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DIY: Kite mobile

01 Mar 2021

The back wall is painted in Resene Warrior, with stars in Resene Black White and clusters top-coated in Resene FX Nightlight glow-in-the-dark. To maximise the glow the stars could be painted in Resene White topcoated with Resene FX Nightlight. DIY kite mobile in Resene Proton, Resene Reservoir, Resene Half Jumbo and Resene Black White.

Kites or manu tukutuku were traditionally used by Māori to symbolise the start of Matariki. They were also used for divination to locate wrongdoers and measure whether an enemy attack would be successful.

Traditional kites were made from branches of the mānuka and kareao trees with coverings made from aute raupō and ūpoko tangata plants and lines made of muka, the fibre of the flax leaf.

You can create this a kite mobile with a few simple supplies from your local craft shop.

You will need:
- Macramé hoop (or similar)
- String or thread
- Glue
- Scissors
- pencil
- an A2 size sheet of heavy cardstock (plus another small scrap of cardstock)
- Resene testpot brush and Resene testpots in four colours of your choice – we used Resene Proton metallic, Resene Reservoir, Resene Half Jumbo and Resene Black White. 

Step 1: First, use your Resene testpot brush to paint a smooth layer of three of your paint colours so that they each cover 1/3 of your A2 size sheet of card stock. Allow your first coat to dry before applying your second coat. We used Resene Reservoir, Resene Half Jumbo and Resene Black White.  

Step 2: While your paper is drying, apply two coats of your fourth testpot colour to your macramé hoop, allowing the first to dry before moving on to the second. We used Resene Proton metallic. 

Step 3:  Use a scrap piece of cardstock or thick paper approximately 8cm2 to create a template for your kites. Fold the scrap in half then make two cuts away from the fold towards the outer edges of your paper to create a ‘kite’ or diamond shape. From your leftover offcuts, cut a small bowtie shape. This will be used to make the ‘ties’ on the tail of your kite strings. Alternatively, you can use our design below as a template. 

Step 4: Using a pencil, trace the outlines of your templates on to your painted paper. For each kite you would like to add to your mobile, you will need four kite shapes and four tie shapes. We made three of each colour for our mobile, so we cut 12 of each shape in each colour. 

Step 5: Cut nine 60cm lengths of string/thread. We used thin cotton string that has a hint of silver woven into it for extra sparkle. 

Step 6: Fold each kite shape in half lengthwise with the painted surface facing inward. Use a glue stick or glue gun to adhere one half of the backsides of the four kites together in a circle, but before sealing the circle ‘closed’, lay/glue a length of thread through the centre so that approximately 8-10cm dangles out of the bottom and approximately 50cm comes out of the top. Repeat this for all of your kites. 

Step 7: Use glue to sandwich the end of your string/thread between the unpainted surfaces of two tie shapes closer to the bottom of the kite. Repeat again closer to the end of your string, so that you have two tie shapes on each kite string. Repeat this for all of your kites. 

Step 8: Tie the longer end of each kite string to your macramé hoop approximately halfway up the string, double knotting to keep it in place. You may choose to alternate the colours of your kites and tie them so that come kites hang lower or higher than others.

Step 9: Slide your knots along the hoop so that your kites are evenly distributed then gather the free ends of your strings and knot them together. 

Optional: Tie a small wooden or metal ring at the top of your mobile to make it easier to hang. 

Published: 01 Mar 2021