Turn Turkey Feathers Into a Kite That Actually Flies

Learn how you can turn turkey feathers into a fully functioning and stylish kite in this do it yourself project that is fun as a group or a fly off.

| September 2019

kite
Illustration by Luke Boushee

Making a kite with turkey feathers is one of those projects that scores really high on the effort-to-fun ratio. To improve on that ratio even more, gather a group of friends, have everyone make their own kites, and have a fly-off.

Stuff You’ll Need

  • Six wild turkey wing feathers. (If you can’t find them in the wild, ask a turkey hunter or look on eBay or Etsy online.) You need three from one wing and three from the other.
  • Scissors or a knife
  • Scotch tape
  • Two 4-inch lengths of dogbane. (You can also use drinking straws—the heavier, the better.)
  • Two 4-foot lengths of surveyor’s flagging
  • Twine or string
  • A pool of fishing line. (If the line is connected to a fishing pole and reel, even better!)

How To Do It

  1. On two of the feathers, clip the end of the shaft so that the shafts of two other feathers can be pushed into them. The two feathers you clip need to be from the same wing, and the two feathers you insert need to be from the other; this orientation is important for proper flight (just ask any bird)!
  2. Insert the feather and wrap the joint in tape.
  3. Using an X pattern, lash the feathers to the lengths of dogbane or straws with twine as shown in the illustration. The two lengths of dogbane should be almost, but not quite, parallel—with the rear tips slightly farther apart than the front tips. The front pair of feathers should be directly at the front tips of the dogbane, while the back pair should be located about an inch forward of the rear tips.
  4. Insert the remaining two feathers into the pithy end of the dogbane.
  5. Tie a piece of twine to the center of each side of the rectangle formed by the dogbane and the pairs of feathers. The pieces hanging down should be about 4 inches each. Now tie the loose ends of these together into a knot.
  6. Tie one end of your fishing line to the knot.
  7. Tie a length of surveyor’s tape to the end of each tail feather. This helps with stability.
  8. Wait for the breeze to pick up, head for an open space, and let ’er fly!

More from The Young Adventurer's Guide to (Almost) Everything:

cover


From The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Everything by Ben and Penny Hewitt © 2019 by Ben Hewitt. Illustrations © 2019 by Luke Boushee. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.








mother-audience

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

February 15-16, 2020
Belton, Texas

Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.

LEARN MORE









Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me