Dragons & Fish




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By Dan Beard

Figs. 57, 58. 
Paper Dragon and Paper Fish.

When a gang of kites is sent up tandem, each kite helps to lift the string and prevent it from sagging.  Consequently not only flags but all manner of strange things can be attached to the main kite string.  Paper streamers of bright colors and large paper Japanese fish and dragons weigh very little and will make a display most wonderful to behold.  The author attached a Japanese fish about five feet long to the string of an old-fashioned hexagonal kite, the latter was about three feet high.  With the aid of a good wind the kite kept that great fish flapping up aloft all day.

Paper Dragon or Fish for Kite Strings.

With a pencil mark out a pattern on a piece of wrapping paper, and after you have secured the shape you desire, cut it out with the scissors.  Take some red or yellow tissue paper and cut it according to the brown-paper pattern.  You will see by the diagrams (Figs. 57 and 58) that the mouth should be very large.  This is because a hoop is pasted in the mouth to admit the breeze which is to inflate the dragon or fish.  After cutting out two tissue-paper dragons, according to your pattern (Figs. 59 and 60), paste the edges together, except at the mouth (Fig. 61), which must be left open. 

Fig. 59: One-half of Paper Skin.
Fig. 60: The Other Half with Flaps for Pasting.
Fig. 61: Showing the Two Halves Partly Pasted.

When the paste is perfectly dry take the scissors and cut slits of about half an inch long all around the mouth opening (Fig. 64).  For the hoop use any light elastic wood that you can bend into a circular form.  Make a hoop of this material the exact size of the mouth opening of the dragon or fish (Fig. 63), and then paste it in by folding the parts divided by the slits over the hoop as in Fig. 65, and allow it to dry. When it is dry attach strings to the hoop from opposite sides and let the hoops form a sort of belly-band (Figs. 57, 58 and 65).

Fig. 62: The Paper.
Fig. 63: The Hoop.
Fig. 64: The Hoop in Place.
Fig. 65: Finished Pennant.

The fish will then be ready to be attached to the kite-string, and when it is aloft it will swell out like a balloon and look very comical in the air (Fig. 46).

Fig. 46:  All the Novelties in the Air.

 If a heavy black line is painted on each side of the head to represent the mouth, and two big black circles to represent the eyes, it will add greatly to the effect. (Figs. 57 and 58 show how to paint the dragon and fish.)

See Also:

Chinese Dragon Kite
Fish Kite
Broom-Straw Fish Kite

 Outdoor Handy Book






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.