Do it yourself

The dreamcatcher is a beautiful artifact, having roots in Native American history and culture. Traditionally, dreamcatchers were made by using a ring of willow as a frame and sinew for the inner web, but today various types of dreamcatchers are found, some using wooden rings and colored thread instead. The use of colorful beads and feathers in dreamcatchers has persisted, however, giving them an interesting and attractive look.

According to Native American legend, the dreamcatcher is hung over the bed of a sleeping child to ward off nightmares. The good dreams are supposed to enter through the center of the dreamcatcher, while the bad dreams get caught in the dreamcatcher’s web and disappear at dawn. The dreamcatcher, thus, is an intriguing object, one that is perfect as a gift or even as a decorative piece to hang at your window.

Dreamcatchers can be made with just a few simple tools: a wooden ring, colorful thread and beads, glue, feathers, and some creativity. The first step is to wrap thread around the rim of the ring to cover the color of the wood. For a more interesting design, alternate the color of thread that you use so that the final product is a multicolored ring. Once you’re done winding the thread around the rim, make sure you tie a knot and glue the end to the rim so that the thread doesn’t unravel.

The next step is to begin creating the web that fills the center of the ring. It is recommended that you use a needle to manipulate the thread while making the web, as it easier than doing it by hand. For this, you need to take a very long piece of thread (as the entire web will be created out of a single piece) and knot a loop on one end; the length of the thread will vary depending on the size of the ring and the intricacy of the web. Once finished, the dreamcatcher will hang from this loop. Beginning with the end with the loop, knot the thread onto the ring.

From this point onwards, create the web by repeating a standard stitch. Place the thread on top of a portion of the rim a few inches away from where the dreamcatcher will hang. Then, move the thread behind the rim and bring it in front to create a loop around the rim. Make sure the loop is not too tight and tie a knot to secure it. Continue to loop and knot all the way around the rim until you have completed a circle. The ring should have many loops of thread knotted along its rim, with lengths of thread stretched taut between each knot.

Make the next rounds of stitches not on the rim, but on the lengths of thread between the knots. The thread will now be looped around these lengths, knotted at each length’s center. When you make a knot, the length of thread will bend slightly towards the center of the ring, forming a distinct diamond-like pattern. This is the web beginning to emerge. While you are continuing to loop and knot, you can string beads on the thread at regular intervals to create a pattern on the web.

As you continue, you will have less and less space to tie your knots. When you find it too tight to make a knot, your dreamcatcher will still have a small hole of space left at the center. At this point, string a large bead that fits in the hole and tie a knot to secure it in place. Dab a bit of strong glue on the knot to make sure it doesn’t loosen.

Now that the web of the dreamcatcher is ready, the only thing left to do is to hang feathers from the bottom of the ring. To do this, loop a couple of threads around the bottom rim and tie their ends around the feathers. Make sure you add some glue to these knots as well. While hanging the feathers, you can be creative by using different colors of thread or by braiding the threads together and then tying the end of the braid around the feathers. You can also string beads in between the feathers and the ring to make it colorful, or make multiple braids with feathers hanging at the end. Some dreamcatchers have a long braid at the center, and two short ones flanking the sides.

Once you’re done making your dreamcatcher, hang it up close to your bed. You can now happily kiss those nightmares goodbye and welcome some peaceful sleep.