Introduction: Crafty Dreamcatcher Fern Flower

About 9 years ago I started dating a very special woman. We were strongly into DIY gift giving and we tried to surprise one another with something special. I came up with an idea for a flower made of wire, beads and thread and the dreamcatcher pattern fit my girlfriend’s interest in dreams and Gaiman’s Sandman. So, I’ve crafted for her a Dreamcatcher Rose (It was additionally steampunk themed, since we were to participate in a steampunk New Year’s Eve that year).
Today that woman is my wife and we decided to recreate the dreamcatcher flower, since at the time I made that rose I didn’t think of documenting the process of making it and I didn’t do any “in progress” photos Hell, I didn’t even know a thing about Instructables! I remember that the rose was finally finished after hard several months, but at that time I was a working student who had lots of responsibilities. I also tried to talk to my girlfriend via Internet at least for an hour in the evenings (we were in a long distance relationship).

I wasn’t surprised then that the making of the Dreamcatcher Fern Flower took me a week (so about 7 evenings). My wife is with me, my evenings are slow and relaxing - things have changed!

Today we are very much into Slavic culture and beliefs and the Fern Flower - also called Perun’s flower - is part of that interesting mythology. So I thought about going this way with the second Dreamcatcher flower.

Here’s a short information from Wikipedia about the flower:

According to the myth, this flower blooms for a very short time on the eve of the summer solstice (celebrated on June 21 or sometimes July 7) The flower brings fortune to the person who finds it. In various versions of the tale, the fern flower brings luck, wealth, or the ability to understand animal speech. However, the flower is closely guarded by evil spirits and anyone who finds the flower will have access to earthly riches, which have never benefited anyone, so the decision to pick the flower or leave it alone is left up to the individual.


Let me show you how to make it!

Step 1: ​Tools & Materials:

The petals:
- jewelry wire or other craft wire (about 2,5-3 meters) - here are some examples:

- colourful beads (indigo blue, dark green, violet or similar)

- 0,2 mm thick silk threads (indigo blue, dark green, violet or similar)

- needle

- sharp scissors

The receptacle and the Pistil

- driller

- hot glue gun + glue stick - very useful in other crafts ideas!

- high quality glue (e.g. two-component glue like poxipol)

- silicone oil (optional)

- plastic cutter

- nail polish (green or other)

- cork from effervescent tablet’s tube

- the cap from the ballpoint pen

The Stem and the Base:

- plastic cutter

- transparent plastic ballpoint pen

- copper wire

- modelling clay or some other type of mass like clay or gypsum to make the base for the flower plus

- colourful beads

- wooden beads (optional)

- a mini lightstick (optional)

Step 2: Dreamcatcher Pattern Exercise

For the surface I chose the dreamcatcher pattern, because it’s quite easy to make and the plait is quite firm and reliable. Not to mention that it simply looks pretty. If you want to learn how to make a dreamcatcher pattern, you can visit other Instructables, like this one by Hinagiku:

Before making the actual petals for this flower, exercise on a longer piece of wire and bigger beads.

From my experience I can tell you that the greater the distance between the first loops (on the edge of your dreamcatcher where the beads are) the harder it will be to make the last loops in its middle part.
My first loops were about 4-6 beads apart.

If the loops are far away from each other, the whole pattern will be quite loose, but the making process will be easy and fast.

If the loops are closer to each other, then the whole pattern will be more tight, more effective, but making of the loops is going to cost you some patience, nerves, and time. The loops will be quite tight and narrow. It will be more and more challenging for you to get the needle through the holes of the patters, but it’s worth it.

You don’t need to count the beads, though. One more or one less will not make too much of a difference in the end. Trust your eyes and assess the distance after you make first couple of loops.

Remember that all the loops - the first ones and the surface loops - should be tightly stretched. If they are loose, it will be hard to tighten smaller loops in the middle.

