Tyvek Sled Kite… from office supplies

Tyvek Office Supply Kite

The picture to the right is of a kite that I built several weeks ago and only got around to actually flying this weekend.  It’s basically made out of office supplies.  :)

Originally I just wanted to make the Tyvek sled kite from the Howtoons shown in Craft Magazine, Volume 81  But then I wanted to see how much of the kite I could assemble just using things from the office.  The answer is, basically all of it.

The Howtoons calls for:

  1. A large sheet of Tyvek
  2. Tyvek tape
  3. A washer
  4. Ruler
  5. Scissors

Instead I used:

  1. Tyvek from Tyvek office envelopes, rather than a large sheet or roll of Tyvek house wrap.  My office is sent dozens of these things a day.  It didn’t take long to collect 30 plus.
  2. Clear packing tape.  I used this instead of Tyvek tape.  Tyvek tape would have worked a LOT better, but I have no complaints.
  3. Rather than use a washer, I used a spare keyring.  I had other various office supply bits hanging around in case this didn’t work out.  Paperclips, binder clips, etc.
  4. Yardstick.
  5. Scissors.

Since the envelopes are significantly smaller than the sheet of Tyvek rolls, I had to either make my kite smaller or stitch them together into a larger sheet.  I did both.  I scaled the plans down to about 2/3rds the size from the diagrams and then used packing tape to put them all together.  To get the most surface area out of each envelope, I burst all of the envelopes at the seams and then taped them up.  Once I had a 36″ tall sheet, I started cutting it into the pieces I needed, re-taped it back together as indicated by the diagram, and then set it aside for weeks while I didn’t fly it.  :)

On the day of the launch I made the tail out of strips of leftover envelopes taped together with the gluey bits from some of the envelope flap sealants and more packing tape.  I punched a hole in the three ribs using a pen, ran the line through each of the three ribs, reinforced it with more packing tape…  and launched.

The only non-office supply things used in the construction were:

  • Crayons for coloring the kite (hard to see)
  • The ruler – I don’t have a yardstick at work
  • The kite line, purchased from Amazon

It flew pretty well.

  1. I found a copy of all three pages after googling around a little.  Howtoons: Sled on a Thread pages 1 2, 3 []
August 8, 2010 | Comments Closed

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