Dreamcatchers originated with the Native Americans, became popular with the hippies of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and are now loved by just about everyone everywhere.
Have you heard the story behind the dreamcatchers?
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.
So when my daughter started getting bad dreams at night, we made her a little DIY dreamcatcher to help her sleep. She is convinced it works, and only has bad dreams when she is sleeping in a different bed without her dreamcatcher. (We may have to make a travel dreamcatcher soon!) She loves hers so much, that we recently made another one for her little sister’s upcoming birthday.
How to Make a DIY Dreamcatcher
These DIY dreamcatchers are quite easy to make, but difficult to explain. The photos will likely help you much more than the written instructions. I have made 4 of these little dreamcatchers, and every one of them has turned out significantly different. I love them all, but couldn’t exactly replicate one if I tried. So embrace the personality of your own little DIY dreamcatcher.
You Will Need:
- 5″ metal hoop
- 2.5 yards suede lace
- 3 feathers with loop for hanging
- 1 skein embroidery floss
- natural gemstone beads (I used 4mm Amazonite beads)
- optional – big eye needles for threading the beads
A note on choosing gemstones: For this DIY dreamcatcher I chose to use Amazonite, because they are thought to dispel negative feelings, aggravation, worries and fears, and soothe and calm the mind. These properties seem ideal to prevent bad dreams. But you can choose whichever gemstone resonates with you. Other gemstones to use include Amethyst or Selenite, which have soothing and calming properties that help promote sleep.
- Start wrapping the suede lace around the metal hoop, leaving a tail of about 6 inches at the top of the hoop.
- Continue wrapping the suede lace around the metal hoop, trying to keep it as tight and close together as possible.
- Once you get to the end, nestle the suede lace so that there is no metal showing. Both tails should be pointing up.
- Tie a tight knot at the base of the tails, right at the top of the hoop. Tie another knot at the ends of the tails. This will be used to hang the dreamcatcher.
- Tie one end of the embroidery floss around the suede lace knot at the top of the dreamcatcher.
- Bring the embroidery floss around through the inside of the hoop, over the top of the hoop, and back through the loop just made by the embroidery floss. (See the photos for clarification)
- Continue this motion around the hoop, until you have wrapped it around the hoop 12 times and are back at the top. Keep some slack in the embroidery floss.
- Do the same thing again around the hoop, but instead of wrapping around the outside of the hoop, you will wrap around the middle of the embroidery floss loop.
- Keep wrapping around and around, pulling a little tighter with each pass around. Add in the gemstones beads at any point during this process. (Depending on the size of the hole in your gemstone beads, you may need to use a needle to thread them onto the embroidery floss.)
- Once you have gone around as much as you want, pull the end of the embroidery floss to tighten the web and tie with a secure knot.
- Thread the embroidery floss through the loops at the top of the feathers. (Or tie them securely if your feathers don’t have loops) The add as many beads and you like on each string.
- Tie the feathers and beads onto the dreamcatcher loop evenly along the bottom.
Customize Your DIY Dreamcatcher
The customization possibilities for this DIY dreamcatcher are endless. A few of the ways you can customize your dreamcatcher:
- Use a bigger (or smaller) hoop.
- Choose embroidery floss to match the colors in your room (or your baby’s nursery).
- Use a different color natural suede lace.
- Instead of wrapping the embroidery floss around the hoop 12 times (in step 7) wrap it just 8 times.
- Choose natural gemstone beads with properties that resonate with you.
- Add ribbons, yarn, or string to the bottom of the dreamcatcher, instead of or in addition to the feathers.
Make a DIY Dreamcatcher Craft Kit
Sometimes gathering the materials, instructions, and inspiration for a DIY project is too overwhelming. Having everything all wrapped up nicely would be such a nice treat!
Package up all of the materials to make a DIY dreamcatcher in a muslin drawstring bag, add a link to this post, and you have the perfect craft kit gift.
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