Step 3: ​The Petals

Start with preparing 5 green petals. Cut about 20 cm of jewelry wire and string the green beads on it (you can string some in other colours, too).

It’s a good idea to bend the ends of the wire. This way the beads won’t drop from the other side.

After you finish stringing the beads, twist the ends of the wire together. Try to twist them as tight as possible, so that the beads didn’t move on the wire. Then, form the shape of a petal or a circle. You can correct the shape later.

Make 3 sets of petals:
5-6 pieces of green ones

6-8 blue ones

5-6 violet ones

Green should be the largest with a diameter of about 5 cm. Blue ones of about 3 cm and violet ones of about 2 cm.

You need about 1 meter of thread for each petal surface. However, I used 2 x 0,5 meter. The thing is that 1m of thread is troublesome - it tangles up and disturbs the whole process. When my first 0,5 meter piece was close to an end, I tied to it the second 0,5 piece and continued my work. For my second piece I always chose another shade of color.
I recommend 0,2 mm thick silk thread. You can buy the ones on the rolls that are used in sewing machines. Thinner won’t work - they are too slick and it’s pretty hard to tie two pieces together (they dissolve).

Step 4: The Receptacle and the Stem

Use a cork from an effervescent tablets’ tube to make the receptacle of your flower.

Cut the plastic spring and remove the dessicant hidden behind the paper part of the cork.

Make a small hole in the cork.

Now dismantle the pen. Its barrel will become a stem of the flower.

Place your new stem in a hole that you made in the cork.

Paint the cork - the receptacle of your flower - with nail polish (I stole a green one from my wife). Three layers should be enough to achieve a desirable effect.

Step 5: ​The Pistil

Cut the clip from the cap. The rest of the cap will become our flower’s pistil. Use a hot glue gun to make the set of stamens. Here is how you do it:

In one hand hold the gun nozzle up. Then press the trigger, so that a small ball of glue comes out. Take the cap into your second hand and touch the glue ball from above. Now move the gun slowly down a bit. It’s important to make the stamens vertically. Now wait a moment, so that the glue gets cold and stiffens. If you did it right - you’ve just formed a nice vertical stamen. Now repeat the process and make as many stamens as you wish or can.

Step 6: Attach the Petals

Now drill small, 1 mm, holes in the lower ring and push your largest petals into them. Fill in the inside part of the ring (where the wires are) with hot glue. Wait a few minutes for the glue to cool down. Then, correct the shapes and position of the petals, so that they covered as much space as possible.

Repeat the process with other two sets of petals. Remember to arrange the petals evenly around the middle. You can also use a glue gun to connect the stem with the rest of the flower. However, I wanted to have my pistil removable.

Step 7: Glueing

To do that, I filled in the space between the pen barrel and the cork with two-component epoxy glue. Right after that - before the glue had the chance to cool down - I greased the cork with sillicon oil and I placed it back. The oil prevented the glue from sticking the parts permanently. At the same time I made myself a space inside the cork to effortlessly remove the pistil.

After about a quarter of an hour, when the glue cools down entirely, you can rotate the petal sets/layers. At least as far as the wire allows it.

Step 8: The Stem and the Base

Now string a 50 cm piece of a copper wire with wooden beads and circle it around the stem. You can cover the whole stem with it, but I left some space just below the flower.

Squeeze the modeling clay and form a base for your flower. Shape is as you like. Press some colorful beads into it for decoration.

Put the part of the pen (with the screw thread) in the center of the base.

Put the base into the oven. (100 *C, for 20 min). Modeling clay should harden within that time.

Now you can place the flower on the base. Bingo, you just got a ... Palm tree?

Step 9: Make It Glow

Remember when I told you to use a silicone oil?

Now you will see why.

Carefully remove the pistil and insert the mini lightstick into it.

Put the pistil back in its place.

That's it. You just got yourself a Fern Flower (or fern palm tree, hehe)

It's a great idea for a gift for a special person (like wife, girlfriend, or mother).

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