Dream Catcher Instructions

To Native Americans, dreams were messages sent by sacred spirits. There are two different versions of the legend about how dreamcatchers work. Apparently, different tribes have different interpretations. One version says that the hole in the center of a dream catcher web allows good dreams to reach the sleeper, while the web itself traps the bad dreams until they disappear with the first light of morning. The other version says that the web "catches" the good dreams and allows the bad ones to slip away through the hole. Ask your students which legend they prefer as you follow these steps to create your own dream catchers.


  • thin, round, basket-weaving reed - (This can be purchased at an arts and craft store.) string or twinebeads, feathers
  • yarn

Directions:Step 1: Take a length of reed equivalent to approximately 26 inches, form into a circle and secure by overlapping and bending the two loose ends around the edge of the circle. The circle width should be 5 to 5 1/2 inches. To strengthen the circle and prevent it from coming undone, you may tightly wrap the entire circle with a length of colorful yarn. Step 2: To begin making the dream catcher "web," tie one end of the twine or string to the circle you have formed in step one. Tie 9 "hitch knots" around the ring, spacing them approximately 2 inches apart. Keep the string snug when going from one knot to the next being careful not to distort the shape of the circle. See diagram below:

 Step 2.gif (14716 bytes) 

Step 3: To begin the next row of the web, begin tying hitch knots in the middle of the string already attached. Continue tying hitches in the same way until the opening in the center is the desired size. To end the web, tie a double knot in the twine and cut off any excess. See diagram below:

 step3.gif (21042 bytes)

 Step 4: To decorate the dream catcher: Each student will need about 2 feet of string for attaching beads and/or feathers. Cut string into 4 equal pieces and thread the beads or tie the feathers to the ends. Tie these decorate strings to the bottom, sides, and center of the dream catcher. Be sure to attach a hanging loop to the top.