Dreamcatchers are very popular amongst children and adults. They are associated with Native American and First Nations cultures, so this project is a great opportunity to teach students about a different culture and align this craft with a lesson plan. Native American Heritage month is also in November!
We’ve come up with a creative new way to make a dreamcatcher using round wood weaving loom. This craft activity allows you to make an original and personal design, with any colors you choose.
Recommended Age: 8 +
- Round Wood Weaving Loom
- Yarn or lacing material (strong yet thin is best, similar to “sinew”)
- Acrylic paint
- Paint cups
- Assorted brushes
- Mod Podge
- White glue or hot glue
Dreamcatchers originates in Ojibwe culture and is meant to replicate a spider’s web, used as a protective charm for infants. According to the tradition, it catches the bad dreams at night in its web and then it wipes them out by morning.
Making a dreamcatcher strengthens skills such as co-ordination, fine motor skills by paying attention to detail, patience, observance of color harmony, unity and balance.
Step 1) If you would like to prime the round weaving loom, briefly sand it and apply a thin coat of primer or white acrylic paint and allow to dry.
Step 2) Paint the dreamcatcher using acrylic paints. You can choose to use one solid color, or have fun with different designs and patterns. It is also fun to try an ombre’ technique, blending the colors slowly so it appears as if a rainbow is occurring using white paint. Let it dry.
Step 3) Apply some mod podge to seal the paint and make it permanent – it also gives the art piece a nice glossy sheen! The finish glaze of mod podge can only be applicable to permanent paints such as acrylic and not water based paints – the waterbased paints will bleed if the glaze of mod podge is applied.
Step 4) Choose your string and yarn (we recommend keeping it on the spool and not cutting it until the end, once you create your desired pattern you can cut the yarn from the spool). Start out by tying a knot so it stays in place at the first hole in the weaving loom. Then begin by weaving in a criss cross pattern across the designated holes. You can form your own design – stars, triangles, anything you’d like. Be sure to pull the string tight so there is no looseness in the crossing of the web. Once you have created your pattern, cut the string from the spool and tie a knot at the last hole so it stays in place.
Step 5) Add some beads to the bottom of the weaving loom by cutting several pieces of string and threading them through the holes. Then thread your beads onto the yarn in your desired pattern and tie a knot to secure it to the wooden loom. You can also glue the feathers onto the end. You can also tie tassels onto the end as an alternative to the beads and feathers.
Step 6) Add other craft embellishments, like sea shells over each hole in the weaving loom, or other craft trims. You can even add items to the center of the dreamcatcher by tying them to the yarn.
Step 7) There is a hole at the top of the weaving loom that you can use to hang up your dreamcatcher. Place it near an east side of your home or organization – that is where the sun rises!
You made an original and personal work of art…congrats!! It’s wonderful and beautiful and meaningful! Make sure you sign your name somewhere to show pride in your project! You can even write a famous quote pertaining to the culture somewhere on the dreamcatcher.
Individuals, students, campers with special needs it is suggested that they lay out their preferred “charms” or objects first as to make artistic choices and to use thicker string by applying a little glue to the ends to ease the threading of the string into the web holes. Assist them with finding a quote of their liking for the dreamcatcher.
About the Author:
Greetings! I am Liza, active artist and licensed art teacher for over 25 years. I participated in many exhibitions statewide and won numerous awards. I have taught in colleges and at many camps here in L.I., N.Y. as well as giving private lessons and owning my own arts and crafts business. I am experienced in many diverse mediums and genres and I love what I do especially when working with children, young adults and seniors as well as individuals with special needs. My goal is to make art making a memorable and fulfilling experience. Learning new skills, techniques and how art relates to our current global need for expression and communication is necessary for a happy and healthy life!