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 8. 1 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:
- A large sheet of Tyvek
- Tyvek tape
- A washer
Instead I used:
- 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.
- Clear packing tape. I used this instead of Tyvek tape. Tyvek tape would have worked a LOT better, but I have no complaints.
- 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.
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.