Ojibwa (Chippewa) Native Americans traditionally made dreamcatchers to protect their children against nightmares. Bad dreams were supposedly trapped in the dreamcatcher's web. The unpleasant dreams were burned away by the first light from the rising sun. Learn how to make a Native American dreamcatcher yourself. They make wonderful homemade gifts for friends.
Things You Will Need:
1. Soak the piece of grapevine, or twig, in some water. When it becomes supple, bend it to make a circle. The circle should be bigger than 3 inches, but less than 8 inches in diameter. Secure the circle with some wire.
2. Tie the end of the sinew around the top of the circle. Carry on looping it around the the circle. The loops should be evenly spaced about 1 or 2 inches apart. The loops need to be snug, but don't pull them too tight otherwise the dreamcatcher will get bent out of shape.
3. When you have finished doing the first loops all around the dreamcatcher, start another row. Thread the sinew through the first and second loops to begin. You should space this row of loops evenly inside the previous row (this and subsequent rows are not looped around the circular frame itself but inside the preceding loops of sinew).
4. Continue to make more loops of sinew around the dreamcatcher in the same way that you did before. Thread a pony bead onto the sinew when doing the 3rd or 4th row of loops. The pony bead is symbolic of a spider - it is this 'spider's' web that catches, or traps, the bad dreams.
5. When the hole in the center of the dreamcatcher gets small and you find it difficult to make more loops around the circle, tie if off in a knot at the bottom. You should leave about 8 inches of sinew free to dangle from the bottom of the dreamcatcher.
6. Put pony bead on the end of the dangling sinew. Now thread feathers in between the pony beads and the sinew. Secure them with glue and leave let the dreamcatcher dry.
Lots of people now like to hang Native American dreamcatchers in their bedrooms. As well as having mystical significance, they are very decorative. Once you have learned how to make a Native American dreamcatcher properly, you can experiment with different types of ornamentation. If you enjoy making dreamcatchers and are good at it, you may even be able to sell them successfully at craft fairs.