How to Make a Dream Catcher – Craft Tutorial

How to Make a Dream Catcher – Craft Tutorial

Posted By Paul G September 7th, 2012 Blog

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

How to Make a Dream Catcher

Photo A

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.

How to Make a Dream Catcher

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.

Related Information – What is a Dream Catcher?

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.

How to Make a Dream Catcher

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.

How to Make a Dream Catcher

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.

How to Make a Dream Catcher

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.

Learn to make more Native American Crafts in our Craft Tutorials.

Copyright: 2005 by Loren Woerpel, Noc Bay Publishing, Inc.

Featured photo by Kate Ter Haar


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Comments

34 thoughts on “How to Make a Dream Catcher – Craft Tutorial

  1. My maternal grandfather was full Cherokee. I only met him when I was a baby but I have lots of pictures of him from the reservation in Tenn. where he was born.
    I have often been saddened to not have any memories of him but feel I have a lot of him in me.
    I am an avid crafter and jewelry maker and used to make dreamcatchers before I had a stroke and RA.
    I came to your site for a refresher and I look forward to making more dreamcatchers.
    I would love to learn more about his tribe, any ideas on how one does that? tyvm awesome site. 🙂

  2. Thank You So Much For sharing! I have been wanting to learn how to make dreamcatchers for my home!

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