If you’ve been waiting for your Mary Poppins “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” moment your whole life, this Saturday is finally your chance to fly a kite up to its highest height. Starting at noon on April 7 in Douglass Park, Columbia Parks and Recreation wants to fill the sky for Kite Flying Day. But chances are you don’t have a state-of-the-art kite waiting around for this moment. Don’t you worry, though, because turns out you can make your own homemade kite with just (a little more than) tuppence for paper and strings.
First Step: Find the goods
You’re going to need a trash bag, string, two sticks or thin wooden dowel rods, ribbon, tape and scissors. Yes, that’s right, kite creation is really as simple as finding six items you probably already have lying around your house.
Second Step: Cut out the kite
While some people like to get wild and make three-dimensional or tiger-shaped kites, we’re going to keep it simple with a good ol’ diamond. You just can’t go wrong with a diamond — in the sky or in your jewelry box. If you want to get real fancy, you can whip out a measuring stick to make a shape on the kite material that your geometry teacher would be proud of, or you can eyeball it. Just make sure that the two sides are symmetrical.
If you’re like me, there’s no chance you would be caught dead with a plain-looking garbage bag kite, so now’s also your chance to jazz your high-flyer up a bit. Add some glitter, draw your best friend’s face on it, or write a message for everyone to see — do whatever you need to do to make sure you’re flying that kite with artistic pride.
Third Step: Don’t mind if I dowel
Now that you have impressively transformed your trash bag into a diamond-shaped piece of plastic, it’s time to give it some structure. Place a stick or dowel rod on the top corner of the kite, and extend it all the way to the bottom corner — if your stick is too long, you might have to break those scissors back out to adjust accordingly. Tape each end of the dowel down to the plastic with your adhesive of choice, and make sure it’s sturdy. Do the same for the right and left corners, as well. Now, you should have something that is strong enough to endure even the toughest of winds, or, at least, a nice Saturday afternoon breeze.
Fourth Step: String’s the thing
Let’s give that baby the ability to soar and grab some string to attach to it. MyBestKite.com suggests the stake line winder, available on Amazon, but anything that resembles a string should do. Poke a hole right over where the dowels cross and pull the string through, tying it around the crossing point. There's no need to be a certified Eagle Scout for this knot-tying step, just make sure it feels sturdy enough to where it'll be okay if it's whipped around in the wind a little.
Fifth Step: Rendezvous with some ribbon
If, like me, you thought the tail of a kite was just for being cute, you are unfortunately wrong — but I like your dedication to aesthetic. The tail is actually an important part of keeping the kite stable and making sure that it doesn’t spin around in the air. Using scraps from the original plastic bag or trash bag that you cut your kite out of, fasten a tail onto the end of the kite. According to MyBestKite.com, the tail should be no shorter than five times the length of the kite. Now that your kite is designed, assembled and stabilized, you are ready to partake in Kite Flying Day!
Optional Step: Ignore everything above and go to the store
Not all of us have time for arts and crafts. You’re busy, and Vox understands that. So if you aren’t trying to get all DIY for Kite Flying Day, you can also purchase kites at your local Target or Walmart that will be just as impressive. There’s no guarantee that it will be made with as much love as if you had done it yourself, but it’ll still satisfy all your Kite Flying Day needs for this Saturday at Douglass Park.