Any internet surfers who have arrived at this tutorial because of the following web site: http://www.omgili.com/omgili/+Re:+HOW+TO+MAKE+EASY+MONEY+FAST+AND+LEGALLY!!!!!!!! You should be aware that making a dream catcher is neither "easy" or "fast" and if you use the wrong materials, you could end up in jail! If you're just a crafter wanting to make a catcher for someone you love, for yourself, or for instance, a child who has nightmares, please continue on...and please, put a picture of the catcher you've made at the end of this thread. Thank you so much! How to Make a Dream Catcher By Lisa Martin, Rifle Pines Taxidermy Hello. I have to start out by saying that I’m not legally documented as a Native American Artist. All of my Indian kin left the reservations generations ago. I just happen to love making Dream Catchers. There are no Native American Artists in my area so I learned to make my own from a dinky little kit I bought at Wal-mart. Unless you can document your heritage, you cannot sell your catchers as being made by a Native American/Indian. If there are native crafters in your area, please don’t take away from their business/livelihoods. Thank you. Everywhere I have a photograph to illustrate how to do something, I will put the picture number in red parenthesis (like this) on the actual photograph. If you get confused by the words, just look at the pictures. They are easier to understand. The first catcher, all pictures pertaining to it are labeled with a black 1 in a white box. The 2nd & 3rd catchers I’ve made for this tutorial are also labeled with a 2 & 3 respectively. Once you learn the simple techniques, feel free to go wild. Put whatever you want on your catchers. I’ve made red ones, green, purple, put them on antlers like I said…all sorts of things. Just be aware that if you put any feathers from a migratory bird on one, you cannot sell that catcher for money. Some may argue about once it’s off the bird, it’s legal to sell. I prefer to err on the side of caution and give those catchers away to people. It’s a CYA thing and I don’t want to leave mine hanging out. Also, please read this entire post before beginning your first catcher because I give tips throughout the whole thing. And if you read the whole thing, you’ll see other 1st catchers made by forum members who have VERY GENEROUSLY shared their work here too. (It makes me over the MOON happy to see those. Seriously! If/when you make your first one, PLEASE come show us how you did! Let me know if there is anything I can do to make these instructions clearer too! Thank you!!) Also, before we go any further, I’d like to share one legend with you. Legend of the Dream Catcher “A spider was silently spinning her web above the sleeping space of Nokomis, the grandmother. Nokomis watched the spider at work, every day, recreating and building her web. There were the neatly wrapped bodies of the bugs the spider killed and a few stray feathers caught there as well. One day as Nokomis was watching the spider, her grandson came in. “Nokomis-iya!” he shouted, seeing the spider. He rushed over to the spider, picked up a stick as if to hit it. “No-keegwa,” the old woman whispered, “don’t hurt her.” “Nokomis, why do you protect the spider?” asked the boy. The grandmother smiled, but did not answer. When the boy left, the spider went to the old woman and thanked her for saving its life. She said “For many days you have watched me spin and weave my web. You have admired my work. In return for saving my life, I will give you a gift.” She smiled her special spider smile, and moved away, spinning as she went. Soon the moon glistened on a magical silvery web moving gently in the breeze. “See how I spin?” she said. “See and learn, for each web will snare your dreams. Use it so only good dreams will be remembered. The bad dreams will become hopelessly entangled in the web. In the morning when the sun comes up and strikes the dew, the bad dreams will burn away. The good dreams are caught and will stay in the web waiting. At night, when the dreamer returns, the good dreams will come out and flow down the feathers, to be dreamed again. This is my gift to you.” *********************************************************************************** These are the supplies you will need: Materials: (1) A hoop of some sort. Brass from Wal-Mart, a grape vine, a willow hoop, even the tines of a deer antler, hollowed out antler slices…anything that will make the general shape of a hoop. Wrapping material if you need it-leather strapping, buckskin suede, whatever works for you. Usually, I don’t use wrapping when putting a catcher on willow or grape and just a very little bit if putting one on antler. Beads-small seed beads, larger more detailed beads, whatever you want. Personally I don’t like the plastic pony beads. I