I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds around the sky;
And all around I heard you pass
Like ladies skirts across the grass-
O wind, a-blowing all day long.
O wind that sings so lond a sound!
-from The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson
Set to print a actual/exact size or 7.13"w x 3..89"h
Print onto matte presintation paper
You will need: 2 copies of pattern/diagram + thin slivers of bamboo, a scant 1/16” wide x approx.. 1/32” thick (pieces may be sanded or scraped to desired thickness). Bamboo is used here because of its flexibility and strength. You may cut the slivers from bamboo skewers or pieces from bamboo place mats or Asian designed calendars. These may be found fairly inexpensively in import shops, $ stores and quite often in 2nd hand stores + Tacky glue + cyanoacrylate glue (Crazy/Super etc.) + cotton sewing thread + color copies of kite designs + ¼” round paper punch + buttonhole thread + round toothpick + asst. colors of 1/8” silk ribbon (Note: To add to your colors of ribbon you can use permanent marker pens to dye them)
Using an uncut pattern as a guide, cut the spar (wooden cross piece) and the spine (wooden lengthwise piece) pieces of bamboo using the pattern as a guide for lengths. Using pattern as a guide mark their centers and glue one over the other with Crafters Pick Incredibly Tacky glue and a tiny dot of cyanoacrylate glue, making sure they are squared-up to each other. When glue has set tie a piece sewing thread around joint to secure; add a dab of tacky glue to knot to hold and cut off excess thread.
Using the diagram as a guide mark the spine where it touches the bottom of the kite. Glue a end of a length of thread to the side of the spine where you have marked it; let glue set. Put a dab of glue on the tip of a spar and bring the thread tautly up to & on it; let glue set. Continue in this manner to the tip of the top of the spine and then to the tip of the 2nd spar and on down to the other side of the marked area on the bottom of the spine. Make sure to keep the spar/spine at right angles to each other as you work. You may find this part easier by taping a piece of waxed paper or clear plastic wrap over the kite diagram and then using this as a guide while gluing the framing thread in place….the glue will not stick to the covering.
Cut out the 2nd kite pattern. Cut out a square of a kite design. Center pattern over design, clip to hold & cut out kite.
With pattern still clipped to kite, use a straight edge (great use for those pesky, plastic credit cards that come in the mail) and a pointed stylus to heavily score around the marked seam line on pattern, which will transfer to kite. Remove clips and carefully crease and fold seams to inside.
Mark with a pencil dot on the inside & outside of the kite where the spine & spar cross & for strength, glue a punched round of paper, centered over the inside mark.
Lay the stringed frame on the back side of the kite and glue the kite edges over it, holding it in place.
Optional: If you would like your kite to be a bowed style rather than a flat one, attach with knot and glue a length of string from spar tip to spar tip, gently pulling it taunt until the kite is slightly bowed.
To bridle (the bridle is the string that is attached to the front of the kite that the flying string is attached to) the kite cut an approx. 10” length of sewing thread and tie an approx. 1/8” loop in the center of it. The loop will be used to attach the flying line. Tie a knot 1” away from the loop on one end of the tread and another knot 2 ¼” away from the loop on the other end of the thread.. Insert the thread that is past the knot in the 1” section onto a needle and poke it thru the marked dot on the front of the kite. Pull the thread thru using the knot as a stop on the outside. A dab of glue may be used to hold knot in place. Tie the extending thread inside the kite around the spine joint and add a dot of glue to hold; cut off excess thread. Glue the other knot in the brindle thread to the top of the end of the spine. Add a dab of glue to the knot to hold and cut off excess thread.
Use buttonhole thread for the flying line. For the thread reel cut a ¾” length of round toothpick and round of both ends with sandpaper. Starting with a dab of glue, wrap the thread around and around the center of the reel, holding with glue where you stop….do not cut off the thread yet. Decide on how much flying thread you want between the reel and the kite…this will depend on how you plan on using/displaying it. Tie the other end of the flying thread to the loop in the brindle. Put glue on the knot to hold and cut off any excess.
For the tail cut a length of 1/8” wide silk ribbon. Tie a knot in one end and cut off any excess behind knot. Glue knot over brindle knot on bottom of spine. Cut 1” lengths of ribbon in same or contrasting color and tie around tail spacing them approx. ½” apart.
Now for fun…if you have been careful in making your kite and if the wind blows just right or if you run at just the right pace, your mini kite will fly. Neighbors my blink a few times but what the heck, we are miniaturist!
Set to print at actual/exact size or 6.95"w x 7.71"h
Print onto bright white paper with printer set to best settings
Set to print at actual/exact size or 7.72"w x 8.54"h
Print on to bright white paper using best printer settings
Have fun with this little project to celebrate the winds of March. Kites are an interesting additon to a toy shop or a child's room.....or how about caught up in a tree in your landscaping?
Do let me know how the project goes for you.