What is a dreamcatcher?
Dreamcatchers were originally made by the children of the American native Kiowa and Cherokee tribes. Dreamcatchers represent a spider's web with a hole in the centre. The web catches the bad dreams which melt in the sunlight, and the good dreams pass through the centre hole and travel down the feather suspended from the centre.
It's believed that when you make a dreamcatcher, you should clear your thoughts and be at peace, because whatever energy surrounds you will be transferred to the dreamcatcher.
- Wire coathanger
- Thin wire
- Red and black knit fabric (eg, old T-shirts)
- Yellow and turquoise 12-ply wool
- Rubber band
- Decorations: ceramic beads, feathers and a snall piece of broken mirror
- Tools: pliers, scissors, pencil, wool needle
Step 1 Cut and bend the coathanger into a 25cm-diameter circle. Overlap and bind the ends with the wire.
Step 2 Cut a strip each of the black and red fabric, 4cm-wide and 3.5m in length. Snip each strip to measure 2.5m and keep the off-cuts. Starting from the right-hand side of the ring, bind the black fabric in a downward direction around the ring to the halfway point and back again to form a double layer. Knot both ends together and leave them loose. Repeat the process with the red fabric, starting from the bottom left-hand side, and bind in an upward direction and back again. You should now have the black ends on one side and the red ends on the other .
Step 3 Divide the circle into quarters and mark. Wind 9m of wool into a skein (a ball) and secure with a rubber band. To form the web: work from left to right, threading the skein from the front, back over the ring and through the loop as in the diagram. Form four loops in each quarter.
Continue, in this manner, working subsequent rows into the previous one until the circle is almost filled. Thread the wool onto the needle as the circle becomes smaller. The tension should be kept tight throughout. When finished, the centre hole should be about 4cm in diameter. Tie off the end.
Step 4 Cut one 50cm-long strip each from the black and red off-cuts. Fold the strips, leaving one end longer than the other. Loop strips over the bottom of the ring (one to right, one to left of centre). Bring ends through the loops. Thread two to three beads onto each strip. To attach the feathers, tie a knot about 3cm from the ends, arrange a few feathers above the knots and bind tightly with wool. Trim the quill ends of the feathers flush with the binding.
Step 5 Cut one strip of red fabric 40cm long. Fold the strip in half and enclose the mirror in the fold. Tightly bind with wool just under the mirror to hold in place. Holding the mirror in front, loop the ends around a small section in the centre of the web (see pic at top). Leave these ends loose at the front and wrap some wool above the mirror to hold the strip in place. Bind feathers to the ends, adding a few strands of turquiose and yellow wool.
Step 6 To make the hanger, cut a 30cm strip of black fabric and attach in the same way as step 4 at the top of the ring. Thread a bead onto the strip and knot the ends together, leaving them loose.
Tip: The healing powers of a dreamcatcher are said to be greater when it is a gift. Personalise your gift by adding bits and pieces that hold special significance for the recipient.