Last fall my brother was blessed with a beautiful baby girl which made me an aunt and I couldn’t be more thrilled. This little girl will be bestowed with creative inspiration and gifts, just like my aunt did for me.
Earlier this summer my niece was baptized and I was to be named her Spiritual Mother. I am honored to be given this title and immediately started brainstorming about how I will lead this role in my niece’s life. And of course what her baptism gift would be.
I had the spiritual baptism gift concept on my mind but hadn’t come up with any grand ideas until I received a text from my brother. This was a request for a handmade dreamcatcher for my niece to hang in her nursery. The perfect idea! Why didn’t I think of that? It doesn’t matter, I’ll take that idea and run.
And such a great idea it was because this dreamcatcher turned out great. The perfect spiritual baptism gift for a perfect little girl. Here’s how to make a dreamcatcher like my niece’s…
- a couple willow branches
- artificial sinew
- various feathers
- spiritual stone beads
Willow branches are very flexible and easy to work with. Select a long, young willow branch. Remove the small offshoots and leaves. Strip the bark from the willow branch leaving a clean, smooth branch.
Bend the willow branch into your desired shape and size. Cross the ends of the branches.
My branch came with a long offshoot. On the offshoot I left the bark intact and then wrapped it the stripped branch. This added strength and a nice color contrast.
Begin the dreamcatcher stitch by tying sinew around the branches where they cross. I worked right off the roll.
Bring the sinew down one side of the willow dreamcatcher and loop under then over and through (see graphic below). Repeat all the way round. Leave the sinew slightly loose as you go.
When you reach one time around the loop repeat the same around-and-through stitching method (see graphic above) in the loops you just made. Tightening slightly as you go.
Bring the sinew dreamcatcher stitching all the way into the center leaving a inner hole with size of your choice.
With more sinew, create a loop to hang the dreamcatcher. I braided a few pieces for extra strength. Wrap the sinew around the crossed branches a few times for a finished look.
Willow is a very soft wood. This allowed me to inscribe a little extra motivation for my niece with a metal stamp. “dream”
Spiritual Stone Meaning
I chose Rose Quartz for unconditional love, emotional encouragement, and feminine protection; Iron Pyrite to protect against negative energy and open the flow of ideas and confidence; Quartz, the “master healer” to unblock energy and open communication with the spirit guides.
Using a needle poke a hole through the feather ends and thread the sinew through. Attach the feathers and stone beads to long pieces of sinew and tie to the center of the dreamcatcher. I braided and knotted the sinew for extra thickness and strength.
This handmade dreamcatcher turned out perfect for my niece and is a great option for a spiritual baptism gift.
What’s the dreamcatcher meaning?
According to Ojibwe legend, stories are told of a Spider Woman named Asibikaashi who took care of the children on the land. When the Ojibwe Nation grew so much in population it became difficult for Asibikaashi to protect all the children. Mothers and grandmothers would weave webs into willow branch hoops with animal sinew or cordage made from plants. The dreamcatchers were hung above a sleeping area to attract dreams into the web. When a bad dream shows up it gets caught in the webbing. Once the first light of day hits the dreamcatcher, all bad dreams disappear. The good dreams make their way through the center of the web and slide down the feathers to the mind of the dreamer below.