How to Make a Traditional Dream Catcher | Dream Catcher Directions

How to Make a Traditional Dream Catcher | Dream Catcher Directions

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.


DIY Dreamcatcher | How To Make A Dream Catcher Tutorial


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 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.


Sale
Make It Real: DIY Dreamcatcher - Purple Pink Blue Butterfly, 175 Piece All-in-One DIY Kit, Tweens & Girls, Bedroom Décor, Arts & Crafts, Make A Beautiful Hanging Bead Dreamcatcher, Kids Ages 8+
  • DIY DREAMCATCHER. This girls’ arts and crafts kit will unleash your tween daughter’s creativity and artistic talents while guiding them through crafting their own beautiful dream catcher!
  • HELPS KIDS DEVELOP REAL WORLD SKILLS. The DIY Dreamcatcher helps young girls develop fine-motor, visual, and general motor skills - all while having a blast and expressing their creativity!
  • EVERYTHING INCLUDED. This wall art kit includes everything your child needs to create a unique piece they’ll be proud of! Includes hoop, threads and ribbons, beautiful beads, butterfly pin, and hanging materials
  • GREAT GIFT IDEA. Make It Real’s developmental toys make great gifts for girls and tweens, helping them to develop skills that will allow them to succeed as the future leaders and makers of tomorrow
  • PERFECT FOR AGES 8+

PowWows.com earns commissoin from Amazon.com


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

 

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Paul G


44 Comments on “How to Make a Traditional Dream Catcher | Dream Catcher Directions”

  • Avatar for Muriel Fite

    Muriel Fite

    says:

    Pendleton

  • Avatar for angie

    angie

    says:

    looking for/at beautiful native american art/crafts

  • Avatar for angie

    angie

    says:

    Looking for/@ indian crafts

  • Avatar for Kenny

    Kenny

    says:

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

    • Avatar for bagwajii

      bagwajii

      says:

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

      • Avatar for Magdalen

        Magdalen

        says:

        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

          says:

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

          • Avatar for Lea Mosley

            Lea Mosley

            says:

            I loved making jewelery and dream catchers at one time in my life it gave me a easy to eat and place to sleep. Now I will make dream catchers with gratitude.
            I wonder how powerful that medicine will continue to be

      • Avatar for Brenda Bennett

        Brenda Bennett

        says:

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

  • Avatar for Patti

    Patti

    says:

    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. 🙂

    • Avatar for Erica Yeltatzie

      Erica Yeltatzie

      says:

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

  • Avatar for Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf

    says:

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

  • Avatar for Fina

    Fina

    says:

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

  • Avatar for Deb in Arizona

    Deb in Arizona

    says:

    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

    • Avatar for 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

  • Avatar for 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

  • Avatar for Naomi

    Naomi

    says:

    I think the stories passed from person to person in a family have great power and fill people with pride. Stories are the backbone of many tribes and clans. I would not assume to know more about someone than they know themselves. I would not deny someone their stories simply because there are no books or papers or lists to prove it. Even sequoia thought written stories were nothing more than “talking leaves”. Dream catchers have stories, songs, prayers, medicine for everyone. Thank you to the original poster for sharing your knowledge.

  • Avatar for Naomi

    Naomi

    says:

    I think the stories passed from person to person in a family have great power and fill people with pride. Stories are the backbone of many tribes and clans. I would not assume to know more about someone than they know themselves. I would deny someone their stories simply because there are no books or papers or lists to prove it. Even sequoia thought written stories were nothing more than “talking leaves”. Dream catchers have stories, songs, prayers, medicine for everyone. Thank you to the original poster for sharing your knowledge.

  • Avatar for Running Doe

    Running Doe

    says:

    wado this is very nice,

    • Avatar for Jeff

      Jeff

      says:

      It’s so funny everyone believeshould they are cherokee if your family is not on rolls and York not in a tribe then your probably not american indian.

      • Avatar for Susan

        Susan

        says:

        Jeff, not to be insulting but i have Cherokee blood as well as Wintu blood. My ancestors are not listed on any of the rolls. My great grandmother was born on the Trail of Tears in Alabama Territory. My great great grandparents managed to escape and travel with their children to Northern California where my great grandmother’s son, my grandfather, married my grandmother, a Wintu Native from Northern California. I can prove it through census reports, etc, but not listed on the rolls. At least i have a degree of blood showing my Wintu blood. My great great grandfather’s headstone says “A Cherokee Father”

        • Avatar for Muriel Fite

          Muriel Fite

          says:

          Love Pendleton’s

  • Avatar for Melinda Cote

    Melinda Cote

    says:

    I was taught by an Abernaki healer that when you are making a dream catcher for someone you know, a prayer for that person should be made with each loop. Also, the dream catcher should be shaken outside every morning to rid the catcher and home of the bad/negative dreams and forces.

