You don’t have to be Edison or have a nanny named Poppins to enjoy flying a kite! Have yourself a blast this spring with your homemade bamboo kite – the joy of making your own kite is that you get to choose how to decorate it. You can even make a St. Patrick’s Day kite to fly at upcoming parades!
Here’s what you need to make your bamboo kite:
- Two thin bamboo sticks, one 30 in. & the other 35 in. long
- String (garden twine or butcher cord)
- 1 sheet tissue or wrapping paper, measuring 40 x 40 in.
- Colorful pieces of paper or ribbon
- Roll of kite line or mono-filament fishing line at least 8 – 10 ft. long
Here’s how to make your bamboo kite:
1. Use two thin sticks of bamboo to form the center cross that will be the support for the frame. Position the longer bamboo stick vertically and the shorter one horizontally across it, roughly one-third from the top of the vertical stick, forming a cross. For the horizontal stick, both ends should be of equal distance from the center.
2. Cut a length of the string to tightly tie the two sticks together for strength.
3. Tie a piece of the string to the left end of the horizontal stick. Unravel and stretch the twine to reach the top of the vertical stick. Wind it tightly to the end of this stick.
4. Unravel some more twine and then wind it to the end of the right-hand side of the horizontal stick.
5. Complete the process by unraveling more string and winding it first to the bottom end of the horizontal stick, and then tying it once again to the left-hand side of the horizontal stick. This will form the kite’s outer frame into a classic diamond shape.
6. Spread out the piece of paper you chose for your kite. Place the kite frame on top of the paper. Trace the outline of the kite onto the paper with your pencil.
7. Cut the shape of the frame from the paper, making the cut larger than the actual trace in order for edges of the paper to be folded over the sides of the kite.
8. Place the kite frame on the paper again and apply glue to the excess edges of the paper. Carefully fold the edges over the string frame and glue it to the inner side of the paper, gluing the paper itself over the kite frame.
9. Make a tail by attaching pieces of colorful paper (perhaps in the shape of a shamrock!) to a length of kite string. Attach it to the tail-end of the frame, tying to the bottom of the vertical bamboo stick.
10. Vent your kite by cutting six to eight 1-inch slits in the paper to allow air to flow through for optimum stability.
11. Cut a length of kite string 40 inches long. Attach it to the tail-end of the kite frame, tying it to the bottom of the vertical bamboo stick.
12. Tie a loop right above the intersection of the two bamboo sticks. Tie the other end of the string to the top of the vertical bamboo stick. This is your bridle line.
13. Tie a string from the tail of the kite to the middle of the kite.
14. And finally, tie the roll of kite string to that tie string. You are ready to fly your kite!!
Have fun this spring making as many kites as you like! Make it a group outing and pack a picnic for a fun day!
For more great activity ideas, visit Green Earth News section on Bamboo Crafts!