A Scottish hare, two badgers, and a red kite deliver a message about gratitude in this week’s installment of The Willowbee Tree. It's called "Graces."
Oliver and I are feeling ever-so-thankful for the end of Winter, but sometimes we forget to acknowledge that gratitude in the face of still-freezing nights, and only short-lived breakthroughs of sun during long stretches of windy, rainy days. Instead of moping, we decided to harness that wind and make a red kite of our own!
This project is great for small and large hands, and produces a well-flying kite in 15 minutes or less.
Here’s what you need:
1″ graph paper for your template (some wrapping paper already has a 1-inch grid on the back)
2 plastic drinking straws (not the bendy kind)
crochet cotton or kitchen twine cut to 24 inches
The layout for this kite is like a lopsided house. Using the photo above as an example, start at the edge of a square and draw a line 7.5 inches long. From the left point, draw upwards 2.5 inches, and from the right point, draw upwards 3.75 inches. From the top of each of those points, meet in a position three lines over from the right and seven lines up from the bottom. That was the hardest part!
Fold your wrapping paper in half and position your template so that the 7.5 inch side is on the fold. Cut out your pattern.
Position your straws with one running from Point A to Point C, and the other running from Point B to Point D. Simply tape them down in place at the ends. A standard size straight drinking straw should fit this space perfectly. Also affix tape to each side corner to reinforce it.
Punch holes in the corners and attach one end of the thread or twine to each corner. Tie a loop in the middle of the length of thread and this is your loop to attach your kite string. If you don’t have kite string on hand, you can just attach a long length of more thread or twine to use as kite string. This kite won’t last for years, so you can just use something meant to be temporary.
If you have enough paper, tails really make the kite special. On the shorter edge (the back of the kite), attach two ¾-in by 4 or 5-foot tails to either side. We made these out of the same wrapping paper we used for the kite body, but you could use a contrasting color or crepe streamers or anything of similar weight.
A fifteen-minute project turned into an hour and a half of running and winding string and laughing under a grey, breezy sky. Suddenly, Spring didn’t seem quite so gloomy anymore.
About the Author
Shannon is a farmer, writer, mixed media artist, photographer, and dreamer, navigating the wilderness of modern life from a Little House in the Young Woods of southern Vermont.