Dream catchers are a tradition that originated with the Ojibway (Chippewa) Indian tribe. The Ojibway people would form sinew strands into a web and tie them around round or tear dropped shaped frame. They would then hang these above their child’s bed to protect them from nightmares. Legend states that any bad dreams would get caught in the web and the morning sun would burn them away. Traditionally, dream catchers were small, made from sinew and bent wood and had a feather hanging from the netting. Wrapping the frame in leather was also common. During the pan-Indian movement through the 60’s and 70’s Ojibway dream catchers started to become popular amongst other Native American tribes. Today, you can find dream catchers made from a variety of materials and in many different sizes. This article will explain how you can make your own beautiful dream catcher.
For this craft you will need: a wood or metal ring, artificial sinew, pony beads, suede cord, craft feathers, scissors and a hot glue gun.
First you will need to wrap the suede cord around the ring. To do this, use your hot glue gun to secure one end of the cord to the ring. Hold the cord and ring together for a few seconds to set the glue. Continue to wrap the cord tightly around the ring, gluing it every inch or so. Be sure to completely cover the ring with the suede so that there are no bare spots showing through. When you have covered the entire ring, cut off the excess cord and glue the end down.
Then take your sinew and tie one end to the ring. Hold the sinew to the ring approximately one inch from where you tied it on. Loop the strand over the ring and through the length of sinew between the where you tied it on and where you are holding it, knot the sinew again. Repeat this action until you have went all the way around the ring.
After you have went completely around the ring once, continue with a second row. To do this, loop the sinew between the first and second knot that you made in the first row. While forming the second row, continue knotting the sinew between the knots of the first row, being sure to keep the knots at the center of each section so that it all pulls evenly toward the center of the ring. As with the first row, take the second row all the way around the ring. When you have completed the second row, knot the second row into the first one. ( The first row is knotted onto the ring, second row is knotted into the first, third row is knotted into the second and so on) Repeat the steps above for the remaining rows. When you get to the center of the ring and can make no more rows, knot the sinew off and cut off the excess.
Cut of three more pieces of suede cord. Fold each of these peaces of cord in half forming a loop at one end. Fold the looped end of one the pieces over the ring of the dream catcher and then pull the ends over the ring and through the loop and pull tight so that you have two loose pieces of cord hanging from the ring. Repeat this process with the remaining two strands of suede cord, placing each one on the ring on either side of the first strand, equal distance apart.
Place at least two beads on each strand of suede cord. Put a drop of glue near the end of each strand, one at a time. Pull one of the beads down over the glue. Insert the stems of two feathers into the bead. Then place more glue onto the strand around the bead and feather and pull a second bead down over the stems of the feathers. Set the dream catcher aside and allow time for all the glue to dry.
There you have some simple directions for making your very own dream catcher. If you would like, you may also string some beads into the webbing of the dream catcher as you go along. It isn’t hard, just string the beads on wherever you would like between the knots. Once you have mastered the basic dream catcher, you may want to move on to more intricate and complex dream catchers. Have fun and enjoy your new dream catcher!