think they look cheap. If you like them, use them. Your choice. Feathers-more is better than less. Webbing material-Artificial sinew, waxed dental floss, real sinew, thread (if making a tiny catcher) Decorative conches-if you like them Tools: Beading needle-different than regular sewing needles…MUCH smaller & sharper than sewing needles Sewing needle Small cups or bowls to hold the beads Needle nose Pliers Scissors Super glue & baking soda if you aren’t good at tying square knots A dental or plastic tooth pick-not a wooden one, you’ll leave splinters…a large needle will work also A paper clip that pinches closed A sharpie pen Piece of paper as big as your hoop Once you have all your materials & tools assembled, and if you’re using a brass hoop, put the hoop on the piece of paper. Trace it out. Cut the circle out. Fold the circle in half, then quarters, cut one quarter off of the circle. Fold that quarter into 8th’s then 16th’s, opening between each fold. (2) This small template will help you with the spacing of your wrapping. Where the folds are on the outer arc of the circle, mark it with a sharpie. Put the circle tool on the inside of your brass hoop and mark the distances on the inside of the hoop. (As you get better you won’t need to make a circle tool, but if you’re starting out, it will probably keep you from losing your mind once the wrapping gets close to being done. Begin wrapping your hoop with your wrapping material (3) making sure not to let it unwrap as best you can. Take your paper clip and use it as a 3rd hand to hold the start of your wrapping while you continue with the rest. (4) If you are using this kind of wrapping leather, you can do this with it (5) so it won’t unravel too quickly and end up rolling across the floor. If you twist the wrapping leather like this, (6) it will give you some variation in the final wrap. I like some color flex with mostly smoothness. This is what the final wrap for this catcher looks like. (7) If you want it smooth, you just don’t twist it as you wrap it around. Be careful if you are trying to get a totally smooth wrap because the leather wants to twist. It is easy to get a twist in it without realizing it’s there until after you’re done. It will be your choice as to whether or not you want to unwrap the hoop, fix it, or leave the unwanted twist in there, and just ignore it. Use a square knot to tie off the ends of the wrapping, and also give you a good place to anchor the start of your webbing. (8) If you aren’t good at square knots, you can put a small drop of super glue/zap-a-gap on the knot, and then sprinkle a little bit of Baking Soda on the glue. It will set the glue quicker than you can read this sentence. Picture (9) is of the tool I make to keep my webbing material from tangling while I make the web. You can leave the webbing as one long string if you want. Just remember that it is much better to make the string VERY long and cut off extra at the end, than it is to leave it too short, and have to mask the knot with something later. Also, if you leave the string un-looped, it will get hair & stuff in it while you work. I usually wrap my webbing material loosely around a hardback book, then slide it off…or I wrap it around the fleshy part where my thumb meets my hand and down to my elbow, back up, down…around & around depending on how much webbing material I have. This little loop tool is a tremendous time saver if you choose to keep your webbing material looped up. This is one way to think about it. Which is easier to use: A spool of thread that you use what you need off of, or a pile of thread? You do what works for you though. In photographs (10) (11) (12) & (13) I demonstrate my method of looping the webbing. The direction of the artificial sinew starts with the red, oranges, yellow, greens, blues, then purple and finally back to red. The arrows also point in the direction the artificial sinew is going. I’ve been told by other crafters that my way of looping is unusual, that’s why I took special care to color code the line. Folks say it looks like a double weave. I don’t know what they mean by that. It is just one piece of artificial sinew, not two. This is just the way I have always done them. I had trouble reading the Wal-Mart instructions 12+ years ago, so I figured my own way. I’m not an “instruction reader,” I’m more of a “hands on do it myself & I’ll figure it out…thank you very much” kind of learner. Photo (14) shows how I wrap my excess string around the dream catcher itself, and then clamp it off, so I can go make dinner, go to the bathroom, go to bed, whatever, until I have time to pick the catcher back up again some time. I joined two pictures to make (15) showing my beading needles and the two kinds of rock beads I chose for this catcher. In picture (16) I show how