The Dream catcher now comes in all sizes and a great variety of designs. Depending on the artist making them and how they were taught. These instructions are the most basic of design and materials. We leave it up to you to choose how you want to finish the decoration of your Dream Catcher.
How to Make a Dream Catcher
Photo A shows it finished based on our instructions here.
Many make the hoop out of bent willow which in the northern regions needs to be collected and bent in the spring. These instructions show the alternative of making the Dream Catcher with a metal hoop and wrapping it with a buckskin thong. We are writing for right-handers so left-handers may want to reverse directions when weaving.
Start by smearing a light coat of tacky glue at the start of your thong wrapping and around the hoop. Let it dry until tacky. Begin wrapping as in Figure 1 being careful the thong is tightly wrapped but not overlapped as to make ridges.
Complete all the way around the hoop and then slightly overlap the starting piece of thong. Finish the wrapping with a single half hitch as shown. Now cut off the remainder of the thong. Finish the wrapping with a single half hitch not as shown in Figure 2 and 3.
Do not cut the thong yet. As in Figure 4 and 5, form a hanging loop with the end of the thong then tie around the loop with another half hitch as shown. Now cut off the remainder of the thong.
You are now ready to start the web. Completed it looks like Photo A. For a three inch diameter hoop cut a 2 yard piece of simulated fine sinew.
Start the web by tying a knot at the top of the hoop next to the hanging loop. The entire first row is loosely woven as shown in Figure 6. When using a 3 inch hoop hitch tie the web using only 8 equally spaced connections around the hoop about 1 inch apart. Tie the hitch the same at each intersection of the thread or the hoop as you proceed and as shown in Figure 7. After the 8th hitch on the hoop the next hitch is made at the midpoint of the first loop in the first row as shown in Figure 8.
As you tie these hitches you begin to pull each stitch in the web up snugly but not tight. You continue around the web tying a hitch and pulling tighter on each row until you are down to a small center hole in your web.
At the point you want to quit your web tie a double half hitch knot over the middle of the next section in the web and pull tightly.
On this basic Dream Catcher shown in Figure 9, people are adding a variety of decorations. The original design used a small feather hanging from the bottom of the hoop or from the center of the web. A bead was included in the weave of the web somewhere halfway or close to the center.
A variety of looks can be achieved by varying the number of points you attach the web to the hoop, and the length of the first row of loops in the web. Some people have specific reasons for certain numbers of points in the web. Dream Catchers can be made of other materials such as our Rattan hoop in Photo B.
Our experience is that the beauty of the Dream Catcher comes from its original uncluttered form and notion that we exist in the presence of two worlds, a physical one and a spiritual one.
Copyright: 2005 by Loren Woerpel, Noc Bay Publishing, Inc.