As you might remember I made a kite this summer together with my grandfather. I would like to share with you all the wisdom I gathered in my learning process. So I present to you a kite DIY!
1. Gather materials: Bamboo, kite-paper, string, spindle, glue, knife, scissors
I used bamboo for the structure of the kite, because it is light, strong and flexible. Younger bamboo is more flexible but also heavier, older dried bamboo is lighter but also less flexible. Strive for a balance between the two. I bought kite-paper in a kite store (which I coincidently ran into when I was in Amsterdam), but you can use many things, light strong paper, newspaper, even fabric or plastic, although I don’t have any experience in these areas.
You can buy a spindle or make your own. The spindle we used was one that has been lying around the house for ages: the base is a tin can. Newspaper is glued to the can and string simply winded around it. You could easily make it in any other way though (although my grandfather, and trust me, he knows, says cans make the best spindles).
2. Split and cut the bamboo.
You don’t have to use such an impressive machete to do so. It just makes better pictures. Basically you are splitting the bamboo until you end up with a piece that has a more or less equal thickness over the length.
5. Glue the frame to the paper.
Add glue to the frame, stick it on the paper and cut the paper just a little big bigger than the frame. Glue the edges of the paper and fold them over the wire.
6. Use a sharp object to pin two little holes in the paper where the sticks cross.
7. Connect a loop of wire to your kite
Use the holes you made to fix the wire at one end (around the point where the two sticks cross), the other end should be fixed at the bottom of the kite. The long wire around the spindle will be tied to this loop. The length of the loop and the placement of the long wire to the loop is quite important. It should be somewhat as depicted in the picture. The place in the picture where the fingers hold the loop is the place where the long wire should be connected. Again, experimenting a bit with the exact placement and length could be helpful.
8. Go fly a kite!
Woohoo! At this point you made your own kite and are able to test it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t fly great the first time. Experiment and learn from your process. If balance is a problem, adding a tail to the kite will make it more stable. Have fun!