Easy Native American Crafts

Native American decor is beautiful and adds a special look to your home and other surroundings. There are many Native American crafts you can make with ease and little expense. Check the Native American section at your local craft store for supplies like feathers, rawhide strip and ceramic arrowheads.

Easily make a key ring from a ceramic arrowhead by using thin crafting wire to attach the arrowhead to the key ring. The ceramic arrowheads normally have a hole where you can thread the wire. After assembling the arrowhead key ring attach feathers so the hole no longer shows.

Make a feathered rearview mirror hanger by first choosing a large bead with a large opening. Wooden beads are perfect because they can be painted any color and they usually have a larger threading hole than most beads. Cut a piece of stretchy cord fold it in half and insert it into the bead, after filling the bead half full of glue. Allow to cool. In the opposite hole of the bead slide two thin strips of rawhide, one longer than the other, and glue into place along with two feathers. On each rawhide strip slip a bead but slide the bead higher on one leather strip than on the other. Squirt a small amount of glue into the bottom hole of each bead and insert two or three more feathers. Finally, slip a bead onto the end of each bead and place two or three feathers in each.

Use a metal craft hoop to make this next craft. Purchase a statue or ceramic casting of an Indian, horse, teepee or other Native American scene. Wrap the hoop in faux fur then use leather strips to wrap around the fur and hoop to hold it in place. Glue each end of the leather strip to secure. Use contact cement to affix the statue to the front of the hoop. The ceramic piece should sit stable and the hoop should rise over and above it. Leave as is or dangle feathers from various spots on the hoop.

Use a large piece of leather and a metal craft hoop to make a mandela, something similar to a dream catcher. Cut the leather piece two inches wider, all the way around, than the hoop. Cut a second piece a half inch shorter than the hoop, all the way around. Use hot glue to wrap the largest piece around the hoop and secure it to the backside. If using glues which take longer to dry place clothes pins around the hoop to hold the leather in place until dry. Cut four strips of leather, four inches each. Slide a bead onto the leather strip then fold in half. Glue the two ends on the backside, at the bottom middle. Do the same with two of the other three strips, placing one strip on each side of the mandela. The last strip goes at the top, but without a bead on it. It will serve as the hanger. Glue a strip of leather into the bottom hole of the bead at the bottom of the mandela, along with two feathers. Now slide another bead halfway up the strip and glue in two feathers. Slide on one more bead, position it at the bottom of the strip, and glue in three feathers. On the sides do the same thing but make the leather strips slightly shorter than the bottom one. At the top glue a bead in the center, just below the hanger, then place feathers coming out of the holes on each side. The feathers should shoot out horizontally, not vertically. Finally, glue the smaller leather circle to the backside of the mandela and hang. This same project can be done with Native American-theme fabric rather than large pieces of leather.

Use any small block of wood to make a mantel or shelf display. Purchase a small oval picture frame and insert picture of the desired Native American theme. The picture can be something cut from a magazine or a piece of cloth. Use hot glue or super-glue to affix the picture in the center of the wood block. Lay a small wooden chip, such as used in gardening, to one side of the picture and glue into place. On the other side of the picture lay a ceramic arrowhead. Take a string of small turquoise beads and let them drape randomly around the arrowhead, picture and wooden chip. Braid three strips of leather and do the same with it, allowing it to simply fall, twist and turn around the designs. Glue the beads and leather braid down, here and there. All sorts of variations can be done with this craft. Use a larger piece of wood with larger picture frame, then decorate with small ceramic horse and teepee on each side of the frame. Or, eliminate the picture and simply place ceramic teepees, Indians, horses and other Native American items on the plaque.

Glue Native American-theme cloth to cardboard then shape into a teepee. Stand the teepee on a piece of wood and glue into position. Use mini horses, wolves and Indians to decorate around the teepee. Make many different teepees, with different designs and sizes, to create a larger display.

There are all types of pictures you can make with Native American themes. Take the backing off of a picture frame and cover it with cloth that is blue or has a cloud pattern. Arrange scrapbook stickers, which have some depth, on the cloth. Teepees, moccasins, tomahawks, and similar stickers are perfect. Arrange them on the fabric and set aside. Sprinkle sand into the glass and frame portion of the picture. Position frame backing with cloth and stickers over the glass and glue into place. Hang or stand the picture anywhere. The sand will settle to the bottom of the picture making a unique setting for the Native American stickers.

For the jewelry lover purchase a pair of earring wires. Cut a small piece of clear fishing twine, insert one end into the loop of the earring, then bring the ends of the twine together. Place a pony bead (small bead with large hole) onto the fishing twine and slide it upwards until it is barely away from the earring wire. Hold in place and squirt hot glue into the bottom opening of the bead, then rapidly place two or three feathers into the bead opening. For a necklace simply use stretch cord and tie the ends together. Glue a bead where the ends are tied and hang feathers from the bead hole.

Purchase four rawhide strips, usually found in the pet department, and arrange them in a diamond shape. Position the sticks to where they form a small “x” at each corner of the diamond. Use contact cement to glue the sticks together. Allow to dry well. Cut a small piece of narrow leather strip, wrap it over the “x” on each side, and allow the two ends of the strip to hang free, facing downward. Slide a bead onto each set of leather strip ends. From the underside of the bead fill with glue and insert feathers. This makes something similar but uniquely different than a dream catcher. Something similar can be made using a block of wood, turned to make a diamond shape, rather than the cris-crossed rawhide sticks. Eliminate the leather strip at the top and instead, lay a bead with the holes pointing outward, and glue feathers coming out of each hole. In the center of the wood place a steer head or arrowhead, cut from leather.

Cut a picture of a famous Indian from a magazine or print it from your computer. Purchase a round or oval metal craft ring and cut the photo to the dimensions of the ring. Affix the picture to a wooden slab that has the hanging hardware already attached. Don’t center the picture but instead, scoot it to the far right or left on the wood. Glue the ring over the picture and let dry. On the opposite side glue a Native American poem, the history of the person portrayed, or even an arrangement of real arrowheads, for sale at many historical sites.

Purchase a long hollow cane piece (craft store or home improvement store) and a very tiny clay pot. Paint the pot and cane black. Affix the pot to the top side of one end of the cane with contact cement. Wrap leather strips around the cane, at various positions, then secure them with a bead threaded onto the strips. From the underside of each bead fill with glue and insert feathers. Use paints and a small brush to make Native American designs on the cane or cut out small pictures from cloth and affix them instead. This makes a great peace pipe that you can hang on the wall for a display.

There are so many more things that you can make with a Native American theme. Look around your local craft department to see what items they feature and try some new ideas of your own.

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