A dreamcatcher is a handmade object based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with sacred items such as feathers and beads.
When dreamcatchers were originally made, the Ojibwe people used willow hoops and sinew or cordage made from plants. The shape of the dreamcatcher is a circle because it represents how giizis – the sun, moon, month – travel each day across the sky.
The Ojibwe people have an ancient legend about the origin of the dreamcatcher. Storytellers speak of the Spider Woman, known as Asibikaashi; she took care of the children and the people on the land. Eventually, the Ojibwe Nation spread to the corners of North America and it became difficult for Asibikaashi to reach all the children. So the mothers and grandmothers would weave magical webs for the children, using willow hoops and sinew, or cordage made from plants. The dreamcatchers would filter out all bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter our mind. Once the sun rises, all bad dreams just disappear. © Wikipedia
These being said, I would like to share with you my experience of making such a wonderful object, which is not only a talisman but also a beautiful decoration for houses and gardens.
First of all you have to gather the materials you want to work with.
I decided that my dreamcatcher has to be ivory, and I started to look for yarn, ribbons, fabrics, beads and other accessories that can be combined with my piece of lace.
Make the basis. The basis or other said the hoop, I made from a plastic flower’s stem. Hoops are usually made from natural dried materials such as twigs. But, knowing that i want to use quartz and other heavy beads, I took the plastic stalk so that it can be tough enough to hold the structure. Anyway it’s good to reuse, recycle and reduce materials. These are three great ways we can eliminate waste, protect our environment, save money and create beautiful things. : )
If you don’t have a plastic flower stem, it’s not a problem. You can use dried red willow, grapevine, or wire for example. As you can see from the images below, I had to make a hole in the stem, so I can unite the ends perfectly. I glued the thinner end with some polyester wadding, let it dry, then glued it again and sticked it in the whole.
Wrap the hoop. You can wrap your hoop with yarn, leather, ribbon or string if you want. I wrapped mine with cotton yarn. Glue the end of the yarn to the base.Create the dreamcatcher’s web. If you have a ready lace, as in my case, then place it in the middle of the hoop and try to catch up with the help of a crochet, lace edges with the hoop. See the images below. Continue making this until you reach the beginning. After you finished this step, you can manipulate the web pattern as you wish, using a needle and thread. Choose decorative elements. The inner side of the lace and the web itself, you can decorate with beads, sequins and other materials you like or have. As hanging elements you can use feathers, yarn, ribbons, fabric, beads etc.
The oldest dream catchers did not have decorative features, but in more recent years feathers and beads have been woven into the web to represent different elements of life.
A hanging feather is a symbol of air, which we cannot live without. It is said that the stirring of a dream catcher’s feather means that a dream has passed through the circle. Feathers from owls, which represent wisdom, and eagles, which represent courage, have been commonly used, but it is now illegal to use feathers from these endangered birds. Faux feathers may be used in their place.
Gemstones, or faux gemstone beads, may be used to represent the four directions: north, south, east and west. These beads can be strung between the weaving.
Choose colors and stones that have personal meaning to you.
I’ve chosen seed beads, glass beads, wooden beads and beans. But the most important materials I used in making this dreamcatcher are the smokey and clear quartz. Smokey quartz is nature’s stone of endurance. Clear Quartz is known as the “master healer” and will amplify energy and thought.You can also use dried or artificial flowers to decorate the hoop. It gives a touch of charm to the dreamcatcher. As I said before, I usually try to work with materials I find or remain from other craft projects. I found a flower which was quite big and did not look good by itself on the hoop, so I decided to unfold it in three smaller flowers. I did the same with the leaves. Cut them in smaller pieces. After that I painted it, so that it can look better on my project and afterwards stitched the petals together to form the shape of the flowers.Add hanging elements. If anyone can improvise and create textile or yarn feather, then why to pluck birds feathers? : ) From the materials I had, I made my own feathers. Hope you like this technique and try it as well.For the hanging elements to look better, add different details. From strips of textile, thread to the strands of beads, shells, etc.Finish the dreamcatcher. Place the flowers in the place you want them to be, and stitch them. You can also glue them. On the upper side of the dreamcatcher, right in the middle add a short rope with a knot or crochet it, so that you can hang your dreamcatcher anywhere you want. Put your wonderful dreamcatcher in the living room to create more harmony in the family for example, or put it in your bedroom to bring freshness and light.Thank you very much for your attention. Hope you like my tutorial. If you do, please feel free to share it with your friends.
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