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Go Fly a Kite!

Sure, you could buy a kite kit at store. But building a kite from scratch is more fun and much more creative. Either way, take advantage of the springtime breezes and lift your entire family’s spirits to new heights by spending an afternoon with kites. Don’t think you have time to make two kites? Buy one and make one – then compare the performance and durability of both.

Popular homemade design
A Scott Sled kite is a tailless kite that’s one of the most popular homemade designs. It’s sturdy, easy to build and performs well in winds up to 18 mph. Use our handy diagram as a pattern.

Here's what you'll need

•    2 to 4 mm-thick plastic tarp (available at a hardware store or use
     a large lawn/leaf bag)
•    Three 1/8” thick wooden dowels, each 3’ long
•    Roll of 2” clear plastic packaging tape
•    Strong cloth tape
•    6’ piece of 6 or 8 pound test monofilament fishing line
•    Fishing swivel
•    Small grommet tool; two grommets
•    Yardstick or tape measure
•    Permanent marker
•    Utility knife

Construct the kite fabric
•    Spread the plastic out on the floor and use the marker and yardstick
     to mark a 40” X 36” rectangle.
•    On the long sides of the rectangle, mark off four 10” sections. On the short sides,
     make a mark 10” from the corners.
•    Cut out a 40” X 36” rectangle
•    Use the 10” marks as guides and cut off the corners of the rectangle.
     You now have the outline of the kite fabric.
•    Cut out a triangular vent in the lower third of the kite. You have now
     completed the final shape of the kite. 

Attach the frame
•    Lay the three wooden dowels vertically on the plastic surface, 10” apart.
•    Affix the ends of the dowels to the edges of the kite fabric with small,
     equally-sized sections of the plastic packing tape. Wrap the tape over
     the edge of the fabric for added strength.
•    Attach the dowels to the rest of the kite fabric with more small sections
     of packing tape.

Attach the bridle (the loop that connects the frame to the main kite line)
•    Before you attach the bridle to the outermost edges of the kite fabric,
     reinforce the attaching points.
    —Place small squares of cloth tape on both of the outermost edges of the
        kite fabric, trimming them to match the contour of the kite edge.
    —Place a grommet ½“ in from the edge on both sides.
•    Fold a 6’ piece of fishing line in half and mark the center point. Tie the
     fishing swivel in the center.
•    Thread each end of the fishing line through each of the grommets.
     Loop the end around to the front and tie it off.
•    You’ve formed your bridle and your kite is ready for its maiden flight.

Flying the kite
Attach the kite line to the swivel in the center of the bridle and enjoy!

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