Go fly a kite? Naw, here’s how to make a kite from a recycled plastic bag.
This past weekend I rediscovered the fine art of DIY kite flying. A friend of mine had the brilliant idea to launch a ‘Kite Flying Party’ to celebrate nothing in particular, except recycled materials and wind. I must admit that getting together with a group of friends to stare into the clouds was the most fun I’ve ever had with a recycled garbage bag and a spool of fishing wire.
I am so inspired with kites given the low cost and endless fun involved, that I’ve decided to share one of Carl’s winning kite designs with you. A recycled garbage bag is not the prettiest kite in the sky, but it flew the highest and longest for the least amount of money. At the party everyone wanted to know how to make a kite like Carl. So here’s how to design a kite using my How to design a kite pattern. This is an easy and super fun project for both adults and kids.
How to Make a Kite Materials:
- 2 wooden dowels, 90cm (35″) and 120cm (47″) long. The longer dowel is the spine of the kite, the shorter dowel the crosspiece.
- Plastic sheeting or recycled garbage bags
- Strong tape, such as packing tape or electrical tape
- Kite string or fishing line
- Tape measure
How do you make a kite step by step?
This Do-it-Yourself project takes 10-steps and one hour to complete. Get creative by decorating your kite design using paints, markers, or stickers.
1. Download the Free Kite Design. Then get your ‘How to make a kite’ building materials together.
2. Measure and locate the middle point on the crosspiece, mark with a pencil. Place the middle point of the crosspiece at right angles on the spine, about 30cm (12″) from one end.
3. Fasten the two dowels together using twine and tape. It is important that they remain at right angles to each other, and the mid point of the crosspiece is directly on the spine.
4. Run twine from one end of the crosspiece, to the top end of the spine, to the other end of the spine. Fasten at each end using tape. This will help keep the dowels properly at right angles to each other. Lay the frame flat, with the crosspiece facing up.
5. Cover the frame with plastic material. Use tape to secure to the dowels and the twine, with extra reinforcement at the ends.
6. Punch two small holes along the spine for the bridle. It’s a good idea to reinforce these holes with tape.
7. To make the bridle, feed a length of twine through the hole at the top and tie it to the spine. Do the same with the other end of the twine at the other hole. The bridle should be long enough so when you pick up the kite by it, it’s at least 20cm (8″) from the kite’s surface.
8. Attach the kite string to the bridle. By choosing where you attach the string, you control the angle at which the kite flies. This will require some experimenting to find the best spot, but start at a point near the top of the kite.
9. Attach a length of twine (about 120cm/4′) to the bottom end of the spine as a tail. Tie ribbons of left-over plastic at regular intervals to it.
10. Find some wind, go fly a kite!
How to Fly a Kite
If you’re having problems getting your kite off the ground or it’s spinning out of control, then try these ways to fix your kite.
Troubleshooting: Ways to Fix Your Kite
1. Failure to launch: If your kite flies flat or won’t lift off, try moving the point where the kite string attaches to the bridle towards the tail of the kite.
2. Spinning out of control If your kite spins or dives uncontrollably to one side then the next, move the bridle attachment point a bit towards the front of the kite, or add a few more ribbons to the tail.
3. Not enough wind: Try another day. 🙂
Kite flying parties are an amazing amount of frugal fun for all ages. I highly recommend finding an open field, throwing a kite design contest, or trying to engineer the best flying machine you can muster. Now go grab your friends, your kids, or your grandchildren and take them outside for a fun day of kite flying.
Love love love,