How to Make a Butterfly Kite

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Kites originated in China over 2,000 years ago. The foremost-recorded account of a kite was when Chinese General Han Hsin of the Han Dynasty used one during warfare over the walls of a city he planned to attack in order to plan how far his army would have to fight past the defenses. Nowadays, we use kites recreationally as toys to create and fly. A butterfly kite is a simple, satisfying craft for anyone to make, boy or girl, child or adult.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Magic markers
  • 8.5 x 11 inch paper
  • Protractor
  • Bamboo skewer
  • Scotch tape
  • Pin
  • Spool of kite string
  • 30 inches crepe paper

Place your paper horizontally in front of you and fold it in half, like a greeting card. Unfold your paper, and using your ruler, draw a line with a magic marker that traces the fold you just made.

Put your protractor directly to the left of the line at the bottom of the paper. Draw a straight line at a 70-degree angle.

Place your protractor to the right of your middle line and draw a straight line at a 110-degree angle. Check the two lines you just drew. They should be mirror images.

Draw the left half of a butterfly on the left side of the paper. Draw it so that the middle part of the butterfly is your line angled at 70 degrees. Make this half of the butterfly big: it should be 8.5 inches tall and almost 5 inches wide. Repeat on the other side of the paper.

Fold your paper in half again down the center mark. Fold it so that the butterfly parts you just drew are on the outside. Fold each wing of the butterfly inward along the angled lines that you drew. You should have a fold of uncolored white paper in your hand, and the two ends of the butterfly should touch, making it look complete.

Continue to hold the butterfly together with your hand. Turn it over and tape the back of it with one long strip of tape, so that it stays in place without your hand.

Place your bamboo skewer horizontally across the top of the back part of the butterfly. Tape it into place.

Turn the kite over and push a pin into the smaller end of the fold, 3 inches from the top. Work the pin through the paper until it forms a small hole. Put some scotch tape around the hole so it doesn't tear.

Thread your kite string through the hole and knot it into place several times. Tape your piece of crepe paper at the bottom of the butterfly so that it has a tail.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you fly your kite, make sure you take the entire spool of kite thread with you so that it can fly as high as the wind takes it.

References

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