How to Make a Dreamcatcher

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A dreamcatcher is a Native American handmade craft based on a willow hoop (although other materials can be used), on which there is

a loose woven net which is then decorated with various things such as beads, feathers, leather, etc. The traditional use of a dreamcatcher is that of a sort of coping or comforting object for children (sort of like a stuffed animal) because the legend is that the dreamcatcher filters out nightmares and only allows good dreams through, thereby protecting

the child from bad dreams. Consequently, it’s typically hung above the bed. What’s really interesting is that dreamcatchers are made of willow and sinew, materials that were purposely chosen because they would decay after a few years: a dreamcatcher is not meant to last forever but is intended to dry out, decay, and then collapse as the child enters the age of adulthood and no longer needs such childish things.

How to make one

You will need:

  • 1 metal ring (or just about anything else that’ll do: a thin willow branch is the traditional material, grape vines work well, also).
  • Leather
  • Sinew
  • Any decorations you want to use (beads, feathers, etc.)

Here’s what to do:

Additional Resources and Further Reading

For a good book on the subject of Native American crafts and bead work, check out The Complete How-To Book of Indiancraft.

For some excellent instructions with diagrams on how to make a dreamweaver, check out Native Tech’s article here.

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