I strung a series of beads on the artificial sinew. I’m going to be doing an unusual kind of beading for this catcher and I need there to be a certain number of beads on the thread at this point. After putting the beads on, I wrapped my artificial sinew around again, and tied it with my loop tool. I am going to be putting these beads on in an unusual way, and I have found that putting them all on at once, then rewrapping the artificial sinew is easier than putting the beads on two at a time then dealing with a tangled mess of artificial sinew next to me. If you like putting the beads on two at a time, that’s your choice. I find that the artificial sinew gets tangled and cat/human hair gets caught in it when I let it lay loose. But you do what works for you. In picture (17) I show how I put most of the beads on the artificial sinew through the loop, but I left 2 beads behind. Those two beads will be locked into that position. Picture (18) shows how I left one bead behind when I started leaving beads back. For some reason it looks better when just one is left back at the start of the bead work. My preference again. The red lines in picture (18) also show where to put the next loop…split the stones so one ends up on each side. ;D Picture (19) shows how to hold the artificial sinew in your left hand while doing the looping with your right. Once you get past the point where the beads are, the webbing goes REALLY fast. It also goes really fast if you only use a few beads. I just wanted a full circle of beads for this particular catcher. You don’t have to do that. 1, 2, 3 or so looks fine to. In photo (20) I show how to use a sewing needle to loop the artificial sinew when you get close to finishing the webbing. Photo (21) shows how large/small I like my center hole to be when I’m almost done. Go down through the center hole, then back up through the smaller holes marked with the red arrows…I only marked 3 holes, but do them all. As photo (22) shows, slowly pull the artificial sinew making the center hole smaller & smaller. Do not pull too quickly…allow the loops of the catcher to adjust…help them with your fingers. Go down through the center hole and back up through the smaller ones again. Go around the center of the circle twice. This gives you something to run your needle back through (pic (23)) so the weave won’t unravel on its own over time. I’ve never had one unravel that I’m aware of. Some have gone as far as New Zealand too. Picture (24) shows the back of the catcher, once the center has been sewn, the artificial sinew run back through, and the end cut off. If you are worried about the sinew coming undone, don’t be afraid to use a drop of glue & the baking soda trick. Picture (25) shows this catcher, with the wrapping, beading & webbing completed. Picture (26) shows the start of a new catcher. I have wrapped the hoop as previously described, I just didn’t twist any of the wrapping. I did a regular square knot to anchor the webbing. In the picture, I’m showing how to do this type of beading. The artificial sinew does not go around the wrapping, it goes through it instead. With a dental pick, I made room in the wrapping for a needle to pass through. I put a bead on the artificial sinew before I put the needle through the wrapping. Picture (27) shows the needle in the wrapping where the dental pick was. Put the needle through the back side of the bead, see photo (28). Then pull it snug like photo (29). Photo (30) shows this catcher completed except for tying it to the first one, and adding feathers etc. All beads on this catcher were attached by going in the front of the bead, through the wrapping, then back out through the back of the bead. The third catcher begins in picture (31). Twist the wrapping before going around the hoop. I don’t like this as much as the semi-smooth or smooth wrappings, but I did it here to show y’all how it looks. Photo (32) shows the final look of the wrap. Picture (33) (34) and (35) show the lengths you can choose to make your loops. I think (33) & (34) aren’t right IMHO. Picture (36) shows correct spacing for the start of the catcher, v.s. the last of the loops on the outside of the wrapping. If you make the last & first outside loops too far apart or too close together, the web will look weird as you work it towards the center. In my opinion, this spacing is correct. If you can’t make it this close, or if you have to make it farther away, loosen your previous loops, move them forward or back as you see fit, retighten them, and try again. In picture (37) I have finished the weaving, sewn the center hole, and snipped the thread. The center hole is too small though. In picture (38) I put the dental pick through the center hole and twist it around, enlarging the hole. Picture (39) shows how the hole has opened up. 39 