Monday, August 23, 2010

anyone for some kite flying?

hello m'dearies!
today was a really nice day weather-wise. not too hot and with a slight breeze. i took the wee ones outside this morning to let them run off some energy. as i sat on the stoop, i thought about kite flying. i love flying kites. the oldest and i used to go out in one of our pastures with our sheep, ( yup we used to have sheep and a llama and a 25 acre farm, but that's a story for another day), and fly kites.
well the space we live in now is considerably far smaller. so i thought about kite flying in a small space. i came to the conclusion it would require a small kite. hmmm.....small kites? seems as though it should be easy to make. so i started to peruse the internet to see what i could find. the information i came across seemed easy enough. i got the supplies out and... created some kites. the young ones couldn't quite get the idea of not grasping the kite string, but just gently holding on to it. so the oldest came out and we had fun flying mini kites.

i figured if we had some laughs playing around with these maybe someone else might. sooooooo..... i decided to try my first tutorial. yes i know, gasp! a tutorial with lots of photos. now please understand i am not claiming to be a kite master. this was simply how i made the kites we played with today in a light intermittent breeze.

~a kite tutorial~
remember the key is to keep the kite as light weight as possible

tissue paper
glue stick
plastic drinking straw
quilting thread
exacto knife
safe cutting surface

i used some salmon colored tissue

1. cut the straw 6 inches long.
if using a bendy straw, cut the straw below the bendy part
save the top part of the straw for later

2. use your exacto knife and slice the straw length way, to open the straw up.
flatten the sliced open straw on the cutting surface

3. carefully slice 2 thin strips from the straw approximately 3 mm wide
two strips of straw approximately 3 mm wide

4. cut one of the strips to 4.5 inches long. leave the other straw strip the 6 inches.
one strip will be 4.5 inches long and the other will be about 6 inches long

5. slide the curved side, if there be one, of  6 inch strip of straw along the top of your glue stick.

7. place the sticky straw strip on your tissue. i started in one corner. but not too close to the edge.

8. i repeated the gluing process for the 4.5 inch straw strip and placed it across the first strip at about 4.25 inches from the bottom of the longer one. i then dabbed some of the glue from the glue stick on each of the corners of the strips.

9. using the ruler and pencil draw a line connecting the end of the glued on straw strips to form a diamond.

10. use your scissors to cut along the pencil line you have just drawn.

11. cut two strips of tissue, approximately 5 to 6 mm wide, as a tail for the kite. dab a bit of glue to the bottom of your kite and attach your two tail strips.

12. now is the time to attach your kite string. take your quilting thread, or heavy sewing thread, and pull off three lengths, approximately 3 yards. thread your needle with one end of the string and tie a knot in the other end. poke the needle through the strips, where they intersect, on the back of your kite. pull the string through until the knot rests on the crossed strips.

13. dab some glue on to the knot of string on the back of the kite to secure.

14. thread the free end of string through your small cut piece of straw.

15. attach the string to the straw by tying a knot.

16. wrap the string around the straw tube to act as a reel or a winder thing-a-ma-bobby.

17. if you happen to have a bamboo skewer you can place the straw tube on it so that the string will pull out freely.

these are the first three kites that i made and that we took out and played with this afternoon. 

the green and the purple were made inspired by some of the information i found online. the orange one and the one shown in the tutorial is based off of how my mum used to make kites when she was a wee lass. i found i like her way better. both styles fly well i just i like the simplicity of my mum's suggestion.

here's our oldest flying the orange kite made like the one in the tutorial. as you can see we have some construction going across the street from out apartment complex, and the trees that left standing are fairly tall. just so you have some point of reference as to how high these sweet little kites can go. 

so there you have it, my first tutorial. i hope some of you out there are inspired, or at least intrigued enough, to try one of these. if you do, let me know how it turns out.


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