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What is known today as a dream-catcher has originated in the middle of Ojibwe people that used to wove these mesmerizing magical webs out of hoops and sinew. The inner circle represents the travel of giiis, the sun, on the sky. During the night, the center entitled bawedjige is allowing only good dreams to pass through. Bawedjigewin, bad dreams will be caught in the web and they will perish at the first light of morning.
Further on you will learn how to make a dreamcatcher ; a tutorial expressed in two graphic ways, one that portrays the actual making of the dream-catcher and a second option illustrated in the artwork below, both options follow the same chain of thought so it is up to you to choose which one suits your needs better. These instructions are guiding you through basics, allowing you to get creative and materialize even greater designs as you progress along. High end dream-catchers realized by DIY professionals in the Etsy network have also been featured after the tutorial.
Note that these designs are here to feed your imagination and to serve as a starting point in your DIY project. You can go ahead and use any decor pieces you have at hand to personalize your dreamcatcher. Craft away!
Prepare the materials for the Dreamcatcher
Materials used for hoop
Purchase approximately 72 inches (2 meters) of willow or grapevine this will dress the hoop in a graphic manner. You can also use a metal or wooden hoop for convinience but the result will be more artificial. Choose one item between 3 and 8 inches (7.5 and 20.5 centimeters) in diameter.
Find some suede lacing
This lacing will be used to wrap the entire hoop. Buckskin or other leathers are commonly used. In width this piece is no greater than a shoelace usually and in length it should be eight times the hoop that you will make next. When suede lacing is not at your grasp you can use other natural looking materials like ribbon or string; embroidery thread is quite often used.
Choose a type and color of string
The string chosen will be used to create the hoop and the dream catcher`s web. This should be quite strong whilst being thin. You can use some waxed nylon string or a simulated sinew. The color of the string is usually clear or white but you can always use something bold and colorful. The length of the string should be ten times the length of the hoop realized.
The original dream-catchers featured no decorative items yet in the last few years feathers and beads have been woven on the web supposedly representing different elements of life. Graphic feathers from owls which do represent wisdom and feathers from eagles that do represent courage have been commonly used yet today is illegal to use feathers from endangered birds so make sure you use something a little more domestic. Faux gemstone beads are used quite often to represent the four directions north, south, east and west. These are also easy to implement in the weaving. It is recommended to use colors and decorative items that do have a meaning for you.
realizing the Hoop
Shape the hoop
Plant the willow or grapevine into a bowl that contains warm water and let it soak for half an hour. This will allow you to bend it beyond the breaking point and shape into a circle by making several loops that will strengthen the hoop. Use a twist tie to secure the hoop in tree places ensuring that it will maintain its shape when it dries. Put the hoop under some heavy books to ensure that it dries completely flat .
Wrap the hoop
Weave the actual web
Things are starting to take shape and we begin to weave the first row. Start by tying one end in a knot at the base of the hanging loop. Work clockwise and stretch the strong to a spot a few inches down the hoop and loop it around. Next stretch the string again a few cm to the right and repeat the procedure. Do your best to make these jumps equally. For a traditional hoop of 7.6cm or 3 inches the traditional method is to make 8 jumps along the hoop. You can of course get creative and do as many hoops as you like. Also keep in mind that the looped peaks should be slightly loose allowing you to tight it further on as you continue weaving.
Finalize the Dreamcatcher
Secure the web
When you have finally reached the tiny circle in the middle you should tie the end of thread over the place where you have made the final hitche with caution. If you fail to secure this point the entire dream catcher might come undone.
add a hanging decorative item
Here you can add a few ornamental feathers or tailored ensembles to accentuate the vertical dimension of the dreamcatcher in a beautiful manner. Make sure that you use a double knot here as well as this point will increase the weight of your creation. Here you can add beads to the string at either end to beautify the end result. You can use heavier items to make sure that the dreamcatcher stays perfectly still and vertical when hanged.
hang your beautiful dreamcatcher
Now that you have learned How to Make a Dream-catcher Tutorial we invite you on the next page to feed your imagination with the works of DIY professionals.