DIY Dreamcatcher - a vintage fishing net

Quite a while ago I picked up a load of old fishing nets to use for storage in Sammy's nautical themed bedroom.

I finally got round to airing the green one outside, in the glorious sun we had last week.

I originally had thought of storing all his soft teddies, that are displayed on the top of his wardrobe, but I was reading about dreamcatchers, and I knew this was a better idea. 


Sammy suffers terribly with nightmares and night terrors. I can count on one hand the number of nights my husband and I have slept all night in the same bed, over the last 18 months. What has become our normal routine is Sammy goes to bed happily early in the evening but by around midnight, he is inconsolable and petrified. Same time, every night. 

We have been lucky and got to about 4am on a few occasions, when we feel like we are getting over this horrible phase and then it goes straight back to midnight. The only way he settles, is to snuggle next to me and my husband ends up in the spare room or on the sofa when friends and family stay.

It's the same where ever we go.

Things we have tried:

  • disturbing his sleep pattern by waking him just before we know he's due to cry
  • putting him to bed earlier
  • putting him to bed later
  • changing his bedroom furniture around
  • changing his covers and pillow (he sleeps with one of mine)
  • using a night light
  • using a turtle that lights up the ceiling in stars
  • having a drink by his bed
  • using blankets
  • wearing socks at night to stop him getting cold feet
  • having a hot water bottle
  • sleeping on my dressing gown to have my smell in with him for comfort
  • sticking to our rule of no television before bed
  • not allowing any scary programs
  • letting him cry it out and us not talking
  • taking him downstairs to calm down

We are absolutely desperate to help him, he is tired at preschool, ratty in the afternoons and that makes for a ratty Mama. 

We have cancelled friends coming to stay as I am worried about him disturbing their little ones.

When I read that the idea of a dreamcatcher is to let the good dreams float through the net and the catch the bad, I thought the old net would be perfect and we added our own twist.

We drew the things that he knows he dreams about, that he finds scary. A witch, ghosts and he drew a monster. He described it in great detail, blue spikes, big mouth, only one hand with three claws, no legs and two horns.


We pegged the bad dreams into the net and hung it by his door. He was very animated during this little ritual and then explained to his Dada, when he came in from work, how the dreamcatcher works. He totally understands and has bought into the idea.

Fingers crossed. 

If you have any advice we would love to hear it!

I wrote this last yesterday and here is our morning update: Tears at 11.40pm, a cuddle in our bed for 5 minutes and then he slept in his own bed until 6.50am. Progress but still tears. Help!