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DIY neon dreamcatchers

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Soooo dreamy! I’ve been wanting to make a DIY dreamcatcher for a while and I’m happy to have figured out an easy and cruelty free way to ward off my bad dreams! I know this may sound wacky to some, but ever since I hung these over our bed I’ve been dreaming more – as in remembering my dreams more vividly… ya never know! The mix of neon with the natural feathers is a fun and funky juxtaposition. I love to play with opposites in design (that’s the Mr. Kate way) and a neon twist on the traditional Native American dreamcatcher is right up my alley. But, if you prefer more muted colors, etc. you can interpret this DIY to fit your personal design aesthetic.

Cruelty-free in this case means that all the feathers I used were molting feathers, meaning they were naturally shed from a live bird and then collected – we bought our cruelty-free feathers from Moonlight Feathers. So, no birds or any animals died for this project! The artificial sinew I used for the interior of the dreamcatcher is made to look like real sinew (guts) but it’s made from synthetic fibers – you can shop it at Michael’s or use waxed cord or twine.

I hope you love this project and make your own dreamcatcher and don’t get too scared by Joey talking in my voice in the video above…that’s the stuff that nightmares are made of!

Prep it:

  • embroidery hoops , 1 per dreamcatcher – I used 3 different sizes for a small, medium and large dreamcatcher
  • neon nylon cord – buy it at the hardware store
  • artificial sinew or waxed cord – for the interior weave
  • cruelty free feathers
  • beads – with holes big enough to fit around your sinew or cord
  • scissors
  • matches or lighter (optional) to seal knots if using synthetic fibers *burning won’t work on natural fibers

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DO IT! (watch the video above for the full step by step and refer to the diagrams above for help with the weaving process)

  1. Separate the two embroidery hoop circles, you’re going to use the inner one for the dreamcatcher base (not the outer one with the screw)
  2. Cover the inner hoop with neon twine by tying a knot and wrapping the twine around until the entire hoop is covered. Tie another knot to secure and burn the edges to seal if you’re using nylon or synthetic twine.
  3. Start your first row of your inner weave (the catcher part) by cutting a long piece of artificial sinew or waxed cord. Loop or tie a knot around the perimeter of your twine covered hoop, creating a scalloped look (refer to the photos and diagram above) – the spacing is up to you, the loops can be small or large but make sure you leave some slack. Tie off the cord when you’ve made it all the way around the hoop.
  4. Continue the process of weaving by creating a new row of scalloped loops (like you did in step 3) but this time use the slack cord loops (from your first layer) as your perimeter – refer to the video and photos/diagram above. With this second row of loops you can start pulling the cord taught and adding beads here and there. Tie off when you’ve gone around once and you’re ready for your next row.
  5. Repeat step 4 building a new row onto your second row, adding beads and pulling taught. You may want to make a 4th or 5th row, depending on how big your hoop is or how intricate you want your design.
  6. Add the feathers by wrapping pieces of cord or artificial sinew around the stem of the feather and tying it to the bottom part of your hoop – use as many feathers as you want and vary the length of the cord for a more organic look.
  7. Tie a piece of cord to the top of your hoop and hang it on your wall or from your ceiling with a simple nail and ta da, no more bad dreams!

Sweet dreams!

(diagram photo via www.dreamthecure.org)

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3

Haha that was actually hilarious! Love it! Love the contrast between the neon colours and the natural, real bird feathers, just beautiful!

4

Normally I love your DIYs but you have to be careful about appropriating things form Native cultures. Often it can be offensive or hurtful to those communities, even if that's the last thing you intend. I have been called out on this in the past, too. I'd encourage you to read some posts on this blog for a Native woman's perspective on Native representation: http://nativeappropriations.com

5

So cute!! <3