Dream Catcher II + DIY

dream catcher - flowers with blues, purples and greens

dream catcher – flowers with blues, purples and greens

I have been experimenting making dream catchers, I wrote about another one I made. I also made a dream catcher into a mobile. For the one featured in this post, I expanded with the types of material I used in the tassels. Dream catchers are really quite easy to make once you understand the important components. Here is what I did to make mine if you want to try it yourself sometime:

Frame: One of the most important components is the frame. It should be as close to a perfect circle as you can get because the string weaving depends on the shape of the frame. I used a green branch I cut from a tree. You can also try soaking a branch in water the bathtub or a bucket for a few days if you want, that way you can bend it with a less chance of breaking it. That is what I did with this one.

When you get the branch bent, you want to secure it in it’s shape. Optimally you could soak it in a 5 gallon bucket for so long you can easily bend it into a circle, then empty the bucket of the water, and let it dry in the circle shape. However, I don’t have that much patience so I made the circle shape, carefully bending the branch, and was sure to overlap the two ends by at least 4-5 inches. I then used strong twine or hemp to make a good first couple of wraps and knots.  For the one in the pictures below, to make it more decorative, I used strips of colorful fabric to tightly wrap the intersection of the two branches. I also stuck flowers in it to make it more decorative.

floral crown

floral crown

Some people will use a wooden embroidery hoop, or pre-manufactured metal or wooden hoops – sometimes in the leather-working section of a craft store, but I personally like to make my own.

Stitch: This is the other most important component to the dream catcher. This is a really great visual tutorial with photos and step by step instructions – no need for me to re-invent the wheel. I will, however, point out a few key things to remember when doing the stitch:

  • You want to make sure you space out your first row of stitches around the frame all the same distance – this will make the rest of your stitching balanced and even because everything builds off of this foundation.
  • You want to make sure you keep your stitches tight tight tight, this will help keep the shape even and symmetrical–of course if you want a non-symmetrical, more uneven look to your dream catcher, you would purposely make the spacing of the first stitches different.
  • You want to use strong string or twine because the stitching is under a lot of pressure. The tutorial looks like they use dental floss, I would suggest using twine or hemp, or strong string. I used string that fades to different colors and shades in mine, and I love how it came out.
  • I definitely suggest adding in beads and items to the string, it adds a lot of texture and color.
center seed bead

center seed bead

Tassels are really an add-on decoration, and you can choose to go more traditional like what the Native Americans would do, or you can make it your own. I incorporated the following things into my tassels to add color and texture:

  • string beads on a piece of string, spaced apart a few inches with knots – small beads, big beads, and sequence
  • pieces of fuzzy, multi-colored yarn
  • I braided strands of the same string I used for the inner stitching, and added beads
  • I pulled apart the strands of the string I used for the inner stitching, and added beads
  • I used pieces of fabric from the wrapping I did at the top – and put beads on it, you could also cut the fabric into smaller strands, kind of frayed like
  • for the mobile one, I wrapped string around pieces of beach treasures – sea glass, stones, rocks, and shells – and hung them

 

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