How to Make an Ojibway Dream Catcher With Gemstones and Feathers

by Elizabeth Warner
Dream catchers protect and teach.

Dream catchers protect and teach.

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

A long time ago Asibikaashi, a spider woman, saved her people the Ojibway by bringing the sun back to them. The Objiway made dream catchers to teach their children about their beloved Asibikaashi and the miracle she preformed. Dream catchers are round to symbolize the sun. The web in the circle honors Asibikaashi. The feathers, eagle for courage and owl for wisdom, symbolize the traits of Asibikaashi. The gemstones in the web represent the eventual dispersing of the Objiway clans. The dream catcher web captures bad dreams until the sun can dissolve them. The peaceful dreams pass safely through the web.

Items you will need

  • 2-foot dried grapevine
  • 5 feet wax linen thread
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • 5 feathers
  • 4 gemstones
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
Step 1

Bend the dried grapevine into a circle. Dried grapevine is quite pliable and should retain the shape you give it. Secure the grapevine circle with your glue gun. Cut four inches of wax linen thread and tie a loop in one end. The dream catcher will hang from this loop. Tie the other end of the thread around the grapevine circle at the point you have secured with your glue gun.

Step 2

Mark eight even spaces around the grapevine circle. Cut one foot of wax linen thread and set it aside. Take the remaining three feet, eight inches of wax linen thread and tie a square knot around the mark closest to the hanging loop. Guide the string around the inside parameter of the circle to the next closest mark. Hold the thread loosely around the next mark. Bring the thread around the back of grapevine to form a loose circle over the mark. Feed the end of the thread through the loose circle and pull it tight. Continue to guide the thread around the circle knotting it in this fashion around each mark. Make sure the strings in between each knot are taut.

Step 3

Stop tying the thread around the grapevine circle after you have tied it around your eighth pencil mark. Tie your next knot around the middle of the thread that connects the first and second pencil-marked knots. Employ the same knotting method you used to tie the threads to the grapevine. Guide your thread to the middle of the thread connecting the second and third pencil-marked knots. Tie your next knot around this section of the thread. Keep all connecting threads taut.

Step 4

Continue this pattern around the the inside of the circle tying knots to the middle of the connecting threads. The web will blossom as the knots pull the connecting threads into new shapes and bind the subsequent layers of the thread and knots. Eventually the web will grow to almost fill the inside of your grapevine circle. Leave a small hole in the center about the size of a nickel. Leave a two-inch tail of string after you tie your last knot. Tie one feather to the end of the string and secure it with a dot of glue.

Step 5

Cut the remaining foot of thread into four sections, each three inches long. Tie them, evenly spaced, along the bottom of the circle. Tie the remaining feathers to the bottom of the threads. Glue the gemstones to four points on the web so they are equal distance away from one another. Hang your dream catcher over your bed to enjoy peaceful dreams and honor ancient legends.

About the Author

Elizabeth Warner began writing professionally in 2004 for “The Scroll,” an award winning collegiate newspaper. She currently works with the technical writers at The Overhead Door Corporation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English with an emphasis in technical writing and editing from Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images