Giant Dream Catcher Craft for Tweens with Big Dreams

Who doesn’t have big dreams right? When my tween came home with extra credit homework to make items for the Native American studies they are doing in class, she honed right in on making a dream catcher. It really is a cool concept, that you hang your woven designed dream catcher above your bed, and the good dreams know how to maneuver and pass right through the woven maze, but bad dreams get caught and are taken away at the first morning light. I couldn’t resist suggesting that she make a giant dream catcher inspired by a craft I had seen on Spoonful for making your own hula hoop rug. We invited a couple classmates in to join in, and the weekend crafting project began! I want them to have big dreams, so why not a giant dream catcher?

First we made the framework to weave our t-shirt yarn with. We cut up 1″ strips from a pile of our family’s old t-shirts. I have been stockpiling old t-shirts for crafting purposes for awhile now. My husband’s shirts were the perfect size to build the framework and stretch across the hula hoop. We used 11 strips total for each hula hoop. The girls arranged them around the hula hoop creating a starburst pattern. I kept telling them to cut the hula hoop pie in pieces and making sure the strips all met in the center.

Once they were done, they each had 22 t-shirt “spokes”.

As you can tell, this craft was NO fun at all! = )

Now, we made “t-shirt yarn”. Each girl picked their own colors to work with for their dream catchers. Making t-shirt yarn is super simple. Again, we cut 1″ strips along the bottom of t-shirts. Then we attached each strip to another by looping them on to each other. See my quick pictorial steps below.

Now they were ready to start weaving! The first couple rows are the hardest. And when I say hard, I mean just a little tricky. Remember when I said the hula hoops had 22 spokes? Well to create the perfect weaving pattern, you actually need an odd number of spokes to weave with. So, to correct this, we picked two “spokes” and bunched them together to make one on one side of the hoop. This is where we started the weaving process. We attached on end of our t-shirt yarn to the double spoke just like we created the yarn pieces, by looping one end around it. Now, it was just a matter of weaving in and out, taking care to make sure to go over and under both sides of your t-shirt spokes. Before you know it you have the traditional checkered woven pattern.

The girls kept adding more strips to their yarn once they had woven each strip almost to the end. It was simple enough to keep adding one strip at a time while weaving. That way the girls could pick their next color based on how the woven pattern was turning out.

We ran out of hula hoops when a third friend wanted to come over and join in on the crafty fun. And you really can’t readily find a hula hoop in the store in the Fall or Winter. So, we improvised! I love that she turned a pool noodle into a hoop using duck tape to secure. You know we love to craft with pool noodles!

The girls kept weaving the t-shirt yarn in the center until they were satisfied. They also added some extra t-shirt yarn around the edge to make different patterns, like a 4 or 5 pointed star. Now it was time to move on to making giant feathers. We knew we had to attach big enough feathers to make the size of the dream catcher. So we used sheets of colored foam. I made a simple template shape, and the girls cut out each feather from each 12″x18″ sheets of 2mm thick colored foam. We were able to fit 3 feathers per sheet. To create the “feather” look along the sides, we made small cuts all along each edge almost to the center, in opposing directions.

Then with a hole punch and yarn, they attached the feathers to the bottom of their dream catchers.

After a fun afternoon of crafting, we had accomplished 3 things.

  • Extra credit school project done – check.
  • Boredom busting fun with friends – check.
  • Crafting with mom – check.

I loved seeing them proud of their work, just as much as they loved making their own personal ginormous dream catchers. Hopefully their teachers are as pleased. = )

Keep dreaming those big dreams, girls!

Happy crafting!

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