Back in The Stone Age, before I had The Diva, I did a ton of crafts. I miss doing them, but Miss Ro takes priority over my time. And my budget. What? Crafting isn’t cheap, people! Plus, she’s one of those kids that’s into everything, and I do mean everything. Keeping my craft supplies anywhere she can access is a huge mistake. Huge.
Sorry, I digressed.
Where was I? Oh yes, crafts…(my eyes are glazing over here)
Ok, let’s try this again, shall we? Back when I had a budget with a disposable income I did crafts. Tons of crafts. Damn kid always needing something…clothes, shoes, food, a bed…doesn’t she know I need money to fuel my crafting addiction?? And for beauty products/services??
Wait, did I just type that out loud? CRAP.
One of the first things I learned to do was make dreamcatchers. My orthopaedic surgeon said it would be good for my ulnar neuritis ridden hands and help keep my dexterity sharp. What was that?? A prescription from my doctor to spend money? JACKPOT! And Hubs cannot say no?? I was thrilled.
I started with a kit I found at Michael’s, but it was too small, I didn’t like the colors and I wanted to go bigger. And prettier. My living room is decorated with a kind of Southwest theme and dreamcatchers were a perfect addition. And I just loved the purpose and lore of them — catching and destroying all your bad dreams.
So, I went on a mission to find every craft, leather work or Native American store within a 50 mile radius of my house. I completed that mission, much to my Husband’s chagrin.
The dreamcatcher I am highlighting here is a decorative one without the webbing. That part is a bit more involved and I want to ease you into this type of craft.
I’ll post about how to make a large one with the web within the next two weeks, so stay tuned.
How To Make A Butterfly Dreamcatcher
(All of these items can be found at Michael’s or JoAnn’s)
- 8 inch diameter metal embroidery hoop
- 6-8 feet of leather laces in two colors (one color for the “body” and one color for the “wings” of the butterfly)
- Plastic and metal beads in matching colors
- Feathers that match your color scheme
- Decorative butterfly belt “buckle” or button (for center of dreamcatcher)
- Craft wool
- Elmer’s glue or Fabri-Tac
- Clothespins (for holding lacing in place while glue dries)
Use your clothespin(s) to hold lacing to hoop or to itself until glue dries
- Measure a 3 1/2 inch section on the top and a 3 1/4 to 4 inch section at the bottom of the hoop and mark it. This will be the “body” of your butterfly.
- Using the color chosen for the “body” of the butterfly, cut a 6 1/2 inch length of leather lacing.
- Loop one end of your “body” color around the hoop and leave a 1/4 – 1/2 inch “tail”.
- Glue “tail’ to the lacing to form the left side of the hanger lace (make sure glued end faces the back of the dreamcatcher).
- Let dry.
- Add four (or more, just make sure you have an equal amount of beads for each side) beads to the hanger.
- Push beads over the glued loop to cover it.
- Repeat steps 4-6 for the right side of the hanger.
- Cut two 30 inch lengths of the “body” lacing.
- Fold lacing for step 9 in half.
- Place folded lacing next to left side hanger (inside the area between the hanger area), making sure “loop” is on the back side of the hoop.
- Thread doubled lacing through loop an pull tight.
- Repeat steps 10-12 for right side.
- Thread decorative butterfly “buckle” over lacing by crisscrossing the doubled left and right side lacing through the back side of the butterfly (see image) and pushing it towards the top of the hoop until it’s tight, leaving a 1/2 to 3/4 inch gap between top of hoop and butterfly.
- Thread one bead up each side of the doubled lacing.
- Take the “top” or “inside” single piece of lacing from each side and thread one bead over them.
- Thread a bead over both pieces of lacing for each side and push up until you have what looks like a 1 inch tall “X” with a bead in the middle and a line on each side coming out from the bottom of the butterfly “buckle” (see image).
- Take outside piece of lacing on the left side, pull to marked area at bottom of hoop, wrap around hoop, starting at the back side and glue.
- Repeat for right side.
- Let dry.
- Thread remaining lacing through bead and push up until you have an “X” with a bead in the middle.
- Pull taught and finish the “X”.
- Attach lacing to the bottom of the hoop (starting at the back side) by wrapping them around the hoop, filling in the middle of the “X” and gluing.
- Fill in the top of the butterfly “body” or “X” with the body color lacing by gluing one side of the lacing to the hoop (hold with clothespin until dry) and then wrapping it tightly around the hoop until the area between the hanger is covered completely.
- Cover remaining areas of embroidery hoop with “wing” color lacing using the instructions in step 24.
- Let dry.
- If you’ve done this correctly, you should have four hanging laces. The two in the middle should be approximately 8 inches long and the two outside ones should be approximately 6 inches long.
- Thread beads up the remaining “body” lacing that is hanging off the bottom of the hoop. Make sure your decorative metal bead is placed on last (bottom).
- Tie knots in the lacing every 1/2 inch or so, making sure that a bead sits above each knot.
- Measure out two 30- 40 inch lengths of craft wool. Fold each in half.
- Thread wool around hoop between the middle and outside lacing at bottom of hoop using the same technique for the hanger in steps 10-12. Pull tight against the hoop.
- Braid the wool.
- Tie braid off with a small piece of the “body” color lacing (tie knot in back). You may add beads to the tie if you choose or leave it plain.
- Place a feather in the two bottom knot of the hanging laces.
- Secure by placing glue on the quill of the feather and pushing it inside the knots.
- Let dry.
- Hang up where others can see it.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Remember, you are only limited in this by your own imagination. The colors, beads and feathers can be changed to suit any decor, taste or holiday. Check back next week for more fabulous crafts from TBC Crafters and moi.
Shan is a Free Lance Writer & Graphic Designer at LastShredsOfSanity.com and SkewedDesignStudios.com
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