Native American Crafts to Make

Written by erika marie
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Native American Indian tribes traditionally created many items from natural materials for use in ceremonies and for everyday items. When creating Native American craft projects, you will learn not only the process of how to create the handmade item, but also about the cultural and spiritual symbolism of Native Americans as well.

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Native American tribes use rattles as part of both spiritual and social ceremonies. They were traditionally made from turtle shells, rawhide and gourds. Make your own rattle craft using an ornamental gourd and a wood dowel. Dried ornamental gourds can be located at farmer's markets and craft stores. They are typically available locally in the fall season, but can be purchased online year round. Drill a small quarter-inch hole into the bottom of the gourd and scrape out the insides. Fill the gourd with popcorn kernels, using a paper cone if necessary for filling. Place the dowel into the hole, sanding if necessary to make it fit, and adding glue around the edge to secure it. Paint your rattle using acrylic paints in a Native American design. Wrap the dowel with flat leather cording to create a more authentic appearance.


Moccasins are traditional Native American shoes, made of leather and rawhide soles. Make your own moccasins with either a kit or a pattern. Purchase moccasin craft kits online that come with all the supplies you need and instructions to make moccasins in your choice of sizes. Most craft kits come pre-cut with pre-punched holes for lacing the shoes together. There are also patterns available for purchase or free download online. When using a pattern to construct your moccasin, you will have to purchase supplies separately.

Dream Catcher

Native Americans believe the web in dream catchers catches bad dreams and protects the sleeper, while leting good dreams pass through. Native American and spiritual stores online sell dream catcher kits. The kits come with all the supplies you need and detailed instructions for assembly. A large variety of styles and colours are available in kits, including kits for children. To create a more personal dream catcher without a kit, you will need a 15-inch metal ring, 3 yards of imitation sinew, 4 yards of one-eighth-inch suede lacing, crow beads and feathers. Wrap the suede lacing around the ring and use the sinew to create the web. Use beads and feathers for decoration.

Medicine Wheel

Medicine wheels are spiritual tools that represent balance and harmony, with the circle representing the centre of the universe and spokes of the circle representing the elements of the earth. A simple medicine wheel craft uses an old bracelet, two flat sticks and white, yellow, red and black strings. The bracelet is your circle, and the two flat sticks are secured to form the centre cross. According to an article called "The Medicine Wheel" on the Spiritual Network website, element colours include white to represent earth, yellow to represent air, red to represent fire and black to represent water. Begin wrapping the white string tightly, a quarter of the way around the circle. Tie the flat wood sticks to form the cross onto the inside of the wheel, where the colours intersect. Finish off the white string and begin to wrap the yellow string, the red string and finally the black string.

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