Picture of How to make a transparent kite with text
This is a kite that's easy to build and fly. We designed it to carry text in a beautiful way, so that the letters appear to be floating against the sky. We believe it can be useful for carrying icons and messages in demonstrations, or plain old fun.

You will need:

- 1 piece of transparent plastic at least 3ft x 3ft (1x1 meter)
- 2 sticks the same length of your plastic (can be carved out of bamboo)
- box tape
- line - a thick cotton line will probably be enough, but you can play safe and get dacron  or spectra lines

If you use a thin plastic, such as garbage bags, the kite will fly on lighter winds, but it will last less. We used a thicker (but not the thickest plastic), which here in Brazil is very used as table cover. But here's a picture of the garbage bag kite:

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Step 1: Cut the plastic

Picture of Cut the plastic
Here is how the plastic should be cut. The holes are very important for stability, but they can be cut in other shapes, like circles.

This "sled kite" was patented by William A. Allison. Luckily for us, his patent expired a long time ago. Check other kite patents on this beautiful blog.

Step 2: Add the sticks and wire

Picture of Add the sticks and wire
To hook the bridle, make a reinforced loop with tape and pass the line through. The bridle should be the exact same size on both sides and each side should be as long as the kite length.

Reinforce with tape the edges of the holes and the places where the bridle is attached to the sled.

The sticks can be attached folding the tape on the edges and in some points along their length.
bobzjr3 years ago
Cool idea - I never thought of this. Being a student of typography - this is a whole new "canvas". I wonder if sending a kite up with LEDs shining on the kite would work? Aiming LEDs on the kite withought drawing attention to the LEDs themselves might be a challenge. Just a half-cooked thought.
brunovianna (author)  bobzjr3 years ago
hey bob, we did a few kites with led., they work great. it is a good idea to use them for text

also, if you enjoy the text canvas experiences, check this out:
Wow those look really cool. I did especially like the last one. How were they doing that text one? Was it an array of leds with some sort of controller?

Thanks for showimg me that stuff!
brunovianna (author)  bobzjr2 years ago
that was a video projector pointed at the empty sky, showing a powerpoint slide with white letters on a black background. then we flew white kites over the projector. simple as that!
bobzjr3 years ago
My post regarding LEDs - would be in reference to using it at night.
pawelski3 years ago
Stealth kite like in "Night of the Avenging Blowfish"
Very nice kite idea.
I will have to remember this one for birthdays & anniversarys.
Kiteman4 years ago
Nice job.

A sled can also lift a banner as a tail - you could put more text on that.