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.
    PHOTO: GEORGE GREGER
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    Poke a hole through each of the dots. Turn the kite over. Cut a 20" and a 12" length of bridle string. Tie the ends of the 20" string through the holes and over the spars at the "top" of the square. Then, tie one end of the 12" length around the intersection of the spars at the center. With that done, find the midpoint of the upper string and tie a loop in it. Next, run the string which comes from the center of the kite through this loop, pull it up until the plane formed by the top string is perpendicular to the face of the kite, and knot the bridle together.
    PIERR MORGAN LEITZ
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    Reinforce the dots with pieces of tape. Cut dowel rods to fit from corner to corner. Tape the ends so that adhesive lap over the corners and around the front of the kite.
    PIERR MORGAN LEITZ
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    After cutting out a square of paper, light draw diagonal lines from opposite corner to opposite corner, dividing it into triangular quadrants. Make two dots side by side near the center and four more pairs of dots halfway between the corners kite and the center.
    PIERR MORGAN LEITZ
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    Cut a 22" string to make a tail harness. Tie the ends of this cord through the "bottom" holes and over the spars. Knot a loop in the middle of the string.
    PIERR MORGAN LEITZ
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    Attach the tail to the tail harness. The kite with its ties and dowels in place looks like this.
    PIERR MORGAN LEITZ

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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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