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Dream Catcher (Lace)

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When night falls, the air is filled with dreams -- both good and bad.

Dream catchers trap the "bad" dreams in the fine strands of their web, and allow the good dreams to pass through the holes. When the sun rises in the morning, the light destroys the bad dreams that are left in the web.

A dream catcher is traditionally made from a willow branch in the shape of a circle. In many Native American cultures, the circle represents strength, unity, and the cycle of life.

This project uses a metal craft ring as the "hoop" but you can easily substitute willow branches for a more traditional approach.


Supplies needed:

**Lace Dream Catcher (lg or sm)
**Mini Native American Lace
** One 7" metal craft ring (for lg size dream catcher)
** 58" of 1/2" velvet suede trim
** 36" round leather lace
** 12" thick leather lace
** Beads (assorted colors)
** Metal conchos
** Masking Tape
** Hot Glue Gun

If you are working with the smaller size dream catcher designs, substitute a 5" metal craft ring, 40" of velvet suede trim, and 25" of round leather lace.

Special Project Notes:

You can use either 40 weight rayon thread or 30 � 35 weight cotton thread. 

I use Coats and Clark 30 and 35 weight cotton thread. It's labeled as Mercerized ELS Cotton for Machine Quilting & Crafts; Machine Quilting; or All Purpose. I find Coats and Clark cotton thread at JoAnn's. I've also used Madeira Cotona, which is a 30 weight cotton thread.

I use the 30 - 35 weight cotton thread both in the bobbin (I wind my own bobbins) and in the top (needle).

A note about water-soluble stabilizers and needles:

There are many, many different brands of water-soluble stabilizer available. Some are thin and light, some are fibrous, and some are thick and heavy. It can be confusing to pick the right one for your lace project.

We've digitized and stitched thousands of freestanding lace designs, and have consistently excellent results with Sulky Ultra Solvy (the heavy weight water-soluble stabilizer by Sulky) and Vilene, a fibrous water-soluble stabilizer. We order Vilene from

Use a sharp needle (as opposed to an embroidery needle) when embroidering onto water-soluble stabilizer - especially if using the "plastic-looking" kind (such as Sulky Ultra Solvy). An embroidery needle has a larger point, which makes larger holes in the water-soluble stabilizer, leading to tearing and misalignment.

Embroider the lace dream catcher, and any desired lace accessories, onto heavy weight water soluble stabilizer (we use Sulky Ultra Solvy). You'll find instructions for embroidering free-standing lace here.

Soak the center piece about 3 - 5 minutes. Soak the other lace pieces 15 minutes. By soaking the center piece for a shorter amount of time, the embroidery will remain a bit more rigid, and thus and easier to work with. Allow all pieces to dry thoroughly.


Designs Used

Wrap the ring for the dream catcher with velvet suede trim. Take one end of the trim and lay it at an angle under the ring. Add a small drop of hot glue to the inside edge and glue it to the ring.

Hold the end in place for a moment to set the glue.

Wrap the trim around the entire ring, angling the suede trim.

Glue the end of the trim when you reach the starting point, and cut any excess trim.

Create a loop for the dream catcher, so it can be hung. Cut a 12" piece of the velvet suede trim. Place the flat side of the ends together and tie a knot.

Attach the top loop to the ring by laying the loop under the ring, knot side facing inside the ring. Bring the knot end of the loop over the ring and through the top loop. Pull the loop tight to the ring.

Next, tie the lace to the inside of the ring, using the round leather lace.

To begin, place a strip of masking tape across the center of the ring and attach at both sides.

Center the lace piece inside the ring, securing it to the tape by pressing lightly. This will hold the lace in place while you are working with the ties.

Next, tie the lace center to the ring. Wrap the end of the round leather lace around the ring, and tie a knot.

Thread the leather lace through the dream catcher lace, so the leather lace is at a 45 degree angle (approximately).

Pull the leather lace tight and continue threading it through the lace center. When you reach the starting point, tie a knot to secure the end.

You can embellish the dream catcher in any way you'd like -- feathers, beads, crystals, freestanding lace accessories, conchos --the list goes on and on. Below you'll find several different ideas for embellishments.

Feathers & Beads

Add feathers and beads with leather lace. Apply a drop of glue to the end of a piece of leather lace, and position a quarter from the top loop.

Add a wooden bead to the lace.

Knot the bead close to the hoop, and trim the excess away. This "hides" the glued end.

Add more beads, and then add feathers. The example to the left shows a freestanding lace feather.

You can also use feathers found in nature, or purchased at a craft supply store. When working with these feathers, place a small drop of hot glue on the stem of the feather, and tuck it under a bead.

Dream Catcher Center

Dream catchers often have decoration in the center area, such as a bead or stone or "fetish" (a carved animal).

Tie one end of a piece of round leather lace to the inside of the top center of the dream catcher.

Add a stone or bead or fetish, then tie a knot below the piece.


Heat-set crystals are delicate embellishments to a dream catcher. Place the small crystals anywhere on the lace.

Freestanding lace designs are beautiful embellishments to dream catchers. Use conchos or threaded beads to attach these accents.

Your dream catcher can also be made entirely of freestanding lace, as is depicted here. This dream catcher has a freestanding lace center, four freestanding lace feathers, and a lace howling coyote.

The possibilities and combinations are endless. Use feathers, beads, turquoise stones, freestanding lace accents -- let your imagination, and your dreams, run wild!

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