  • Hochunkga'winga' (winnebago women)

    says:

    Hello my friend…thank u for your Dream Catcher instructions. I SEEMED TO BE HAVING LARGE KNOT BEGINNINGS
    I WILL TRY YOUR WAY.

  • Avatar for Hello, I am Rebecca and am 1/2 Cherokee. I have dreamcatchersbycherokeewest on facebook

    Hello, I am Rebecca and am 1/2 Cherokee. I have dreamcatchersbycherokeewest on facebook

    says:

    Hello, I am Rebecca and am 1/2 Cherokee. This was a very nice demonstration I have dreamcatchersbycherokeewest on facebook I have sold at pow wows in so. ca. I liked your presentation

  • Avatar for Kim Kiniishokwe

    Kim Kiniishokwe

    says:

    I have been making Dreamcathers for 2 years now. One thing it brings me great peace when I am designing them. I make them out of Red Willow, cut in fall and circled with yarn to keep the shape. Many of my Tribal friends have requested my work, which makes me proud of my heritage. Miigwech (Thank you)

  • Avatar for doloreslucas

    doloreslucas

    says:

    thank you

  • Avatar for doloreslucas

    doloreslucas

    says:

    i love make the dream cathch < s i for got how to put the bead i want to bead around like the pyote

  • Avatar for Christy Link

    Christy Link

    says:

    Thank You for all your instructions for many different things. I have a dream catcher that is so old it is falling to pieces, I will now fix it. Thank You!!!

  • Avatar for tlredneck

    tlredneck

    says:

    dream catcher’s are awsome, wish i knew how to make them.i want to make them for a project.

  • Avatar for anaynomus

    anaynomus

    says:

    I tried making this for my project and they turned out wonderful. Thanks for the instructions

  • Avatar for Robert A. Guzman

    Robert A. Guzman

    says:

    I’ve been looking for instructions on how to make a half moon dream catcher. Do you have any instructions on it?

  • Avatar for lina

    lina

    says:

    my older family has passed. I would like to freshen up on my cherokee language skills any help out there?

  • Avatar for Gay Emmons

    Gay Emmons

    says:

    Thank you so much for the information. My Cherokee heritage becomes more important to me as I start to learn beading and more crafts. Thank you again!!!

    • Avatar for SantaFe Freeman Navarre

      SantaFe Freeman Navarre

      says:

      I Also Native American My GrandMother was A Emmons before She Married I was Amazed to See Your Last Name Because You Don’t See that Name To Often.May I ask What State are You From?I am So Shocked Or What Tribe You are Affiliated With.Thank You

    • Avatar for SantaFe Freeman Navarre

      SantaFe Freeman Navarre

      says:

      Great Site.I Hope You Have Received My Email I sent Earlier About Your Last Name.I would Like to Know More About The Emmons Heritage Any Information Would Be Greatly Appreciated.Thank You

  • Avatar for Dennis Mullins

    Dennis Mullins

    says:

    Thank you for helping me with the Dream catcher.

  • Avatar for Kathy Nienhueser

    Kathy Nienhueser

    says:

    Thank you so much for this site! I have been searching for directions to make dream catchers and couldnt find any I could follow. This one I can actually follow! Again, many thanks, Kathy

  • Avatar for Paul

    Paul

    says:

    My wife, who passed to the spirit world a year and half ago, taught dream catcher making at our house to several in a Native group we belong to. I, unfortunately, was busy supporting the guests and not paying attention to the instruction as I should have. Will try again with the instructions. Well never match her matter of fact talk; teach; make but maybe I can make one that isn’t too awful.

    Wawanon Thank You

    • Avatar for Lene

      Lene

      says:

      Don’t say that, I’m sure you will make something great

    • Avatar for KIM

      KIM

      says:

      Thank you for sharing I come from Australia and have the two most wonderful friends, One is Apache and the other Cherokee. They have shared and taught me so much, I have cried and laughed, mostly learned. I have been beading for 25 years and now with their inspiration and direction make jewelry. I can now go ahead and wire wrap a silver dream catcher ear ring. thank you

    • Avatar for Denielle

      Denielle

      says:

      Awwww so sorry for loosing ur wonderful life she was special that I can tell by the sobredimensionado joy she gave to others by teaching about the dreamcatchers an showing how to make them. I’m sure even if ur dream catcher turned out horrible I am pretty sure your wife would absolutely LOVE IT. That would mean alot to her I’m sure!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Find a Pow Wow
Near you

Search the US & Canada

What to expect
at your first Pow Wow

Sign Up for our Free E-newsletter