Soooooo, who remembers my epic project fail back in February?

Learning Moment: When you’re trying to help save animals, sometimes less is more.

From my foil-y fishline-y sparkly failure sprang up this awesome result – one of our favorite crafters, Sun of a Beach Creations, took pity on us and put together a new, improved, and awesome tutorial.

Enter the Dreamcatcher to Save Animals.

How, you ask, can a dreamcatcher save animals? Read on for the full story, but the short and condensed version is that birds are some of the most important species on earth, and every year bird strikes kill hundreds of thousands of birds as their just trying to make their merry way to their nesting grounds. Want to lessen the impact of human development? Make this beautiful dreamcatcher and DO something to change the world.

FYI: This is the perfect summer project for kids.

So, without further ado, let’s get to that tutorial. And if you love this and need more things for your bored kiddos to do this summer – join our Facebook Group and stay tuned for next week’s  “Kids Charity Crafts for Summer” eBook and make this a summer of service for your small people.

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Supplies Needed:

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Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

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Instructions:

Step 1:

Tie the small piece of yarn to each end of your stick (trim the excess).

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Step 2:

Make a small cut at the end of your fabric.  

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Now tear strips for your window hanging. I’ve used small fabric scraps as well as an old pillow case for this project, but T-shirts, ribbons, or yarn work just as well for this DIY.

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Step 3:

Fold the fabric strip in half and loop it around your stick.

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Pull both ends through the loop.

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Then tighten to secure the fabric to your stick.

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Repeat this process for all of your fabric strips!

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Step 4:

Feed the fabric through your beads using whatever is on hand to do so.  In this case I used just a scrap piece of copper wire.  

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Then pull the bead to the desired position on your window hanging. You may need to tie a knot below the bead to keep it from falling.  The fabric strips shown here were torn thick enough to support the beads without the use of knots.

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Step 5:

Trim as desired!

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Final Step:

Now you need to hang up those dreamcatchers! Hang it up in the window using suction cups or, if you’re cheap like me, tape. Yep. Tape. This step is the most important part! Why?? Because these sweet little dreamcatchers are going to help save some amazing animals around the world.

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

YOUR ISSUE: Animal Rights

Now that you know what to do, let’s talk a bit about why this project is so important. Here are a few fast facts on bird strikes around the world:

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

Bird Strikes – defined as the mid-flight collision between and a window, wall, or other manmade structure – account for 1 billion bird deaths worldwide (one billion!). One of the most dangerous collisions is a bird hitting a plane – remember Miracle on the Hudson and Captain Sully? That all occurred due to bird strikes. You can do your little part to save some of those wee chickadees with this fun, kid-friendly craft project for charity..

Why should we care about bird strikes? Because, according to the American Bird Conservancy,  “across the Americas more than 500 native bird species are threatened with extinction — 12 percent of 4,230 species. In the United States alone, nearly 300 of 750 native bird species, or 37 percent, are declining in population.” Not only that, but birds are indicator species – meaning that, because they are sensitive to habitat change (and are easy to census), birds are incredibly important for ecologists to be able to measure the health of the environment. It’s the old “canary in the coal mine” effect – or Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

YOUR ORGANIZATION: American Bird Conservancy

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) was started in 1995 by more than fifty different groups coming together with the sole mission of saving birds and bird habitats in the Americas. Now with more than 70 employees and $12 million to work with, the ABC has become one of the most successful stories of grassroots action – just one of the reasons they earned the Aina Accreditation.

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity helping protect animals and birds.

One of the reasons ABC has become so such a success is because of their incredible focus on one objective: to achieve conservation results for birds in the Americas. That’s it. Simple, easy to understand, and hugely important. Over the past 20 years they have accomplished many, many goals by focusing on the ABC pyramid – Build Capacity, Eliminate Threats, Protect Habitats, and Halt Extinctions. ABC is a truly phenomenal organization – and we hope you, too, become involved in their work. Read more about ABC here and find more ways to get involved here.

MEET YOUR MAKER: Sun of a Beach Creations

This week we teamed up with the oh-so-awesome Sun of a Beach Creations – we couldn’t love her more! Pop over to her Instagram, give her a follow, and keep reading to learn a bit more about her:

My name is Shannon, and I started @sun_of_a_beach_creations as a second-hand boho clothing shop. I honestly never thought I’d be creating handmade boho decor! I wasn’t the artsy type growing up and didn’t care much for getting hands on with DIY projects.  THEN ONE DAY…I thought I’d make a Dream Catcher for fun. A PASSION WAS BORN!. It, of course, didn’t come naturally. In fact my dreamcatchers were pretty pathetic to begin with! But!…As with all practices, My skills got better with time and I’m so very thankful I never gave up.

Outside of crafting I also love playing pool (billiards), hiking, going to the beach and camping. Oh and I have 4 kids ;). You can find all of my dreamcatchers at Sun of a Beach Creations!

Become a World Change Leader with Animal Rights in this service project for an approved and accredited nonprofit organization in the United States

GET CONNECTED TO AINA

We love more friends! Not only do we want you as a part of the Aina Ohana, but we’d love for you to share your creations with us on  Instagram! Follow us @ainagiving – and tag us with pics of your world-changing project!

Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a female-led company that transforms women into world changers. Join the movement of DIY World Change and get our accredited projects, leadership coaching, and nonprofit consulting – email us and tell us how you want to change the world. We’ll help you get there.

Meet the Team behind Aina's Story | Uniting crafters and makers with charitable organizations for community driven volunteer world change