Native Americans once hung dream catchers over sleeping children to prevent nightmares. Legend has it that the bad dreams would get tangled in the web and the good dreams would drip down the feathers into the child’s head. You don’t have to believe in the powers of the dream catcher to appreciate its beauty. The design can be used in various Native American inspired craft projects.
Make a dream catcher to hang in your room over your bed. Traditionally a willow hoop is used, but you can start with any solid ring shape, such as an embroidery hoop or wire wreath form. Wrap yarn, ribbon or leather cord around the edges of the entire ring to cover it if you don't like the look of it. Tie a piece of yarn around one point on the ring, then stretch the yarn across the wreath to the other side and tie it again. Stretch the yarn back across, an inch or two away from the first knot, and tie it once again. Keep going back and forth, tying it from side to side, to create a weblike weave in the centre. If you like, you can string on a bead every now and then to be the "spiders" on the web. When you like the design, tie it and cut off the excess string. Cut three more lengths of string. Glue feathers to one end of each piece. Slide beads onto each of the three pieces of yarn for decoration. Tie each piece around the bottom edges of the ring so the feathers and beads dangle below the dream catcher. Tie a yarn loop to the top to hang the dream catcher.
Dream Catcher Jewelry
Dream catcher jewellery may not be used in the traditional way, but it is pretty to wear or give as a gift. Use a plain metal key ring for the hoop and wrap it with yarn. Tie a piece of yarn to one end. Pull the yarn across to the other side, tie it, then to a different space across the ring and tie it. Slide a bead onto the yarn to be the spider. Continue criss-crossing the yarn until you are satisfied with the weave. Glue some feathers to the end of another length of yarn, slide beads on it and tie it to the bottom of the dream catcher. Hang it from a silk cord to make it a necklace, or make two small ones and attach them to wire earring hooks, available in the jewellery-making section of the craft store.
Dream Catcher Name Plate
Hang a rustic-looking dream catcher name plate on a child's bedroom door. Start with a grapevine wreath. Cut a circular piece of craft foam slightly smaller than the inner circle of the wreath. Thread one end of a long piece of cotton string on a large sewing needle and tie the other end of the string to the wreath. Push the needle through the craft foam, near the edge, and loop the string back around the wreath. Keeping the foam centred in the wreath, keep pushing the needle through around the edges of the foam and looping back around the wreath so that the foam is suspended in the weave. Add beads if desired, and tie strings with beads and feathers from the bottom of the wreath for decoration. Write the child's name across the foam with a permanent marker or acrylic paint pen.
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