Umbrella Turned Delta Kite

How many broken umbrellas have you thrown out in your life? [BigApe] has come up with a novel way to reuse them, by turning them into kites.

The beauty of the build is in the MacGyver-style material list. Apart from a few store bought 8mm aluminum and plastic tubes, the majority of the build is out of other scraps that you can easily find around the house. Spokes from a broken bicycle wheel, plastic from a CD case, elastic bands, yarn, some washers, an empty hair gel tube, the list goes on… We really have to give him credit on the creative material choices!

Now before you get too excited, this project does involve quite a bit of sewing, so a sewing machine would be quite handy. Other than that, only basic tools such as pliers, scissors, punches, matches, drill bits, and a saw, are required.

The finished product ends up being a bit heavier than most similar sized consumer-grade delta kites, but [BigApe] achieved some kite-like flight out of it in low wind speeds. He promises to post a test video when it gets a bit windier to prove his design.

On the topic of kites, earlier this year we covered a remote-controlled, autonomous, power generating kite!

13 thoughts on “Umbrella Turned Delta Kite

  1. Great re-use/cycle project!

    A warning about requiring a sewing machine? if only you bothered to warn us when an CNC or 3D-printer was required too. It may come as a shock to the Makers out there but it is far more likely that people have a sewing machine than the other tools i mentioned – its monday morning and im seeing the the dentist later, if this sound too harsh then that is where it is coming from :-)

    1. It would be interesting to see stats on which of those mentioned tools the readership here actually has.

      I don’t have a sewing machine, not much into doing it by hand either. If I were to attempt this project, I’d probably used siliconed lap joints with a few strategically placed staples. ;)

      1. Every household i know of (except a few single males) have a sewing machine. Nobody i know owns a 3D printer. perhaps a couple or so have access to CNC (through work)

        the sewing machine has been a common DIY/save-money-in-the-long-run item for many many years and can easilly be bought locally in a shop or flea-markets unless you are really off the beaten track.

        My sadness is really about the price of it all, it goes beyond a “hack” and into professional-quality area when you start doing it with specialised and expensive equipment. ofcourse that is my look at it, but i come here as a hobbyist not as an engineer with either a job or school providing me with tools (and not a high budget for that myself). so if it is not rather common tools then it is essentially off-limits to me and (im guessing – since i doubt i am that unique) others like me.

        That does not mean the occasional “high-end pro hack” post is out of the question of course. but perhaps i misunderstood and this is not a site for hobbyists, but for professionals? as ive noticed a lot of complaints when “simple hacks” are posted (simple being what the complainer did as a kid so assuming everyone else did too, just like i assume that more have access to sewingmachines than to 3dprinters)

        A stapler is btw also a very versatille tool that i will blindly accept being part of the BOM for a DIY hack ;-)

        I initially posted because i thought the disparity was amusing. warning against a 100 year old common houshold item being required, but never warning and only occasionally mentioning it when its a much more specialised tools like 3d printers and cnc machines.

        (And now my little friendly commentary turned into a rant…)

        1. It’s a fair rant. Yet the requirement for a sewing machine, compared to a 3D printer/CNC, is still uncommon for the projects featured here; despite it being a far more common tool. Maybe that’s why it was explicitly pointed out. You can also often tell immediately by looking at a picture of a project whether an automated tool was used or necessary, whereas the kite is more ambiguous as to construction method.

  2. Tomorrow we post a project that requires a fork truck, a crane, and one small ferret. but it will be called an “ALMOST FREE” project.

    Yeah, they need to stop sensationalizing them as well. If it requires special hardware or tools then dont lie to us and call it “low cost” or “free”

      1. Cheap is relative. Sometimes cheap as be as cheap as free if it’s a small job. A person down the street whose family own a construction business offer and than used their crane to help a ham lift a tower/antenna assembly. into place. While it’s a guess my guess is, including road time from the business’s yard it was a $400 value. Such is life in small rural towns.

    1. Rent for a crane where I live is €100 euro in hour. Minimum time is 4 hours. If you plan wisely then you can get a lot done with these 4 hours. Using a crane may be much lower cost solution when you can not relay on cheap or free labor of relatives.

  3. This reminds me of a set of “Bat Wings ” I made for my son when he was young.
    Dressed as Batman for Halloween the only store bought item was the mask/cowl .
    Don’t have any pics from it as they where all lost years ago(son may have one of it I’ll check),but it was all made from a large black umbrella,coat hanger wire and seat belt straps and wing nuts w/bolts at the elbows so that it folded in but when open it had a 6ft wing span.
    When he out grew the costume i used it to make a large black bat to hang from tree’s (along with a fountain filled with over-sized body parts and blood red water) lol
    I’ll ask my son if he any pics of it and post it if he does .

  4. Clearly the article was edited to satisfy squeaky wheels, IMO a bad practice. Yes when pointed out correct spelling and grammar errors those create incorrect information. Edits as this has the writers chasing down the impossible;trying to please everyone all the time. There is a corollary to a common the customer is always right axiom; The customer is always right except when the customer is being unreasonable. No doubt in the past I may have comment while I’d like to duplicate another’s project but I can’t because a lack of access to material or tool, but it never dawned on me to expect Hackaday to include in their articles BOM or tool requirements that are available at the sufferance link.

      1. Exactly, and less a complaint than an observation worth thinking about.

        Ofcourse what kind of tools are “commonly available” differs between cultures/agegroups/educations/etc. Perhaps the editor did indeed grow up in a home with a 3d-printer but never saw a sewing-machine in their life – And perhaps I am wrong for thinking the opposite is still more common. or maybe im just bitter and opinioated :)

  5. To be clear, this is a dual-line delta kite, or stunt kite, or spot kite… whatever. A single line delta kite would be a lot easier to make, and still use most of the same materials.
    On the subject of sewing, you can use adhesives for the hems and most structural parts with some planning. 3M VHB tapes are pretty popular for this. I’ve made a few and they have held up just as well as my sewn kites. for a little info.

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