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Make a Dreamcatcher (Show 1172)

Dreamcatchers are a product of Native American culture. Here's how to make your very own dreamcatcher, just like the one Esquire's grandpappy showed us. (It makes a great gift, too!)
 
You will need:
 
     * a supple tree branch or metal hoop
 
     * one of the following: artificial sinew, sturdy nylon thread, colorful embroidery thread or hemp string
 
     * scissors
 
     * decorations such as beads, feathers, charms, crystals, shells, etc.
 
     * If you use a metal hoop, you'll also need leather lacing or raffia, and glue (a hot glue gun works especially well).
 
Note: If any supplies sound unfamiliar to you, you can find them in a craft department or store.
 
To make the hoop, you'll need either a supple tree branch (willow works well) or a metal hoop. If you're using a tree branch, form it into a circle or teardrop shape, and fasten it together with thread or artificial sinew. If you're using a metal hoop, you'll need to wrap it, all the way around, with leather lacing or raffia, to cover the hoop completely. Use the glue to keep the lacing or raffia in place, especially when you reach the end.
 
The next step is making the web. For best results, use a long length of articial sinew, thread or hemp string. Tie a knot at the top of the dreamcatcher. Using the same piece of sinew/thread/etc., go around the hoop tying evenly spaced knots until you've gone all the way around. For best results, don't allow the sinew/thread to be too loose between knots; it should be fairly tight with some play. You'll want between 8 and 10 knots in all.
 
When you get back to the starting point, you'll have 8-10 "loops." Using the same piece of sinew/thread, begin working toward the center by looping through each of the loops--working your way around. As you keep going, you'll get closer and closer to the center. When you reach the center, knot the sinew/thread well. (Be sure to leave a small hole in the center.)
 
Now you can decorate your dreamcatcher with beads, feathers, charms, crystals, shells, or whatever has meaning to you. Attach them with thread and/or thin wire. You can even put a tiny bell in the middle if you want.
 
Hang the dreamcatcher above your bed, and have a good night's sleep! If you'd like to learn more about Native American culture, there are many wonderful books and resources available. Look in your library or bookstore for books by our friends, James and Joseph Bruchac!

 

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