That Charlie Brown Kite

One of the happy memories of when our children were young is of their homemade kite. We made it of paper from several grocery sacks and used branches off our peach trees for the crosspieces, which are perfect for kites because they are smooth, straight, flexible, yet strong.

Our paper-sack kite lifted easily, almost with no wind, and flew many, many a flight. Even when it became battered with use it flew well. The children named it the Charlie Brown kite, even though it never tangled in trees that I remember.

It was only a plain brown kite, made from a grocery sack and peach tree branches. The tail was a typical rag-tied tail. That was a good kite.

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If you’d like to make your own kite, here is a website with complete instructions and here a short tutorial on YouTube. Or if you’d rather strike out on your own by looking off my photo below you’ll probably be able to make one by yourself.

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A few tips:
1. Assemble the frame first and attach a string all the way around the ends of the sticks to resemble a kite shape.
2. Cut the paper about 2″ bigger than the frame and fold the edges over the string and glue in place.
3. Tie a “harness” to the top and bottom ends of the vertical cross piece and then attach the kite line to that.
4. Make a tail about 10′ or 12′ long and tie lightweight swatches of fabric to it. You will need to adjust the weights the first time you fly the kite by taking off bows or adding one or two.

As you assemble the kite remember that equal distribution of weight is necessary for your kite to fly properly.

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Do you know what’s wrong with the two cloud photos? They need kites flying way up there. Go make one and fly it. And don’t take life too seriously – it’s kite-flying weather.

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