Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dream Catcher

The Dream Catcher originated in the Ojibwa Nation and was adopted by the Native Americans of many different nations. Traditionally made on a willow frame with sinew strands, the finished item was hung over the bed and used as a charm to protect sleeping children from nightmares. The dream catcher wasn’t intended to last forever, but to dry out and collapse over time as the child it protected entered adulthood.
The Ojibwa believe that a dream catcher changes peoples’ dreams, allowing the good to be filtered through, and the bad to hang in the net and disappear in the light of day.

To make your own, you will need:
  • A supple piece of wood or branch,
  • about 1m in length
  • 4 yards / 12 feet of wool (or suede)
  • 3 yards / 9 feet of string (or sinew / imitation sinew)
  • Beads
  • Feathers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A Clothes Peg
  • The colour scheme is a personal choice.

  1. Bend the branch around into shape and bind the ends together with a dab of glue and some string.
  2. Cut 8ft of the wool (or suede). Glue one end to the ring and clip in place with the clothes peg until the glue is dry.
  3. Wind the strand around the frame until you reach the starting point, leaving the entire outer ring wrapped neatly before gluing into place; again using the clothes peg to hold it until it dries. Be careful not to twist the thread as it goes round, it must lie flat.
  4. Tie one end of the string (sinew) to the ring and then make nine half hitch knots around the ring, spacing them around ½” to 1” apart. Make the last knot a little closer to the first – this will prevent a large gap forming. Make sure the thread is pulled snugly between the knots.
  5. Make the next row of the web by tying the hitches into the middle of the pre-woven row. Continue weaving in the same way until you have a small hole left in the centre. Once finished, tie a double knot in the cord, add a tiny drop of glue to the knot to give it extra security. When the glue is dry, cut off the remaining thread as close to the knot as possible.
  6. From your remaining wool (suede), cut a 12” piece and fold it in half. Tie a knot in the open end.
  7. At the top of the ring, attach the cord by slipping the loop end through the ring and then around the ring and over the knot. Pull the lacing tight to secure it in place.
  8. Cut three 8” pieces of wool (suede). Tie two of them approximately one third of the way up the ring on each side, use a double knot and a small dab of glue to keep them in place. Slip on the beads in whatever order you’ve chosen, then secure with another knot and spot of glue.
  9. Take the last piece and attach any remaining beads or decorative piece, like a concho to the top middle of the ring.
  10. Finally, push two feathers up inside the beads on each piece of lacing. Glue the feathers if they’re loose.

To make larger sizes:

Follow the same instructions as above, but the materials needed will vary.
12 inch rings needs approx. 7 yards / 21 feet of wool or suede lacing to bind it
9 inch ring – approx 6 yards / 18 feet
6 inch ring – approx 4 yards / 12 feet
Remember that you will need extra suede for the laces and hanger.


  1. I've always wanted one. They bring me peace and closer to the Native American culture

  2. I'm amazed by all the cheyenne and Native american culture. I so want one of these. Hope it's not too difficult to be made :)