How to make a dreamcatcher

At the craft store, pick up a pack of feathers, some leather stripping, beads, and a metal ring. The metal rings come in various sizes. They are generally gold in color and are made from brass or another type of metal. For a more authentic look, forget the ring and instead, weave thin branches together to form a circle. The feathers needed can be purchased by the bag and can be a single color, like white or an assortment of colors.

For the beads, choose something with a Native American look, and if there are none available, select a solid color, like turquoise or black. Make sure the holes of the beads are large enough for 2 strands of leather strips to pass through easily. As for the leather strips, they can be found wrapped on a flat or a spool, and usually in several different shades of brown or black. Also available are small pieces of leather that can be used to cut out a circle or a steelhead. In addition, you might need a spool of brown or black thread and a hot glue gun, or fabric glue.

There are many different patterns you can use to make your dreamcatcher. One popular style begins by cutting an 8″ piece of leather stripping to make the dreamcatcher hanger. Then place a small amount of hot glue on the end of the leather stripping, and tightly wrap the leather around the ring itself until almost the entire ring is covered with the strips. Just before finishing, attach your hanger and continue wrapping the rest of the strip around the ring, covering where the hanger has been attached.

Cut and glue the end of the leather strip at the top. Next, begin wrapping the thread around the entire ring, starting from the top, go to the bottom, then come up and go one-quarter inch away from the first thread and back down to a quarter-inch from the bottom thread and so on. Continue doing this all the way around the ring. It should now resemble a ring with a spider web in the middle.

At the top of the dreamcatcher, glue a large bead just where the hanger connects to the ring. Fill one half of the hole in the bead with glue, then insert 2 or 3 feathers. On the other side of the bead, do the same. You can choose long feathers which stick straight out if you want the project to be broad or short feathers that curve downwards. Choose one color of feathers or a variety.

A different type of dreamcatcher is made by cutting a circle of leather the size of the ring, then another, 2″ larger than the ring. Cut out the large circle, then turn it over to the wrong side. Draw a circle around the ring. Place glue on the drawn circle, then lay ring down in the glue. Let dry. Next, smear glue on the leather portion outside of the ring. Tightly wrap the leather up and over the ring, using clothespins to secure until dry.

Cut 3 – 6″ leather strips and 1 – 8″ strip. With the wrong side of the dreamcatcher facing you, glue the first 6″ strip at the exact middle of the bottom of the dreamcatcher. For the other 2 – 6″ strips, glue one on each side of the project. The 8″ strip is folded in half, then glued to the center top of the dreamcatcher. Take the other leather circle and smear glue over the entire back surface. Smooth circle into the center of the back of the ring. Now, turn the dreamcatcher to the front to face you and slide a bead onto the center strip and both side strips. Use a bead with a large hole, such as a wooden bead. Slide each up to the ring as far as it will go, leaving the remainder of the leather strips hanging.

Shoot enough glue into each bead hole to fill half the hole. If using hot glue, quickly slide the quills of the feathers into the hole. Perform this process on the bottom strand and side strands. If using fabric glue, leave the project laying flat until glue is completely dry. With the remaining leather strip which was left hanging, repeat the above process of bead, glue, feather. For the top, glue a large, long bead with the holes of bead to the sides. Insert glue and then feathers into each hole. If desired, a steelhead or spearhead can be cut from a different shade of leather to glue onto the front of the dreamcatcher. Outline in fabric paint, if desired.

Other dreamcatchers can be made by wrapping yarn around the ring like a circular web, placing a small dot of glue where each strand meets the brass. Use clothespins to hold in place, if necessary. Any time of thrad, thin fabric strips or cording can be used in place of the yarn for different looks. A concho can be purchased to place in the center of the web. Arrange feathers any way you desire, with quills pointing towards the center of the web. Then glue concho over the top of the quills. Attach hanger and bead with feathers, if desired. If no conchos are available, use a bongo drum rubber stamp or some other embellishment.

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