HUGE hula hoop dreamcatcher DIY

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

I posted this picture months ago on my instagram and I suddenly had loads and loads of people asking me if I'd be willing to sell dreamcatchers.

Hula Hoop Dreamcatchers In Progress
I really enjoyed making this one, so I made two more for the kids in bright rainbow colours. No, I don't sell these. Yes, I did make them - and you can too. They're so easy and fun to make, I thought I'd share the instructions so you could make your own dreamcatchers.

Here's a quick montage of the dreamcatchers I made:

To start, you'll need:

  • a hula hoop (ours were adult-sized but you can use whatever you have). As I was making a white dreamcatcher first, I covered up the rainbow colours on the hoop with some plain masking tape. This was a pain, I think it took longer than the crochet bit! But it did make a difference and stopped the colours from showing through. I didn't bother covering up the rainbow colours on the kids' dreamcatchers and that worked fine too.
  • your favourite yarn in either DK or Aran weight, with a corresponding crochet hook. My white dreamcatcher took about 80g of aran weight acrylic, while the rainbow ones took about 50g each of rainbow acrylic yarn in DK weight. This will depend on the size of your hoop and how much fringe you want to add.
  • t-shirt yarn to crochet around the hoop, with a huge crochet hook (somewhere between a 6mm and 10mm). You also use this to create the fringe. We used about half a ball of hoooked zphaghetti but this will depend on the size of your hoop.
  • bells, beads, fabric strips or yarn lengths for the fringe if you want to decorate
DIY Hula Hoop Dreamcatchers
The middle of the dreamcatcher is a crocheted mandala. There are loads of amazing patterns to choose from, but my favourite is the Attic24 Positivity Mandala. Click here for the full pattern and tutorial instructions. I stopped after round 8, Lucy's turquoise round, as this gave me the shape I wanted. Lucy's instructions are really easy to follow, and she has photos for each step. Round 8 also gives you a series of spaces that you'll use in the next step.

I added a row of crocheted loops to create my own row 9. I started by adding the yarn in the space created in the middle of the V stitch from round 8. Then, chain 9 stitches, and single crochet into the next chain space. Repeat all the way around, and then secure and cut the yarn. This creates a series of loops. 

The next bit is to create a crochet chain that you will use to string through the loops to start stretching your mandala onto the hoop. The length you make will depend on the size of the hoop you have, but I start with about two metres of crochet chain and work from there. Don't fasten off - keep it on the hook and use the free end to thread through the hoops as below. * Note - you might want to use yarn or string here if you don't want the faff of crocheting-as-you-go! The same principle applies.

Add a stitch marker to the free end of the crochet chain, and then use that to thread through the loops, always going from front to back. You'll start off at the front, threading the chain through the loop, pulling it out the back, and pulling it back to the front of the next stitch to start again. Don't pull too tight - you'll want this comfortably loose so that you can lay the mandala flat and see how much more you need to add as you go. Depending on the size of your hoop, you might have to crochet a little more! This is totally fine, and you have the flexibility to adjust the size of your chain because you left the crochet hook in the working end.

Keep your mandala flat as you weave your crochet chain or yarn through the outer loops
Once you've gone all the way around, it's time to join the ends. Do this temporarily as you'll have to make loads of adjustments to get it just right. You will almost definitely be adding more. I use a stitch marker to join my ends to create a loop, but you could use a clip, a peg, or even a loose bow. You want a nice big, loose loop around the edges of your mandala that weaves in and out of round 9. 

By weaving in and out, you've created a series of new loops. You're going to pull these loops up a little, starting on opposite ends. It helps to tie them temporarily to the hula hoop using long strips of yarn. Start with the top and bottom loops, tieing them loosely on to the hoop. Then do the left and right loops. Work your way around the hula hoop, securing all the loops up and in place. Chain a little more if you need it. 

Keep the tension on your mandala nice and tight when attaching to the hula hoop
Now you can choose: either tie the ends of the chained loop together, firmly securing in place, and start a new chain to go around the outer edge. This chain will be used to wind around the hula hoop. OR you can tie your chain together, leaving a tail of about 15cm. You'll use this tail as the end bit of the next chain, hiding the join under the hula hoop cover and leaving it looking all a bit neater. This method takes a little more patience but it looks great!

You're going to tie the mandala on to the hula hoop now. Crochet a new length of chain (or use what you have left if you went with the second method), and start weaving the mandala around the hula hoop in an "in and out" method, weaving your chain or thread in this pattern:

- through the front of a mandala loop
- over the top of the hula hoop
- down the back of the hula hoop 

Easy peasy! If you're still not sure, have a look at the first pic right up at the top of the blog post where I'm doing exactly this.

Make sure that everything is where you want it. This might require some wiggling. Then make a loop with the leftover chain (or chain a little to make a loop) at the top of your hoop to hang the dreamcatcher, tie your yarn off, and join the ends of the chain to secure the mandala in place.

Now you're going to use your t-shirt yarn and a huge crochet hook. Starting at the top, work your way around the edge of the hula hoop, crocheting a simple single crochet stitch around the hula hoop frame in between the chain that loops around the hula hoop. Once you reach the end, slip stitch to join and weave in the ends of your yarn.

It's fringe time! This is the best bit. You can add fringe however you want. I alternate bundles of yarn with t-shirt yarn to create the fringe, and add in bits of whatever I have - I used fake suede and kraft twine on mine, and glitter cotton on the kids' fringe with added bells tied on at random intervals. Find the bottom of your hoop, and cut lengths of yarn that are double the length of your preferred fringe length. Double them over, and thread the looped bit through the bottom-most of the t-shirt yarn crochet sttiches on the hoop. Pull the ends through the loop, pull to tighten, and admire your work. 

Working outwards, fill in the fringe with what you have. I braid some of the fringe, and leave some of it loose. It is up to you! Trim the ends if you'd like a particular shape (like a triangular arrowhead) or leave it rough 

That's it. I did each step separately, so all in all, it took about a week to make two of these but you could probably squeeze this into a day - or an afternoon if you use bigger yarn. We've hung ours up above our beds on those fancy command hooks that stick temproarily to the wall, and they hold the weight just far. The weight limit on our hooks is 1.3kg and they've been hanging quite happily for quite a while. My one has been on the wall since November, and the hook shows no signs of letting go! I'd love to see if you make one of these! If you need help, message me on instagram here. 

You Might Also Like