Native Americans (Ojibwa) believe that night conjures both good and bad dreams, and so they hang a dream catcher above the place where they sleep so it can catch the dreams as they drift by. They believe that good dreams, knowing their way, pass through the opening in the centre of the webbing, while the bad dreams, not knowing their way, are caught in the webbing and destroyed at first light.
Over the years, many other tribes and natives have incorporated dream catchers into their culture. Although the designs and legends of dream catchers differ slightly, the underlying meaning and symbolism is universal across cultures and language barriers; after all, everybody dreams.
What you will need:
4 inch brass ring or equivalent circular material – you can buy a metal ring for around £1.50 in various sizes, and most craft stores should stock them. Alternatively you can create a donut shape out of cardboard and apply the same process at a lower cost. Or, you can purchase a lampshade ring around 5 inches for less than £1 here.
sinew or wax thread
Take the brass ring (or circular equivalent) and about 5 feet of sinew. Begin by tying a square knot and space loops around the ring, ensuring that you keep them tight as you go along. Continue all the way around the ring and tie off with the original knot.
Now continue going around in the same fashion, but loop around the string so you are gradually working your way towards the middle. Always remember to keep your loops tight as you go. You can add beads sparingly wherever you like as you get closer to the middle. Then, when you are close to the middle, tie off the sinew with a square knot and cut the remaining strand off.
You should now be left with a webbed frame from which to suspend the decorative strands for your dream catcher.
Your choice of decoration may vary depending on the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve, however beads and feathers work best to achieve that authentic style. Cut the required length of leather lace to wrap around the brass ring and continue to wrap all around, leaving a length on the end to hang down. Add beads as you desire, using glue.
Tie further lengths of lace around the bottom half of the circle and suspend like tentacles, if you wish. Feel free to add beads and feathers to these as and where you like. Finally, in order to hang your dream catcher, braid some sinew or use more lace and tie centrally around the top of the circle and loop.
Note: Folklore suggests that if possible, hang your dream catcher close to your bed to ensure any bad dreams are banished for good.