Introduction: Christmas Craft Activity - How to Make a Flying Christmas Tree

Picture of Christmas Craft Activity - How to Make a Flying Christmas Tree

Here's a simple Make that's a change from the traditional seasonal time-filler of making cards and decorations - at first glance it's a decoration, but really it's a flying toy.

It is also suitable for a class activity, for most age-groups from Primary to High School, depending on how you present it and how much mess you're willing to put up with.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need
You will need:

  • a straw (School teachers: "art straws" are good here, because one straw can make two trees, and glue-stick will stick to them)
  • plain paper - white is fine, but green would save you some colouring in.
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • clear sticky tape
  • glue stick
  • pencils or pens to decorate the tree

Step 2: Making the Wings, Er, Branches

Picture of Making the Wings, Er, Branches
The direct ancestor of the Flying Christmas Tree is the Hoopster - each "wing" is actually a loop or paper.

The exact number of wings is something of a personal aesthetic choice, but the best option is usually three. Each wing is a strip of paper approximately a centimetre wide (half an inch), varying in length from about 10cm to about 20cm. The smallest wing goes at the front, the largest at the back.

  • Now is also the time to decorate your tree. Use your chosen medium to draw on baubles, streamers and stars along the length of the strips. I strongly recommend not to add actual decorations, though, unless they are very light sequins or sticky-paper stars.
     
Curl each strip of paper into a circle and tape or glue the ends together.

Step 3: Adding the Wings

Picture of Adding the Wings

I used a 20cm length of paper art straw.  To add balancing weight to the front, I folded a few centimetres over and glued it down.

The largest wing goes all the way at the end of the straw, flush, so that the tree can stand as a decoration.

The others are glued along the "trunk", so that they look pleasing you your eye.

Step 4: Done!

Picture of Done!
The tree is now ready.

You can either keep it as a decoration, standing it in the corner of your desk, or use it for its intended purpose, and throw it overhand, like a glider than a dart.


Comments

macrumpton (author)2012-01-21

I would love to have a Christmas kite. I suppose it would be easier to do as a low aspect delta rather than the concentric hoops though.

ilpug (author)2011-08-27

I made something like this but with a two-loop design. The kids in the Applied Sciences class i assisted in loved it, and covered the room with them.

Kiteman (author)ilpug2011-08-28

Something like this?

ilpug (author)Kiteman2011-08-28

Exactly.

bobsegravescollis (author)2011-05-13

Could it be made large enough to be kite? What materials would we need?

I might fly as-is!

Tie on a thread between the top two loops, add a tail, maybe six feet of wool, see how you go.

homestuck (author)2011-02-23

I made this in a engineering club two years ago

knektek (author)2010-12-12

I did this in maths class :)

Kiteman (author)knektek2010-12-12

Really?

Dang, and I thought I'd invented them myself...

belsey (author)Kiteman2010-12-20

Nothing wrong with reinventing the wheel -- it's been done before!

knektek (author)Kiteman2010-12-16

Well, nice stuff! I thought that this was some sort of breakthrough when I did this, it looked alien!

l8nite (author)2010-12-13

the 1st time I saw a design like this was at a YES concert in the Phildelphia Pa Spectrum... a looong looooooooong time ago, they were made from disposable cups and a couple were on fire as they drifted down from the upper tiers

Kiteman (author)l8nite2010-12-14

Groovy...

V-Man737 (author)2010-12-13

Was this maybe inspired by the Christmas tree rocket?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCjHV63MQ4w

Kiteman (author)V-Man7372010-12-13

Alas, no.

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