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                              How To Make A Dream Catcher                    

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO GET STARTED

1.  METAL HOOP 12 INCHES TO START WITH.

2.  SPOOL OF LEATHER SUEDE CORD OR HALF  A YARD OF SUEDE CLOTH

3.  FABRIC GLUE

4.  SINEW

5.  FEATHERS

6.  PONY BEADS

7.  A CRYSTAL OR STONE.  (optional)

 
 
Where to buy these things?

Craft stores anywhere should have all that you need.

LET'S GET STARTED
 First of all, as I said, you will need your metal hoop, but there are other things you can use. Metal is the best material for a hoop for it is the strongest. I have known people to use plastic hoops, wood hoops, whatever. The Native Americans used birch.  Today, though, because the dream catcher has become so universal, the Indians use metal, too, among other things. If you want, you can find a tree limb on a birch tree and make a circle out of that. Bend it into about 12 inches and tie it together with sinew. You may want to lighten the color of the wood.  If you do, you can soak it in water with bleach added and come out with a lovely light wood color.

Next, you will need the kind of material you want to wrap around the metal hoop. You can use anything you want: Fabric, ribbon, leather.  Wood, of course, natural wood, needs nothing but the wood to look beautiful.  Many people buy a spool of leather cord.  Spools of suede cord come in all colors, and are rather expensive.

Now, to get started, take your bottle of leather glue or fabric glue, and hold your hoop between your knees and put a little glue on the metal hoop and start to wrap the strip of fabric around the hoop. If you are using strips of fabric you have cut yourself, let them overlap a little bit. If you have bought leather cord, hold the cord in one hand and wrap it tightly, snugly, touching each side as you wrap it, and pass the remaining spool under the hoop as you wrap.

Whatever you do, hold the fabric or cord taunt and as straight as you can as you wrap it. When you are finished, hold the cord or fabric with a clothes pin an inch before completion so what you have already done does not unravel, and spread on more glue. Then finish the wrap and hold it with a clothes pin until it is dried. In a few minutes, you can continue.

Now comes the tough part.  I find that holding the  hoop between your knees works best. Take the sinew, about 5 yards for a 12-inch hoop, and at the top of the hoop, tie a strong knot and let the sinew hang down from the inside. Now, take the other end of your sinew and drop it over the top to the other side, and pass it under the hoop so it crosses the front part of the sinew when you draw it through toward you.

If you don't cross it, you will know, because it won't work. Now, go around the whole hoop doing the same thing. Let your spaces be evenly spaced, about an inch and a half apart on a 12 inch hoop, pulling each loop fairly tight, and when you are almost to the end, leave a space of about a half an inch. In other words, don't complete the weave on the hoop part, itself.

Now, go through the loop that was the first loop you made on the metal, and weave it the same way you did it on the top of the hoop, but this time you are weaving it on the first loop you made.  Go all the way around doing the same weaving, pulling it taunt as you go, and when you get to the end, again, just simply continue weaving.

You will see a pattern begin to form. When you are finished, it will look like an actual spider. As you weave, the spaces will get smaller and smaller. Keep weaving until you have a nice round circle in the middle, not too big, and then tie it off. Look at the dream catcher at the bottom of this page.  You can't really see the hole, but right in the middle there is a hole, and at this point, this is where you tie it off, making  the knot as small as possible.

As you tie it off, put some super glue on the knot so it will not come undone, and cut the tail off. If the knot looks too big, don't worry, this is your first one and you will get better and better as you go along.

Now, cut five strips of cord all the same length, about three feet long. Take the first strip of cord and hang it at the bottom of the hoop so there are two tails hanging down. Take a pony bead  and slide it up over the two tails all the way to the top so it holds the cord on. If you have a difficult time sliding the pony beads up over the cord, it will be easier if you cut pointed edges on the ends of the tails. That will enable you to get the bead through both tails.

If you just feel it's too hard to slide the pony bead up the cord, simply tie it at the top so it stays on the hoop.

Now, count out 12 pony beads and put 6 on one tail and 6 on the other. These pony beads are for holding the feathers on the cord. You are going to divide the pony beads into 3 pairs, evenly spaced from top to bottom. Now take your feathers, 6 in all, put a little glue  on the end of the feather, and slip the feather under the top of two pony beads.

Next, do two more pony beads, and then the next two pony beads.

Now do the second tail.

Congratulations. You have one tail done.  You now have four left to do. Put two more tails left of the center tails and two more tails right of the center, and put the pony beads and feathers on the same way you did the center one. 

At the top of the hoop, tie another strip of cord on it to hang the dream catcher.

If you want, you can leave two tails hanging from where you choose to tie it off to hang on a hook, and put some more pony beads and feathers on the tails the same way you did the others. If you would like to be a little more artistic, you can wrap some sinew around a pretty stone, a fetish of some kind (fish, bird, a special treasure of yours),  and tie it in the webbing.

The Indians loved to hang shells and special treasures on their dream catchers.

A FEW PROBLEMS YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER:

Should you find it difficult to pass the sinew through the webbing because it's so long to draw it through and you find your sinew getting all tangled, try winding it onto a pencil or something skinny, because it can be long and tiring otherwise.

If you have not cut the sinew long enough and  you run out of sinew before you finish the webbing, just tie it off with another piece of sinew, and if you like, you can cover the knot with a special bead so the knot doesn't show, and keep right on going.

Other than those two problems, nothing much beyond that can happen, although I have actually on one occasion had a metal hoop break on me. 

          

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