Introduction: A Dangerous Wedding Kite

This is my first instructable using only my phone (except for the video embeds).
I'm at a wedding in Hood River, Oregon --the capital of windsurfing--so I thought I would make a kite for the wedding reception using things I could find in the hotel room.
Here's what I used:
A brown paper bag
Bamboo skewers bummed off the corner restaurant, and
Hot glue, thread, and ribbons from the flower lady who happened to be my sister.

Step 1: Kite Shape

Sometimes you dont get much choice in kite shape. This is the best I could do with the paper bag to give it an attack edge at the top. Fortunately, the bamboo skewers were just the right size for the top sides.

Step 2: The Kite Frame

For the frame, I glued the bamboo skewers along the two top edges. Then I taped two skewers together for the crosspiece and glued that with hot glue to the bag. I made reinforcements on the lower side of the kite using strips of paper folded over twice. These were also glued to the kite. Lastly I glued the center spine, which turned out to be a little short, but no matter.

Step 3: Bowing the Frame

To create lift on the kite, the main crosspiece should be bowed slightly. According to the kite expert George Peters of airworks.com, you should be able to fit two fingers between the string and the center bowed part of the kite.

Step 4: Bridling the Kite

The last step -- and possibly the most important step -- is bridling the kite. The simplest bridle is a two point bridle from the top of the kite to a lower point on the spine. Reinforce the points you will use with a piece of sturdy paper, then thread heavyweight thread through to the other side of the kite. You always want the smooth side of the kite on the bottom so air flows over the surface cleanly.
The bridle shouldn't be too short (close to the kite). Pick a point about two thirds up on the bridle and tie a loop. The kite should hang at about a 30 degree angle to the ground. This loop is what you will tie you main string to.

Step 5: Oh, Yes. Add Tail!

My paper bag kite had two nifty handles at the bottom, making it ideal for adding two tails.
For this, I stole some wedding ribbon and glued two long pieces to the handles. It made for a lovely bridal kite, especially after drawing the bride and groom's initials on the front of the kite.

Step 6: Flying Your Kite and the Dangers Thereof.

Being in Hood River, Oregon, there was no question about having enough wind to fly the wedding kite at the right time. It's always windy along the Columbia gorge.
The bride and groom had set up a section of lawn for games during the reception which lead naturally to launching my wedding kite.
Unfortunately, the limits in the design of this kite and the strong wind made for very unpredictable flight paths. The kite rose and yawed and dove in every possible direction.
At one point, unbeknownst to me, a young mother and baby walked up behind me and the kite took one of its dives right into the mother's face.
Needless to say, I was mortified that what I had intended to add humorous interest to the party almost brought disaster. The mother was unhurt, but I kept thinking "What If the side skewers had hit her full on--or worse, the baby?"
I began to dread ever flying a kite again, but then I remembered another kite I made that could offer the solution to the hazards of kite-flight.

Step 7: Kite Safety Tips.

Since kites are meant for kids to play with, it's not realistic to say "don't fly kites near kids--you may poke an eye out." The better solution is to muffle the bamboo skewer tips with felt balls.

The patriotic kite in this video shows what I mean. The felt balls were meant as decoration, but they could also be used to ensure the kite's safety in the event of an unexpected nose dive. The felt balls will create a bit of drag, but not enough to keep the kite from soaring in a mild wind.

To conclude, you should always be prepared to make a kite, and you can prevent kite injury with felt balls glued to the outer points of your bamboo skewers.

Comments

author
vetrisepo (author)2014-07-02

"bummed skewers from a local corner store" I like you.

author
flyingpuppy (author)vetrisepo2014-07-03

desperate times = desperate measures. Also bummed some string off a local gardener. : )

author
Kiteman (author)2014-06-30

That kite will fly better if...

● You lengthen the tail.

● Connect the flying line slightly further forward on the bridle.

● Fly in "clean" air (away from the trees).

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