Last weekend I saw a friend putting together a kite out of scraps of paper. I never flew a kite as a child and I thought it was absolutely awesome. I also remember my father telling me that it was a popular activity when he was a kid because there were no toys and children would play a lot outside, improvising all sorts of contraptions.

The kite made by my friend

So for this Artsy Wednesday we built our first kite. I used a basic shape and it is a rather small kite because FriBoy does not have a lot of patience when it comes to complex projects, so I have to optimize a lot.

The problem with small kites is that they need moderate wind, otherwise they don’t fly well, the wind turns them upside down. The one my friend made was larger and flew better and higher.

FriBoy had a lot of fun with it.

This is what I used:

  • Card stock
  • 2 wooden skewers
  • Craft glue
  • Artists’ tape
  • Colored parchment paper
  • String
  • A small wooden stick

I measured and cut the shape on a 30 cm (length) card stock paper, then glued the skewers on the back side.

Basic kite shape
The skewers provide the frame

I attached the string at each corner using a needle.

The needle makes it easier to attache the string

And tied together the four resulting strings like below.

Don’t tie the string too close to the frame

I cut out strips of colored parchment paper and glued them as a tail. You can be as creative as you want here.

I rolled more string around a wooden stick and tied it to the kite frame string

Kites were invented in China and have been around since at least the 5th century AD. They were used for measuring distances, testing the wind,  signaling, and communication for military operations and scientific research. Nowadays they have lost their original purpose to modern tools and are mostly recreational. In Afghanistan it was so popular that it reached art status. Read more about it here. I am sure kites will be around for a long time, they are too much fun. I’d choose a kite over a drone anytime.

P.S. If you have a thing for kites and afghan culture, I highly recommend The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Even if you don’t I’d still recommend it for the pleasure of reading such a good book.

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