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.
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.
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