We’ve put together a little creative project to make your very own dream catcher. You can decorate your dream catcher with Nalu beads and macrame braiding to make yours personal to you. Perhaps you have some beads lying around that you’re not wearing, now’s the time to to create something with them! Here’s a little insight into dream catchers and a guide to making your own dream catcher like the one below.
According to American Indians the conscious mind is influenced by dreams. Dreams are thought to alter personality traits such as confidence, maturity, kindness and loyalty. A dream catcher was believed to help receive good dreams and filter out negative dreams and dark spirits. Dreams were considered to have a purpose. A dream could show future events that could effect an individual or tribe. A newborn child’s name could be pronounced in a dream to spiritual leaders. Spiritual guidance was thought to be passed on through a dream. In order to bring spiritual guidance to an individual they would fast, meditate and pray. Symbols with personal meaning could be seen in a dream and charms were made by Ojibwe to represent and remind them of that symbol. This charm would often be buried in an individual’s grave thinking that it would offer strength for the after life.
Traditionally these protective dream catchers would be given to infants to help protect them from bad dreams. The charm lay above a person’s sleeping area and would take the shape of a spider’s web with the small hole in the center allowing good dreams to pass through. The dream catcher concept would have been passed on to other tribes, such as Lokota who would over time add their own traditions.
Dream catchers imitate a spiders web, due to legend. The hoop of the dream catcher was representative of the circle of life and would often be circular or tear drop shaped to hold the web. The web would catch bad dreams according to Ojibwe legend or good dreams according to Lakota legend. Feathers were added to offer a ladder for the good dreams to pass down the feather to reach the dreamer’s mind. Additions were made over time. Gem stones were attached as feathers became illegal to possess. Arrowheads would add strength and protection to the dreamer. Many beads added would represent all the good dreams that were captured. A single bead added near the centre of the dream catcher would signify the spider that made the web in legend.
What You Will Need To Make Your Dream Catcher
A hoop – This could be made from twigs tied together or any hoop shaped item. We’ve used an embroidery hoop for this tutorial.
Cord of your choice to tie around the hoop. We have used white cord.
Another length of white hemp cord or string.
Feathers. We have used white and blue feathers.
Beads. For this dream catcher we have used Single Fin, Glacier, Polzeath, Treyarnon, Putsborough, Bigbury and Atlantic.
White, teal and turquoise ribbon.
Gluegun or super glue.
Get your hoop and glue one end of the white cord to the hoop. We’ve used a glue gun, but you could use a simple knot to tie on your cord. Wrap the cord around the hoop methodically making sure the cord sits tightly together.
For the spiders web cut a long length of the hemp cord or string and tie a simple knot to the hoop starting anywhere you like.
Next pull the thread a few inches across the hoop. Wrap around the hoop and then pass the thread under and back through the opening and pull tight.
Repeat the process pulling the thread a few inches across again. Keep repeating this process around the hoop until you reach the starting point.
Repeat the process again this time passing the thread back under and through the opening at the mid point of each section.
Continue doing the same, pulling the cord tight until you reach the start again.
Keep repeating the process until you are near the middle and tie a simple double knot to stop the web unravelling.
Now you can tie on your ribbons, lace or even macrame braiding around the base of your dream catcher. See our braiding videos to help with creating macrame braiding.
Attach your feathers by first pushing your Nalu beads onto the end of the feathers. You can then thread through the ends of your lace and ribbon and tie a knot to stop the lace or ribbon slipping back through. Tying an extra piece of lace or ribbon around the top or bottom of the beads gives extra detail.
To make your dream catcher unique you can add whichever beads you’d like to your dream catcher. Be bold with bright coloured beads, cord and feathers or keep the colours muted or of a similer hue for a calmer look. Spacer beads and even silver beads would look great added. Another option to make your dream catcher more beach inspired is to attach shells, sea glass and drift wood. Vintage doilies can also be used by attaching to the center of your dream catcher instead of weaving a web. If you’d like to add some macrame braids head over to our tutorial videos for guidance.
Please share your creations with us.