July 4th (and summer, in general) snuck up on me this year. We had some windy days so I thought we could enjoy the summer sun and celebrate Independence Day at the same by making our own red, white, and blue kite!
Disclaimer: By the time we finished our kite, the wind had died down, so we have yet to test it... and frankly I have my doubts that it has the ability to become airborne, but it looks cute, was fun to make, and we shall see!
What You Need:
Thin dowel rod
Large piece of craft paper or newspaper
Ribbons for the tail
Kite string, or yarn
Paint, markers, crayons or whatever you wish to decorate your kite with
Great, so you've assembled all your supplies! The first few steps of this craft are best performed by an adult or big kid, as it involves sharp objects and requires a bit dexterity.
Cut your dowel rod into two pieces, one should be about 3/4ths as long as the other. I tried to use my scissors but they fell way short so I wound up hacking away at it with a steak knife.
Use whatever sharp tool you have to carve a notch into each end. You will want the notch to run the same direction on both ends of each stick, this will make more sense in the following steps.
Tie your sticks together in a typical kite manner, as in, shaped like a lower case "t." You will want to make sure the cross bar is centered to keep your kite balanced. You also want to line up those notches you cut so they are all parallel to the ground. (Again, see the next step and this makes more sense.)
Now, tie your string tightly around the top pole and run it to the notch in your cross bar, then down to the bottom notch, around to the other cross bar notch, then back to top and through that notch and tie it tightly. Now your kite is framed.
Lay your framed kite on your paper and cut your paper about one inch larger than the frame.
Ok, go get your little ones, it is time to paint! I wanted to try out the star stamp I made, so I did one side of the kite myself.
The stamp worked fairly well, so I handed it over to my toddler who enjoyed making "shooting" stars!
Once dry, place your frame back on your paper and fold the extra inch over the string of your frame and glue it in place, trimming corners where necessary.
The next step is to make what is called the "brindle" which is what helps keep the kite balanced so it can fly. Again, I am skeptical of our kite's airworthy-ness, but apparently the brindle is the first thing you should play with and adjust if you can't get your kite to fly. So if you have trouble getting your's airborne, google "kite brindle" and you will find all sorts of ideas. But I digress.
First, Cut a piece of string about 5 inches larger than your kite is tall. Then, cut two small holes near the top of your kite on either side of the dowel rod and thread your string through the front of the kite, around the dowel rod, then back to the front and tie it in a knot. Do the same to the bottom. Here is a picture that illustrates this far better than I am describing it.
Then find the point on your brindle where your kite balances parallel to the ground and attach your kite string to it there. Side note - I make our kite string by rolling up our string onto a popsicle stick I licked very clean.
Now add your tail! I found a cute red, white, and blue lei at dollar general and then added some sparkly silver ribbon. There may be a glamorous way to attach the tail, but I just tied it on to the bottom of the dowel rod.
That's it! Kite complete. If you have a better wind luck than we did, then hop outside and give it a whirl, and let me know if yours was able to fly! I hope it was, but if not, hang it up for some cute Fourth of July decoration - that's what ours is currently doing!