Have more plastic shopping bags than you could ever reuse to line your household trash cans? With just a few other supplies, you can turn a spare bag into a kite. It takes about a half an hour to complete one kite for an eco-friendly day in the sun.
- 1 plastic grocery bag (lightweight bags are better than rubber-like bags)
- Clear packing tape
- 1 spool of string, or enough to get the kite in the air
- 13 barbecue bamboo sticks
- An extra hand makes it easier, but you can do without it
1) Flatten the bag. Cut off the bottom. Make sure the bottom is cut off entirely. Otherwise, it won't fly correctly.
2) Make creases. Do this by unfolding the bag's sides and laying it flat again. Then, fold the bag in half vertically and make a crease with your nail. Make sure that when you unfold the bag you can see the crease you made. Unfold the bag. There should be four creases: on the left, right, front and back. At the bottom of each crease is your point. They will be important later.
3) Next, you'll create what looks like a tab using a barbecue bamboo stick and tape. To do this, cut off a piece of tape. Place it down sticky-side up. Lay one end of the stick on the tape. The stick should only take up half the tape. The other half will attach to the bag. On the half with the stick, fold over the tape corners onto the stick. This will create your tab. Make three more.
4) Place the tabs onto the four points mentioned in Step 2. Make sure the edge of the stick aligns with the edge of the bag. Once a tab is placed, tape the other side for reinforcement.
5) Fold the sticks on the front and back toward each other and stretch the bag. Do the same with sticks on the right and left. It's better to make the bag wider than taller. Then, tape the sticks together.
6) Lay the end of one stick onto a piece of tape. Do the same with the other end of the stick. Place the stick on the entire width of the tape. Then tape each end under each of the bag handles.
7) Create four tabs like you did in Step 3. On the ends with no tape, attach another stick. Make the sticks as long as you can. The corners where you attach the cross sticks are the most complicated to stick. Make sure the sticks touch each other.
8) Take a long tab and stick it in the upper right corner inside the bag. Essentially, you'll be taping it to the inside of the handle. Make sure the sticks touch. This is very important to make the kite fly properly. Double tape to reinforce. Do the same for the other corners: upper left, lower left, lower right.
9) Now, hold the lower-left and upper-right sticks together. Use the two to stretch the bag. Make the bag as smooth as you can. Tape them together. Do the same with the lower-right and upper-left sticks. On the inside, the result should resemble the letter X. On the outside, the bag should appear smooth and stretched.
10) Attach streamers on each of the handles to prevent the kite from spinning.
11) Tie a piece of string from the middle of the top frame to the middle of the bottom frame. This will create a loop that will angle the kite in the air. Lastly, tie the loop to your longer spool.
12) Go have fun! Just don't get it stuck in a tree.