchers are relatively easier to make. They make a lovely gift or decoration for the home, and can be hung anywhere. They are also a great craft to do with slightly older children (it requires the use of a fine thread and needle, so may not be suitable for younger children). You can make one, or make a few in different colours which can be staggered when hung.
What you need
- Something circular for the main loop of the dream catcher (an old plastic bracelet or anything hollow around that size will work too).
- A fine needle and thread, colour of your choice
- A thicker thread which will be wrapped around the circular object. Cotton thread works best but you can use wool too. You won’t need to thread this through a needle.
- Some feathers or you could also use some old pieces of ribbon. You could even use different coloured thicker bits of thread or wool, bound together.
- If you wish, some beads
How to make
- First of all you need to take the hoop like object and the thicker thread. At a starting point, tie the thicker thread round the outer part of the hoop, then wrap the thread all the way round the hoop, making sure all parts are covered and it is wrapped tightly. Stop when you get back to your starting point. The inside part of the hoop should have nothing just the edges of the hoop being covered.
- Now take your thinner thread and the needle. Choose a starting point and that looping the thread around the hoop, but not in the same way s you did with the ticket thread: keep gaps between each loop, so that you wrap the thread round at about eight or ten different points, until you get back to whet you started. When you get back to your starting point, secure the thread by wrapping round at the same point several times or ring it, cutting off any excess. Now where you made the loops, you will have started a super like we inside the hoop. Choosing any starting point, wrap the thread with the needle around the middle of where you wrapped the previous loop on the thread. Go all the way round so you make the same amount of loss as before. Keep going in this way as you start to build a Web like design on the inside of the hoop, until you get further and further towards the middle of the hoop.
- Once you feel you cannot get another round the hoop with more loops, ensure the last piece of thread is secure. Before doing this, you may wish to add some beads on the final round of making loops so as you are making the last round of loops, thread the beads where you would like them. Of course you can add beads at any point while you are making your loops.
- Now, taking the ticket piece of thread, find a part of the hoop that can be the top. Cut off enough of the ticket thread to make a hanging part. The length will depend on where you want to hang it, but couple double that length. Fold the length in half and tie around the top of your hoop.
- Finally, we need to the attach the feathers. Using the thicker thread cut a piece double the length you would like your feathers to hang down. Find the middle of that thread and at that point tie it to the bottom of the hoop, leaving two strands hanging. Take your feathers, and tie them to the ends of those pieces of thread. You can add more feathers by simply adding more piece of thread.
- You could even go a stage further and take some smaller hoops, thread them with loops in the same way as the main hoop and attach these to the ends of the thread, creating a mini version of the main part.
- Once you have finished your dream catcher, find a safe and suitable place to hang it, either in a bedroom as it would have been traditionally or somewhere where it can be admired.