How to Make a Traditional Dream Catcher | Dream Catcher Directions

How to Make a Traditional Dream Catcher | Dream Catcher Directions

Posted By Paul G September 7th, 2012 Last Updated on: June 2nd, 2020

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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Muriel Fite

Pendleton

[…] Related Article – How to make a Dream Catcher […]

angie

looking for/at beautiful native american art/crafts

angie

Looking for/@ indian crafts

Kenny

I thought there were 13 contact points with the circle, representing 13 moons in a year.

bagwajii

thats the turtle, it has 13 plates on its shell that are in representation of the 13 moons.

Magdalen

Are the amounts of points used for different meanings on dream catchers? You say 13 is for turtle , what about 8 ,9 or really any other number of points? Thank you Magdalen

Ko'ona

5 point ‘star’ dreamcatchers are made for babies they are traditionally made as tear drops representing the fullness of life from beginning to end

Brenda Bennett

I needed this,maybe it could bring joy back to me.

Patti

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. 🙂

Erica Yeltatzie

Thank You I Have Been Doing These Kinda things Go A Long Time Now.

Grey Wolf

Wow, Thanks for this! What a great share my friends. Peace-Grey Wolf

Fina

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

Deb in Arizona

Very nice work! So sorry to hear that your wife has gone on. I’m sure she is proud that you are continuing her work. She will never be forgotten.

I am making an Indian Girl with a Dream Catcher Necklace on her. She is going into a book of instructions on how to make her. I would like permission to use one of your diagrams above in my instructions on how to make the web of the Dream Catcher.

Looking forward to your reply. Thank you in Advance!
Deb in Arizona

Shanna Cuellar

I would really appreciate any crafts on how to make Indian dolls or anything really that is native Indian ,I have made several dream catchers but even tho my family and friends say that they are so beautifully made I myself don’t feel the same But I enjoy making any crafts especially if it’s native Indian, Thank You

flowerstinsonr.r@sympatico.ca

iu found ouT A FEW YEARES AGO THAT. I AM METIS CREE.I HAVE HAD SO MUCH FUN LEARNING ABOUT MY CUL. MY DAUGHTER AND GRANDDAUGHTER ARE JNVOLVED AS WELL. WE MEET ONCE A MONTH FOR DIFFERENT THINGS IE..DANCING SINING STORIES BY THE ELDERS AND WE ALSO LEARN DIFFERENT CRAFTING THINGS. MY BROTHER MAKES THE BEST DREAM CATCHERS. I AM GOING TO SUGGEST THAT AT OUR NEXT MEETING. I HAVE A PAIR OF MOCCASINS ON THE GO. I AM SO INTERESTED WITH EVER ASPECT OF MT CULTURE. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN INTERESTED IN OUR CULTUERS AS WE NEED THEM TO CARRY ON TH DREAM

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