The covering materials should have similar qualities. You may use tissue, wrapping paper, or newspaper. Ripstop nylon used for making tents can also be considered if it is not too heavy.
The kite line should be strong and lightweight, at least thirty pound test. Kite line is best, but mono-filiament fishing line will also work. Please do not use wire, as it conducts electricity. This could be disastrous if your kite encounters a power line, or if you fly the kite in bad weather.
There are a number of ways of getting neat kite designs. Some are available in the internet. Your local library probably has books on the subject. The Walter Foster book - Making Kites can be found at some craft and hobby store.
Making a kite is a good project for a kid’s group because it can be an educational and fun experience. The diamond kite is the easiest kite to build, and is probably the oldest design in use. To make a small diamond kite you will need the following items which are available at a hobby or craft store:
1. 2 balsa strips approx 3/16 Inch X 3/8 Inch X 36 Inch
2. Craft tissue - 20 Inch X 26 Inch
3. Kite string - 30 LB test
4 Cellophane tape or glue stick
5. Scissors and sharp hobby knife
6. Colored markers, crayons, - if you want to decorate the kite
7. Crepe paper
You may decorate the tissue paper first if you like. Use markers or crayons to put a design of your choice on the kite. Keep the design as close to the center of the paper as possible to ensure it is visible.
Cut one balsa strip to 26 inches long with the hobby knife. Cut the other one to twenty inches long. Notch both ends of both strips with the knife. Lay the balsa sticks perpendicular to each other, shorter one divided in half about about nine inches from the one end of the longer one. Lay the balsa sticks perpendicular to each other, shorter one divided in half about about nine inches from the one end of the longer one. Tie the two together firmly with string, or wire twistums. Outline the structure with some of the kite string, running the string through the notches, and pulling tight. Tie firmly! This completes the framework for the kite.
Lay tissue on a flat, clean, dry surface. Lay kite frame over the tissue and pull the corners of tissue tight, folding the edges over the string. Cut the tissue with the scissors allowing about an inch overlap. Tape, or glue with glue stick, the overlap to the tissue, pulling it tight.
Using a short end of string, form a loop on one end and place in the notch of one end on the shorter cross piece. Gently bow the piece, tying the other end of the string to the other end of the short crosspiece. Remove the twist ties holding the two structural pieces together to avoid breaking the cross piece Do not bow too much. Replace twist ties. Cut another end of string about 30 feet long. Tie one end onto the top of the kite, one end to the bottom. This is the bridle line.
Find the balance point - extend one finger and place the tow line on it. Slide the bridle line along your finger until the kite is perfectly balanced on your finger. This is where you tie the kite line. You may use the crepe paper, or long strands of colored lightweight fabric as a tail. Use a small amount in light winds, more in heavy winds.
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