Introduction: Newspaper Kite
Runner Up in the
Make It Fly! Contest 2017
Do you remember your childhood dream? Was it to go to the beach and fly a kite? I bet you it was! Who knew that you can make a kite right at home with just a few dowels and newspaper!?! This simple kite is easy to make and can be done in under an hour. Kid friendly (or anyone for that matter) can have fun under the sun with a kite you made right at home! Enjoy!
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need all of the following materials:
2) 2 1/4" Round Wood Dowels
4) Pencil or Pen
5) String or Twine
6) Masking Tape (Wider width works best)
8) Garden Clipper or Hand saw
Some optional materials you may want to use:
2) Colorful Construction Paper
3) Packaging Tape
Step 2: Cutting Your Dowels
Start by cutting your dowels down to two specific lengths. One dowel must be at 20 inches and the other the other must be 16 inches. Use your yardstick to measure out the lengths and mark on the dowel where to cut. Use your garden clipper to then cut at that mark. Do this on both dowels.
Step 3: Finish Up Dowels
Finish prepping the dowels by slitting to center of the circles at the ends of each dowel. You'll be creating a diameter in the end.
*IMPORTANT* ~Make sure the the diameter of the ends are parallel with its opposite end. One easy way to do so is tape the dowel to a table and cut the slit parallel to the table on each end.
Next, on the 20" dowel measure 6 inches from the top (choose which end is the top) and make a mark with a pen. DO NOT cut on this line.
Step 4: Start the Interior of You're Kite
Take your 20" dowel and place it vertically on a flat surface. Make sure you have the 6" mark more towards the top end of the 20" dowel. Next, take the 16" dowel and place it perpendicular to the 20" dowel. Place it on the 6" mark to form a 'T'. Next, tie string or twine around the point where the two dowels meet. Make sure that neither one of the dowels move or slide out of the string at any time. Feel free to tape the dowels in place and potentially remove them later when the tape is no longer needed for support.
Step 5: Frame of Kite
Take a 55" piece of string or twine and start wrapping it around the exterior of the dowels that are formed in a T. Start at the top and place the string inside the little slits made in the end of the dowel. Use masking tape to hold the string secured and start wrapping around the entire kite doing so for every side of the dowel. You should end the string back at the top with a little extra at the end. Use this extra and wrap it down the dowel to create more tension. In the end, the string frame should be super tight.
Step 6: Newspaper Time!
Lay out a large piece of newspaper on a flat surface and and place the kite frame in the middle of the newspaper. Next, draw lines around each side of the kite. There should be at least 1" between the string frame and the line you drew. Finally, fold over each side of the newspaper over the string frame. Use masking tape to secure each side. Do this on all four side of the kite. Refer to the third image of this step to see what it should look like.
Step 7: Stringing the Kite
The next step to making your kit is to string it. On each corner of your kite poke two holes, one on each side of the dowel, and about one inch in from the side of the kite. Thread a piece string through the two holes and tie a knot on the side that the dowels show. Make sure the sting is long as it is better for it to be too long than too short. Do this on all four corners of the kite. Next, gather all four strings from each corner and gather it in the center. Put them all together by taping it or gluing it and letting it sit overnight. MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE SLACK FOR THE KITE TO FLY SMOOTHLY. Refer to the fourth image on this step to see what it should look like.
Step 8: Making the Tail
To make the tail, you'll need to use construction paper and masking tape. Cut out 8 equal sized bow-tie looking bows. Put two of those bows together side by side and tape them together. Leave the center open for now. The doubling of paper with the tape makes the kite a little more weighted to help keep the kite in balance. Do this three more times with the remaining bows.
Once done with that, slide a 2' piece of string into the center of each bow and spread them out equally. Next, tape the centers of the bows closed with the string inside to secure them without flying off. Then take one end of the string with four bows on it and tape it to the bottom of the kite. Make sure that it is securely tape on.
Step 9: Attach Flying String and FLY!
You're final step is to attach a 30' string to the kite in order for it to fly. Do this by first attaching one end of the string and knotting it above the little tape or glue spot that is holding all the strings in the previous step. You should be able to pull this string with a good amount of force and not have it come undone.
*OPTIONAL* ~You can take your leftover dowel that you cut off earlier and wrap the excess string around it for an easy way to extend the kite higher into the air.
Once all is complete, check and make sure your tape is still on and FLY!
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