Abakhan Projects on a Budget

Hi! I'm Lucy and I blog at Charm About You. Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to Lynne and Abakhan for allowing me to take part in the 'projects on a budget' challenge. The theme this time was 'picnics' and my idea was to make kites - useful to keep the kids amused. Secondly, I want to make it clear that I'm no kite expert. This was a fun project for me and the kids to make together over the summer holidays, having said that, it turned out really well!

The supplies from Abakhan:

Rip Stop - 1 metre each of Fluorescent Orange, Pink and Green (I got 3 metres for colour variety but you only really need 2 metres if you're making 2 kites as big as ours)
Double Sided Tape 6mm (this stuff is incredible - it totally stood up to strong winds!)
Gutterman Sew All Thread (I got black, with experience I now know white would be much better)

The only extras are scissors, a bit of normal tape, a hacksaw and the two dowling rods I used to make the kite frame. I had planned on using some sticks (?!!) but thankfully my husband handily had these at home. You could also use light bamboo or something similar.

The dowling I used is 90cm long but you can use whatever length you have. The key is to have both rods the same length and position the horizontal rod quarter of the way down:

my rods are 90cm so the horizontal was placed 22.5cm from the top.
Once you've positioned the rods on the fabric (the creases in the fabric helped me keep them straight!), hold them steady and draw a mark at each end of both rods. Connect the dots using a pen and ruler and you have your kite shape. Do NOT cut along the lines, leave about an inch of 'seam' and cut around the outside of the line, making sure there's about an inch extra all the way round. I was making two kites so I used the first as a template for the next.

Cut strips to use as tails for the kites - the selvedge looks pretty for this too.

Next step is to use a hacksaw, cut a groove on the bag handle and another cut on the opposite side, this helps to wrap the string around the handle. Then cut grooves in each end of the dowling rods.

Now that each end of the rods has a groove you can attach the rods to the kite. I used a bit of the double sided tape to help keep them in position - don't tape too near the bottom of the kite (you need to attach the tails) or where the rods meet (you need to secure them together). To secure the rods I just wrapped some of the Gutterman thread around the cross point a few times and tied some knots.

Now use thread to make the shape of the kite by running it around the outside (it should run along the lines you drew) and pulling it through the grooves in the rods. When you've gone through each rod pull the string taut, cut the thread and tie each end of the thread together.

We used a bit of tape over the ends of the rods to make sure the string didn't come lose.

Next you want to put the double sided tape along each edge of the kite. Then peel back the paper, fold the fabric over the string and press down firmly.

Take a long piece of thread and knot it to the handle, wrap it around the grooves a few times and then tie the other end to the rods at the cross point - you need strong knots and probably should use some tape to secure it too (sorry I forgot to take a picture of this!). Finally tie the tails to the bottom of the kite by knotting them around the rod and you're all ready to go and fly your kite!

Honestly I was surprised how well they flew!! It would have been very embarrassing and I wouldn't have written a tutorial if they hadn't ;)

My kids are little so they liked running along with them but they do fly better when you stand still, control them and let the wind do its windy thing.

We really had a lot of fun and will definitely be flying our kites again (mostly because I totally loved it!!)

What a great way to brighten up a dull Manchester sky!


  1. Not something I would ever have thought to make but they look great! So much fun! :)

  2. You are very clever - such a great idea.

  3. Wow that's thinking outside the box - what a great idea!! Beautiful bright kites perfect for the summer x

  4. Kites in those bright colors are brilliant ~ so clever!

  5. That's brilliant - they look really professional.

  6. The kids look like they're having a great time, fab idea!

  7. Loads of fun, and I love your funky tape :oD

  8. What a great idea - it looks like lots of fun!


Post a Comment

Comment away peeps :-)