Kites were invented over 2800 years ago and they are still bringing fun to many today! From the tiny kites shaped like popular cartoon characters that little kids will love to run around with, to the super-sized kites used in extreme sports like kite-surfing and hang-gliding!
Now, if you’re going to jump off a cliff top with a kite attached to your back, you want to make sure it’s a well-made, premium-quality one that will get you to the ground safely!
If however you’re just looking to have some good, old-fashioned fun with your kids at the weekend, it’s more than possible to make your own fully-functioning kite at home. You’ll save yourself plenty of money too!
Here’s how to go about doing it…
What you’ll need:
- Two sticks approximately 45cm and 30cm long – dowel rods are perfect and cheap to buy at your local hardware store, but a strong, straight stick from a tree works great too. Just remember to keep it lightweight, or it won’t lift off the ground!
- Approximately 1m x 1m of strong but lightweight fabric – a large, strong carrier bag is perfect or you can use thick sugar paper or an old nylon pillowcase
- 2m of string
- 50cm of wide ribbon, or a long strip of paper
- Wood glue or sticky tape
- Craft knife
Paper kites. Image Source
How to Make It:
- Use glue or tape (or both!) to securely fasten the two rods into a crucifix-style cross, with the shorter one a little higher than half-way down the longer one.
- Use the knife to cut a small notch across the four ends of the sticks.
- Cut off enough of the string to go around the kite, pushing it into each notch and holding it in place with some tape – you should now have a perfect diamond shape outlined in taught string.
- Lay your kite down flat onto the fabric and cut around it, leaving a 5cm border.
- Fold the border over the string edge and glue or tape it in place – the material should be held taught, not loose.
- Tie the remaining string to the stick near the bottom of the kite, then tie a loop in the other end to use as a handle.
- Tie the ribbon (or tape the paper strip) to the bottom of the kite too – this tail will help it to balance better when in the air! For a traditional-looking kite you could even decorate it with paper bows.
And viola, you now have a kite that’s ready for lift off!
So, how to fly it? Well, firstly you need to take a peek out the window and check that it’s windy – if the wind is strong enough to cause more than just a rustle amongst the tree branches, it’s strong enough to fly your kite. I wouldn’t advise going out on a blustery day with gale-force winds though!
Pick your location wisely too. You need to be alert, electrical lines overhead are extremely dangerous so only fly your kite in an open, outdoor area such as a field where there are no electricity pylons nearby.
Now wait for a big gust of wind, throw your kite up in the air and off it goes, sailing away!
I hope you have fun making your own kite at home. Do you have any tips on how to improve on my design?
Estelle Page writes for Alert Electrical. She’s a crafty mum of two who loves to have fun flying kites or gardening with her kids to get them out in the great outdoors for once!