Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finger Kites

Calgary is a pretty windy city, especially in the Fall when the leaves turn and last.....oh maybe 10 minutes before being blown into oblivion.

You have to enjoy those Fall colors when you can!

So here are some Finger Kites we made.  They are smaller than your usual kite so you only fly them about 1 metre high but the kids like chasing each other around with them.  I had a few issues with this one but I'll tell you about it as we go.

Now you can make kites out of fabric but I was looking for alternatives.  You don't want to use paper or your kite will be one time only.  If it is only decorative, paper would be fine.

We made one kite out of Tyvec or house wrap which you can get at the hardware store (a bit pricey and the smallest roll is 100ft)...some courier envelopes are made of Tyvec these days so check your stash of recyclables.
For the second one I fused 2 plastic shopping bags.

I cut the handles off and sandwiched it between 2 pieces of parchment paper.

Set my iron on med and ironed over the paper.  The parchment is transparent enough so you can see the bags as you iron and you will see them shrink up a bit.
 When it has fused together you are good to go.

I cut out a kite pattern out of some old poster paper.

My width was 10 inches  and the length was 12.

Trace pattern onto your material and cut out.

Now the Tyvec painted up great even with tempera...if you find the paint beading up a bit give the kite a rub with a little sandpaper.

The fused plastic seemed to paint up just fine with acrylics BUT don't be fooled.  The paint will flake off with use so I recommend that you either give it one thin coat of paper mache and then paint or use paper, stickers, etc...glued onto it to decorate.

Cut your sticks.  I use natural bamboo plant stakes from the garden and pretty straight.

The best way to attach your sticks is with tape....duct tape, metal tape, hockey tape, bookbinding tape.....

Add your string tying and knotting it several times in the center of your kite and then take a good length and wrap around a stick for your handle.

Add a tail with bits of fabric or ribbon.  I tied it to the stick at the bottom and then guessed it...another piece of tape to secure.

and that's it.  Wouldn't you know it when we wind!

See you next time.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, these look like so much fun to make and fly! I've included them in my daily dose of fun on The Mother Lode!