Dreamcatcher. I must admit, until recently, when I thought of dreamcatchers I thought of a hoop with a woven web, feathers and Native American culture. I like the original meaning and look, but there are so many new interpretations of dream catchers. This makes it impossible not to play with different material and create something new.
A few weeks ago I got an invite to my friend Olivia’s birthday getaway and was suddenly in need of a birthday present. I’d wanted to make a dreamcatcher for a while now, so I decided to make one for her birthday. As a trial run you may say.
I let the many pictures of beautiful dreamcatchers on Pinterest inspire me and decided to make one with a branch. As Olivia loves folded origami cranes, there are also cranes.
- hoop (metal or wood)
- branch that fits on the hoop and doesn’t stick out too much
- undyed or white cotton yarn (I used a thicker undyed one as the main yarn and a thin white one)
- strips of white cotton fabric scraps
- beads, buttons etc. in matching colours
- feathers (I used 6) and as many beads with a big enough opening to fit through the feather quills and the yarn
- hot glue gun
- super glue
- 4 paper squares ca. 6×6 cm / 2 ½ x 2 ½″ for the origami cranes
- fabric paint or fabric dye and a container to dip dye the yarn in
- acrylic paint to paint part of the hoop
- invisible thread and sewing needle
1. Cut the thicker cotton yarn into 16 pieces and the thin yarn into 6 pieces each approx. 70 cm / 27 ½″ long. Cut 3 strips off the fabric each also 70 cm / 27 ½″ long.
2. Dilute the fabric paint with water or prepare fabric dye as per instructions. Fold all the pieces of yarn in half and dip the open ends into the liquid, make sure at least 12 cm / 5″ are covered. Let them soak through the night or if you are using dye follow the instructions. Take them out and let dry.
3. Fold four origami cranes. The paper squares used in this tutorial make small cranes, approx. 3cm / 1 ¼″. You find folding instructions here (video and images).
4. Glue the branch to the hoop with hot glue. Secure the branch on two spots with yarn knotted around the branch and hoop. If you want, you can paint parts of the hoop in matching colour.
5. Knot the yarns to the hoop.
6. Put the hoop flat on a table or the floor, so you can place beads, buttons and feathers on the yarn to see where they will look best. Decide where you want to have some colour spots and string the beads and buttons. Secure them, if necessary, with a knot underneath.
7. String the beads for the feathers, apply a bit of super glue on the feather quills and stick them through the beads. Cut off the excess of the quills.
8. Hang the dreamcatcher. Get the feathers out of the way and trim the ends of the yarn in a triangle shape pointing downwards.
9. Glue the origami cranes to the branch with hot glue. If you want you can hang one with invisible thread. Simply thread a piece of invisible thread through a sewing needle and push it through the opening at the bottom of the crane. The needle should exit the crane at the highest point at the back. Knot a bead to the end of the thread to prevent the crane from slipping off. Tie the thread with the crane to the branch.
10. If you want, tie on a piece of yarn to hang your dreamcatcher, otherwise hang it directly on the hoop. Done.
My friend Olivia was very happy about her present and I think the dreamcatcher makes a nice birthday gift. I can’t wait to try all the other ideas…I have these tiny pink feathers that I found here waiting and still a few branches and dip dye…I am pretty sure soon I won’t have to worry about bad dreams anymore. Ever.