Make your own dreamcatchers. Five examples using arts and crafts materials: paper plates, yarn, paint, feathers, beads, stickers, markers.
Dreamcatchers arts and crafts project using paper plates, yarn, paint, feathers, beads, stickers, markers, photographs and whatever else you want.

How to make a dreamcatcher

Step by step directions

Follow the steps below to create your own dreamcatcher to capture dreams before they get away. And, if you already have a big dream, you can create a custom dreamcatcher to help make that dream come true. Making a dream catcher is a great exercise in optimistic thinking, hope and setting life goals.

A brief history of the dreamcatcher

Traditional Navajo dreamcatcher
A traditional dreamcatcher made by Navajos on the Hopi Reservation which hangs over Scott’s bed.

The dreamcatcher originated in the Native North American culture. In Ojibwe culture, the dreamcatcher is called the “spider web charm.” Traditionally, it is used to snare bad dreams and protect children while they slept in their cradle. It is made using a willow hoop with a woven net or web and may contain sacred items such as feathers or beads. In modern times, the dreamcatcher has come to mean different things: to some, it is a symbol of unity, and to others, it is used to catch good dreams. 


  • Paper plates (buy a colorful plate, if not get some paint)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Glue
  • Yarn
  • Feathers
  • Decorative items, like beads, charms, stickers, and glitter.
  • Drawing tools, like markers, pens, crayons
  • You get all this stuff at a craft store, or you can buy a dream catcher kit on Amazon.


How to dream while making dreamcatchers

While this is a fun crafting activity all by itself, what we are really doing is putting a concept into action to make it more memorable and real. So, while the kids are making their dreamcatchers, encourage them to discuss their dreams. The sharing of ideas will spark a lot of new dreams. If the subject comes up, you can also discuss their fears (nightmares) and offer some reassurance. For example, if they feel “not good enough” to do what they want, say, “Everyone feels this way when they start.” 

Step-by-step instructions for making a dream catcher.

  1. Arrange your supplies.
  2. Prepare your plate (hoop).
  3. Weave a web.
  4. Hang your feathers. 
  5. Decorate your plate.
  6. Add your dream inspiration — the most important step.
  7. Hang your dreamcatcher.
  8. Admire your creation.

Step 1: Arrange your supplies.

Arrange all your supplies within easy arm’s reach.

Scissors, hole punch, glue, colorful yarn, feathers, beads, charms, stickers, pom poms, markers, crayons..
Arts and crafts projects can get messy. Stay organized with a craft bin.
Dreamcatcher workstation with cups and plates full of supplies.
The dreamcatcher workstation with all the supplies arranged within easy reach.

Step 2: Prepare your plate (hoop).

Cut a hole in the center of the plate, leaving about 2 inches around the edge. Punch about 8 holes around the edge equidistance apart. Now you can paint your plate with an extra color or draw a pattern.

A colorful paper plate with the center cut out and 8 holes punched.
Steps 2 finished. A colorful paper plate with the center cut out and 8 holes punched.

Step 3: Weave a web.

When the paint is dry, weave a web to catch your dreams. Zig-zag your yarn through the holes of the plate. You can add beads after each pass through a hole. Have fun and try to make interesting patterns. They don’t have to be perfect.

Dreamcatcher workstation and girls weaving a web with colorful yarn.
Weaving a dream-catching web.

Step 4: Hang your feathers.

Cut three pieces of yarn and tie a feather to the bottom of each one. String beads and charms onto the yarn above the feathers. Then punch 3 holes on the bottom of your plate, one for each beaded strand of feathers, and tie your feathers to the plate. 

The girls making their dreamcatchers at the craft table.
Beginning to add the feathers.

Step 5: Decorate your plate.

Decorate the edge of the plate with stickers, beads, glitter — whatever you want. You can even use pictures of inspirational dreams or a selfie.

Step 6: Add your dream inspiration

Now the most important step — add your dream inspiration. 

If you don’t have a specific dream yet or want to explore a new one, decorate your plate with anything that inspires you. For example, “If you like bicycles, add a sticker of a bicycle. Or you can write, “I love to bicycle.” Add more pictures and even inspirational quotes. The idea is that you want to add a lot of inspiration and let your sleeping mind mix them together. When you wake up, you’ll have a whole new set of possibilities.

If you already have a dream, you can still add lots of inspiration. Maybe you’ll dream of something similar but different, or maybe your dream will get even bigger and better. For example, if you want to be a ballerina, add a photograph of yourself dancing, or pictures of tutus — anything related to your dream.

A child's dream catcher that catches the good dreams, in this case: friends, laughter and smiles.
You can see this dreamer loved to laugh. She included the inspirational phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine.” What dreams do you think would work for this dreamer?

Step 7: Hang your dreamcatcher.

Punch one hole at the top of your plate and add a loop yarn. Now, hang your dreamcatcher above your bed. Now every night, it will be a reminder that you are creating a life you love to live. So, be on the lookout for sweet dreams!

Step 8: Admire your creation.

And, you’re done. Well… almost. The last step of any creation is to feel a sense of accomplishment. Feel proud! Admire your skill. Feeling good is like a reward, and it encourages to create even more. Feeling good also is like a magnetic force. So, if your dream is anywhere nearby, it will be attracted to you. It’s like smiling — it’s contagious.

We hope you have fun. Please send us a picture of your dreamcatchers and will post them here and, maybe, you’ll inspire someone else to dream.

Dreamcatchers on display
Our Dream Workshop birthday party girls proudly displaying their final dreamcatchers.

Where to buy supplies

You can get all these supplies at your local craft store, like Michaels. Or you can buy a dream catcher kit online.

Please share or leave a comment below:


  1. Hi! I love this activity so much! Do you have a link to some of these items? I especially love the plates! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you enjoyed this story…

Please make a small donation to help us with cost and keep Scott caffeinated. Thanks to everyone that has helped us make dreams come true for the past 24 years!

Step #3: Play it! Take a step of action to make your dreams real.

Take a step of action to help make dreams come true.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get occasional updates on new games, activities and articles.