Newborn Dreamcatcher Prop Tutorial

I’ve seen these dreamcatcher props in my newsfeed on facebook, and when I saw that a maternity client of mine had a dreamcatcher keychain type thing and her son carried a small one around, too, I knew it was destiny.  So, I made a dreamcatcher.  I found this tutorial from another photographer’s website, off of which I based mine.  I did mine a wee bit differently, so I decided to make my own tutorial.  (Also, if you decide this is too time consuming, I have started a shop to sell templates you can use.  I had a lot of requests for it!  Time is money, and we photographers need all of the time we can get!  I’ll be adding more to the shop from time to time.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/PicturesofProse?ref=hdr_shop_menu)

Materials:

2 – 23″ Embroidery Hoops (I got these at Hobby Lobby, but you can also get them on Amazon, and I’m sure there are other places, too.)

Around 2 yards of stretch knit fabric in the color of your choice

Glue Gun and sticks and/or needle and thread

Feathers

Twine, Hemp, Jute or Sinew

Whatever you want to make the bottom with – I used boas and some eyelash yarn; the tutorial I based mine off of used eyelash yarn.

First, I lay out the fabric and cut about 8 or 9 2-3″ strips; I would start with less than you think you’ll need, since you can always cut more if you need it.

Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

I glued the beginning of each strip to the hoop and then glued the end of each strip to the hoop as I wrapped it.  I kept the pieces doubled as I wrapped.  I found this was a lot easier than doing a strand unfolded after cutting.  They start to curl and winding a really long strip is a pain!Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

Once I had both hoops wrapped, I used another strip to connect them at the top.Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

I wanted to see how wide I would need to make the platform, so I went and grabbed one of my daughters’ life-size newborn baby dolls.  About 9″ seemed to be a pretty good amount of room, although if I make another, I’ll probably make it an inch or 2 wider, just in case there is a big baby!Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

We have some really straight sticks, so I went to our wood pile and marked one to the width I wanted and cut it to size.  You could probably use a dowel or something like that, too.  I glued it into place to keep the hoops where I wanted them.
Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

Here’s where I really started to deviate from the tutorial I saw.  I wanted to make it more like a bed, even though I am still doing a composite.  I wanted to be certain that this would support a baby, so I took inspiration from weaving the dreamcatcher web and wove a bed into the bottom.  I crossed each piece back as I went from side to side to reinforce it and spread the weight of the baby.Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

My husband wanted me to test the strength of it (he doesn’t really get the whole composite thing, but he has some points, so I went along with it.)  As you can see, doing it this way will support quite a bit of weight, and this is before even adding the fabric on top.Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

Here’s where the intricate work begins.  Weaving the web.  I did a little video, so you wouldn’t have to navigate between sites.  I’m new to the whole video thing and my baby is in the background, so please forgive me!
Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

20150318 0160 from Deirdre Lewis on Vimeo.

(You end the first go around right next to where you tied on and then connect each one to the middle of the next “line.”)

Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

Once I had the web done, I covered the bottom in fabric.  I used two pieces because I wanted it as seamless and strong as possible.  You can glue this, but I decided to sew it, so that I could go through the layers to connect them.Newborn dreamcatcher prop made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

I used the last bit of fabric to tie to the top, so that I could hang the dreamcatcher.Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

I hung the dreamcatcher on my back drop stand to do the bottom.  I HIGHLY recommend not doing this while your kids and/or pets are around! Feathers are just way too tempting.Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

I had bought two boas and figured out that to have even pieces working into descending pattern, I needed 1 – 1 yard piece, 2 3/4 yard pieces, 2 – 1/2 yard pieces and 2 – 1/4 yard pieces.

Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

I decided to sew these as well, so that I could change them out if I wanted a different look.  Sewing feathers is really, really time consuming.  If you know you want it to just be what you are making right now, glue it!  After I sewed the pieces to the front, I added in pieces of the Lion Brand Romance Eyelash thread stuff in pink.  The little girl I’m using this for has pink and grey in her nursery, so I wanted to add hints of those to it.  Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

I added grey feathers to the web to tie in the grey.Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

Lastly, I put a piece of one of those wispy boas across the front to make it more seamless.Newborn dreamcatcher prop tutorial made by San Angelo Newborn, Maternity, Child and Family Photographer, Deirdre Lewis, of Pictures of Prose.

I hope this helps someone who wants to make them! It’s a bit time consuming, especially if you are a perfectionist and your husband likes to challenge your methods.  haha  If you love this, but don’t feel like making one yourself, feel free to message me and we can talk about a custom order for you!

  1. Do you still make these? 🙂 I am looking for one for my baby when she is born when we do pics. I have seen a lot, but I am keeping my options open. Thanks!

  2. This is a great tutorial! I’m looking to make one for a newborn session this weekend but I’m doing it a bit different for the bottom part. Instead of boas I’m gonna use leather with beads and feathers weaved through! And also yarn! 😍😍 I’m stoked or the result!

    1. Awesome! I’m glad you liked the tutorial! I hope it turned out well 🙂

  3. Great tutorial. Ours came out absolutely perfect!!! Did a rainbow theme for a rainbow baby.

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