Re-purposeful Recycling

There is a saying in the kite world..."One Sky One World"...that emphasizes the cultural diversity that encourages and demonstrates the boundless commonality that there is on a kite field.

Kites are a physical manifestation of the resilient nature, inner strength, and undying hope that humans posses. This was never so abundantly clear as it was on the island of Haiti in 2010. Immediately after a devastating earthquake rocked the tiny Caribbean island, we started seeing photos emerging from Haiti that showed kids standing atop heaps of garbage flying kites made out of scraps they were able to scavenge from the rubble. The pictures are inspiring!

Through-out the year, but especially on Earth Day 22 April Aeolus Curricula emphasizes how easy it is to make a kite out of recycled household materials.


When choosing your kite making materials it helps to be aware of the type of conditions you will be flying in. Damp conditions call for plastic kites; where as dry days would work with paper sails. Higher winds will need stronger materials for a heavier kite, while low winds will require lighter materials.

Plastic bags from high end department stores use a heavier plastic than what is used for kitchen garbage bags. This is not to say that one type of plastic works better than another, it is to say that different materials work best in different conditions

Various household items you can use for kite making are:


  • Drinking straws (the kind that does not bend)
  • Bamboo skewers (clip off the pointy end)
  • Matchstick bamboo from blinds
  • Matchstick bamboo from placemats


  • Copy/printer paper
  • Plastic bags (from stores, garbage bags, etc)
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tyvek (Federal Express envelopes are Tyvek)
  • Magazine pages
  • Junk Mail
  • Paper Plates

*Today’s newspapers and comics do not work as kite sails; they are too porous due to their high recycled content. The wind goes through the paper instead of lifting the paper.

Tail Material:

  • Crepe paper
  • Surveyors tape
  • Flagging material
  • Plastic bag cut into strips
  • Scrap paper cut into strips
  • Ribbon
  • Tinsel
  • Pom-Pom pieces

Flying Line & Bridle: (depends on size of kite and strength of wind)

  • Cotton String
  • Sewing thread
  • Embroidery thread
  • Crochet Thread
  • Dental floss
  • Yarn
  • Twine (from home improvment stores)


  • Labels with adhesive on one side can be cut to desired size
  • Stickers
  • Band-aids (not cost effective, but good in a pinch)

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