also shows that this weave is different than the other two. As I was weaving, I purposefully skipped 4 spots, went around, & skipped 4 more to get the shape that looks like a bee hive. The red line shows where I would have picked up a loop instead of skipping it, if I were doing a regular weave. The blue line shows the looping pattern I did to achieve the bee hive shape. To sew the beads on this catcher, like I’m doing in picture (40) tie a square knot at any joint where the web meets…I left the bee hive shape for myself, so I’m going to use it. Tie some artificial sinew to the webbing anywhere you want to fill in with beads. I chose the spot marked with the purple square. Load the beads on the artificial sinew. Put enough beads on the artificial sinew so you can’t see any of the artificial sinew under the beads. Go to a point in the web that you want to join. In this case, I’m going to the pink dot. I looped the artificial sinew over the blue sinew line at the pink dot and went back through the seed beads I had already loaded. That explination sounds really confusing. See the picture (41) for clarity. I went back to the purple square, looped around the sinew there, and went back up through the beads coming out at the pink dot again. Load more beads on the sinew/needle, go to another anchor point, I chose the green circle in picture (42). I looped around the sinew there, and went back down the seed beads to the pink dot. I looped around the sinew in the area of the pink dot, tying a knot. Load more beads and head for the opposite anchor point, in this case, the orange circle in pic (43). Loop around that point, and go back down the beads to the pink dot. Tie a knot at the pink dot. Go through the knot to the ‘show’ side of the catcher. Put a bead there, then put a seed bead on the sinew too. Go back through the first bead, leaving the seed bead to anchor the larger bead in place as seen in pic 43 also. Photo (44) shows the back side of the Y pattern. If you’re making a simple one hoop catcher, you are almost done. If you’re attaching one catcher or more, to another, look at the catchers and determine where they’d look good together. Loop sinew around the points where they touch. Tie square knots in the back. Make the joints prettier like shown in picture (45). Picture (46) shows all 3 catchers joined. If you find yourself with a foot or so of artificial sinew left…but A LOT of webbing left to do, tie a knot with the short end and a fresh piece of artificial sinew. You’ll need to use the Super Glue/baking soda method to make 100% sure that knot does not slip. If it slips, your whole web will come undone. That…is…not…fun…I…am…telling…you. Work the webbing down to where the knot is, slide a bead or two on…continue with the webbing. The fresh piece of sinew will be cleaner that the stuff you’ve been working with. The knot will also be noticeable. That’s why you put the bead on…slide it/them over the knot, then snip the long tails of sinew hanging out. It will just look better if you have a piece of webbing material that is PLENTY long enough, so you won’t have to worry about patching a new piece in. This is just one of the ways I add thongs to hang the feathers from. Loop a section of thong over the hoop. Tie it at the base with a square knot. Picture (47) A photo of all the thongs tied to the catchers. (48) Make sure they fall in a way that looks pretty to you. Poke a hole through the quill part of the feather with your needle & thread. If you’re using smaller feathers, you can just tie them on. For larger feathers, I sew them on by having the thread go through the actual feather. Square knot. (49) I tied rocks/beads on to the points where I sewed the thongs together & sewed the feathers on to make them pretty. If you would like, you can use conches. You know the silver circles that go on horse saddles or leather jackets? Those things. I have a few of those that I’ve done like that. I’ll put pictures of them somewhere in this thread later. Photos 50, 51 & 52 show that balance is important. The dream catcher has a natural point where it wants to hang all on it’s own. If you whack a nail in the wall, and just hang it on there by the hoop alone, and fiddle with it until it looks right to you, it’ll become obvious where it’s balance point is. Just loop a thong of leather around in whatever way is pleasing to you to act as an anchor. You can make it without a hanger too if you want. Your choice. And photo 53 shows the finished catcher, hanging on Wolfwoman’s wall in Alaska. I’ve been intrigued by the ways folks have done theirs. I am used to my ways…it’s neat to see this craft through the eyes of someone who doesn’t have much experience with them. I am LOVING it. Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to share this craft with you. Have fun.