If you’re done with making your macrame hammock, then we have another really cool project for you! Have you heard about dreamcatchers? Women in Native American tribes originally made them from willow hoops and decorated them with feathers and beads. But, contrary to popular belief, dreamcatchers (asabikeshiinh in Ojibwe) don’t just work to catch bad dreams. In the First Nature Cultures, it was a protective charm for infants. Years later, dreamcatchers hit the spotlight again thanks to the hippies, and they’ve been a part of popular culture since then. It’s not difficult to see why these charms are so popular.
There’s something inherently beautiful about them – from the idea that they help children with good dreams to their construction and design. If you’re a part of the dreamcatcher fan club like we are, here’s some news to perk you up. Our article contains a comprehensive tutorial on how to make a DIY dreamcatcher. We’ve covered everything – from materials to instructions, and of course, helpful pointers to up your decorating skills.
Table of Contents
The materials that you’ll need
Making your own dreamcatcher is easier than you think. But before we move on to the instructions, let’s quickly run over the materials you’ll need so you can update your craft supplies accordingly. Ready? Let’s go!
- Metal or wooden hoop measuring 13cm
- 2.3 metres Buckskin Suede lace (or leather lace)
- 1.8 metres of waxed nylon string or silk thread (for the webbing)
- Decorative items such as ribbons, glass or wooden beads, feathers, tassels, gemstones, etc.
- Binder clips
- Glue gun or craft glue
Wrapping the hoop step-by-step
For ease of navigation, we’ve formatted this article a little different than usual. We’ve divided the dreamcatcher tutorial into three main categories. As you can see from the heading, the first part of the DIY dreamcatcher guide is – wrapping the hoop and making it ready to create the web. Here’s how.
Grab your metal or wooden hoop and make a 1.3cm thick line of glue on its topside. Next, start wrapping the buckskin suede lace around the glued side of the hoop. Make sure to start rolling the lace around the hoop, beginning with one of its edges. That way, there won’t be any visible breaks in your looping.
Once you run out of the glued space, spread a little more glue and continue the wrapping process until you’ve covered the entire hoop. If you feel there’s not enough glue for the lace to cling to the hoop surface securely – feel free to add a thicker application of glue.
As soon as you’re done wrapping a small portion, add an adequately-sized binder clip over it to ensure the wrapping doesn’t loosen and reveal gaps. Also, it’s best to avoid double or triple-wrapping the hoop to ensure your wall hanging has a clean finish.
Once you’ve managed to wrap the entire hoop, make sure the binder clips are placed all over the hoop at even intervals. Set aside to dry completely.
Pro tip: If you’re having difficulty finding a wooden or metal hoop, try using an embroidery hoop instead.
Weaving the web the right way
After covering your hoop with the lace or ribbon of choice, it’s essential you allow the glue to dry properly. You don’t want the lace coming loose when you’re in the middle of working on the web. Also, note that it’s best to pick a string that’s both pliable and sturdy. That means you can also opt for a hemp cord if you’re not a big fan of nylon strings.
Home decor always plays a role in DIY craft projects. If you have a colour scheme in mind for the catcher wall hanging, make sure you pick the right colour of string from the get-go. If unsure, go for neutral colours and pair them with matching macrame beads for a brilliant look. However, if you’re making one for your eight year old – make sure to incorporate age-appropriate colours and themes.
Hint: Unicorns are often a big hit with most young ones.
With all that out of the way, let’s continue with our instructions. Go through the following steps for weaving your catcher web the right way.
Start by tying one end of the 1.8 meter-long string at the top of the dreamcatcher hoop. Ensure you tie a double knot to keep the string in place as you work to create the web.
Next, pull the string to the right of the hoop until it’s extended about 5cm. Wind the string around the spot twice to fasten it securely. Congratulations, you’ve just made the first thread on your web. Remember to keep the tension of the string snug – too tight, and you may ruin the shape of your catcher, and too loose may result in a wilting web.
Repeat the looping steps in a clockwise fashion until you reach your starting spot. As you wind the string around the hoop, make sure your 5cm measurements are on point to create an even look. At the end of the winding exercise, count to ensure you’re left with an odd amount of loops.
To create the second layer of the web, start at the top of the hoop and loop the string at the midway point of the first thread. Continue repeating this step for all the threads in the first line and ensure you move in a clockwise movement. This is also a good time to add beads to the catcher (refer to step five of the next section).
Once the second layer of the web is complete – start working on the third layer by wrapping the string around the middle of the first thread of the second layer. Continue to weave and loop the string around the middle of all the threads in the second layer. Repeat this weaving and layering exercise until a small circle (the size of a penny) appears in the middle of the catcher.
To close off the web, tie a knot around the next string instead of winding it. We recommend a double knot at least to ensure the web is secure enough to hold the weight of any embellishments you plan on adding. If there’s some extra string left, trim it off with scissors for a clean finish.
Decorating and adding the final touches
This section is completely devoted to making your catcher ready with creative decorative techniques and craft ideas. So, let’s get to it without wasting any more time.
- Macrame wall decorations need a hanging loop before serving their function, and dreamcatchers aren’t any different. You’ll need around 13cm of lace for a hanging loop.
- Tie both ends of the lace together to create an enclosed circle, and don’t forget to double knot. Slide both sides of the secured lace at either the top or the bottom of the dream catcher, lift the loop a little on one side and push the knot between it to create a fastening. Once the hanging loop is secured to the catcher, pull on it to make a snug fit. If you’re partial to metal rings for hanging, you can secure one to the catcher with the help of some lace or a needle and thread.
- Slide a glass or macrame bead through the hanging loop to make it look more attractive.
- Arrange a few paper plates on your workstation to hold the different types of beads, ribbons, or other decorative items you have in mind. Macrame and crochet beads are making a come-back in wall hangings, so you can choose to incorporate some in your catcher if you’d like.
- You can add beads when you’re working on the web by adding a bead to the string before you loop and fasten it. This method ensures the decorations appear to be a part of the catcher instead of an afterthought. Add as many beads as you’re comfortable with, some ribbons to the end of the catcher, and you’re done!
Be it doily-inspired webbing or a string and bead mesh – catchers can liven up the ambience of any room. Plus, they’re easy to make and barely take up any time – which is why we’re hoping you’re definitely going to turn to this project in your free time! However, if you’re a little iffy about the amount of time you can devote to this DIY craft project – don’t worry. You can always rely on a dreamcatcher craft kit that comes equipped with materials and instructions. We recommend that you give it a try tough! You’re going to love it!