Make a Kite from Recycled Materials

In honor of her favorite magazine, the author gathered some recycled materials and found a way to make a kite with them.

| March/April 1979

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The finished recycled materials kite looks like this.


Not long ago, I sat down to design an ecologically sound, aesthetically satisfying recycled kite in honor of my favorite magazine.

And here it is! A fine, easy-to-make, guaranteed-to-fly little treasure that will soon banish whatever "kite failure" inhibitions you may have. Better yet—except for a l4¢ dowel and a little tape—you can make a kite based on my design entirely from recycled materials in less than half an hour!

Now, I know that a grocery-bag-and-newspaper plaything may not seem very exciting or beautiful while you're puttin' it together, but once you get it up in the sky this kite will certainly "outshine" many more colorful and expensive models.

How to Make the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Kite

Here's all you need: 1 large grocery bag (about 17" deep), a 3/16" dowel (4' long), cotton string for the bridle, masking or strapping tape, newspaper for a tail, and glue (or more tape) to fasten the paper together. (A large-sized bag produces a 17" square with a 24" diagonal, which means that just one 4' dowel will make a kite. This kite can also be scaled larger—up to 24"—or smaller: down to 15" with 1/8" dowel.) Finally, as for tools, you'll need scissors, a ruler, and a pencil.

Now, here's how to proceed:

STEP 1: Cut down the seam of the paper bag and remove the sack's bottom. Then, spread the bag flat and measure off a 17" square. This can be done by folding the corner diagonally up to the top edge. Don't crease the paper.

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