The First Dreamcatchers (a History)
Dreamcatchers originated with Native American (First Nations) tribes. The Ojibwe and Lakota nations were the first known tribes to have dreamcatchers. These dreamcatchers were created by The Spider Woman, who was known to protect the children and babies. When the tribes grew and spread out around North America, The Spider Woman could no longer protect the tribes as much as she wanted to and it was at that point she created the dreamcatcher. The mothers and grandmothers of the tribes then recreated dreamcatchers to protect their families.
Today dreamcatchers still have a sacred meaning and to create one is meant to protect you and your children.
Materials for Making a Bohemian Dreamcatcher
- Metal or plastic hoop. I used galvanized wire I purchased at the dollar store. There are 65′ in the roll enabling me to create many dreamcatchers or use the remainder for other projects.
- Strips of rope, leather, cloth, or string. This will be used to wrap around the outside of the hoop and to make the streamers at the bottom of the dreamcatcher.
- Wooden beads. You can use any substitute here for other beads. I have sometimes made my own beads with paper mache.
- Feathers. I have collected bird feathers in the past and now making a dreamcatcher I can finally use them. You can paint feathers or leave them as is. Most of my feathers come from Seagulls. I also found a package of colored feathers in the dollar store – they are quite beautiful and a great addition to any dreamcatcher.
- Embroidery floss for attaching the feathers.
- Decorations. I often add butterflies or dragonflies to my projects and a dreamcatcher is an ideal place to add these.
- Scissors or cutting tool.
- Glue. Hot glue works well here as it will affix parts of your dreamcatcher without worry about it falling apart.
You will need to set aside a couple of hours to complete this project.
Step 1 – Assemble all of your materials.
Step 2 – If you are using hot glue, plug in your glue gun so it is ready when you finish off the ends.
Step 3 – Prepare the hoop. If you are using galvanized wire you will need to make a circle with the wire and securely close the ends. I twist the metal ends around the outsides to hold it tight. If you have a premade hoop then you are ready to go.
Step 4 – We will be wrapping the material around the hoop. You will need to wrap it tightly so it does not shift and expose the hoop below. When you have finished the wrapping, you will need to glue the ends in place. As I mentioned before, using hot glue is ideal.
Step 5 – Now you will be adding the web to your dreamcatcher. Tie the embroidery floss. Mark 12 spots that are evenly spaced around the outside edge of the hoop. These will be the anchor points for the embroidery floss. Think about making a mark for the hours on a clock.
Step 6 – After you have finished adding the web portion, it is time to add the bottom streamers. The streamers will be added before the beads and decorations. You will wind the floss through itself on the inside of the circle as shown in the image.
The next round you will do the same thing but at every second stop (at the 2,4,6,8,10, and 12 o’clock stops).
Weave the floss through open spaces to the opposite side and work around the hoop until you are happy with your web. Tie off the embroidery thread. This will give you a real Bohemian Dreamcatcher look.
Step 7 – Adding beads and feathers. Once your streamers are in place, add the wooden beads and secure them in place then add the feathers. You will need to poke a hole in the stem of the feather to secure the floss.
Step 8 – Add the streamer for hanging the dreamcatcher.
Step 9 – Add any further decorations you wish to have and your dreamcatcher is complete!