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SCRAP Humboldt Bag It Up box kite

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IMG Bag It Up Box Kite finished.jpg


Bag it Up Box Kite was designed at Humboldt State University's Engineering 215 during Spring 2013. SCRAP Humboldt asked us to repurpose products from the waste stream. Our group was given the task of repurposing malt bags. This led to the creation of the Bag it Up Box Kite.


The client for ENGR 215 Spring 2013 class is SCRAP Humboldt. SCRAP Humboldt was created to fill Humboldt County’s need for a creative reuse center. SCRAP began in 1999, when a local Portland Oregon teacher received a grant to open up a reuse center for all the unused materials that teachers had accumulated. As they grew, SCRAP began the SCRAP USA program, which works with setting up reuse centers around the United States. As of right now, SCRAP has reuse centers in Portland, Oregon; Humboldt, California; Denton, Texas; Washington D.C.; and Traverse City, Michigan (SCRAP 2013).

Objective and criteria[edit]

The objective given to team Reduce, Reuse, Remalt Bag was to create a product that repurposes malt bags and keeps them out of the waste stream. Before deciding on a specific product, we created and weighted criteria that we wanted our final product to fulfill.

Criteria Description Weight (1-10)
Sustainability Over 75% recycled materials 10
Re-Creatability DIY Project 10
Entertainment Value Interactive for those who use and/or recreate it 9
Aesthetics Looks like a DIY project 7
Portability Small enough to be held by two people 7
Durability Must last more than 3 years w/ maintenance 6
Safety Safe for kids 5
Cost Less than $50 to create 2

Materials needed to build the Bag it Up Box Kite

Description of final project[edit]

Our final project is the Bag it Up Box Kite. The box kite consists of used malt bags for the skin and bamboo sticks for the frame. The box kite's dimensions are is approximately 20"x20"x30". The Bag it Up Box Kite removes 2 malt bags from the waste stream.


The table below outlines the cost to recreate the Bag it Up Box Kite. All of these items can be used to make more than one kite.

Material Our Cost ($) Retail Cost ($)
Malt Bags 0.00 n/a
Bamboo Sticks (bag) 3.85 3.85
Masking Tape 3.00 3.00
String 2.50 2.50
Parchment Paper 4.00 4.00
Hot Glue Sticks (bag) 2.65 2.65
Needle and Thread 0.00 0.50
Total $16.00 $16.50

Maintenance Cost[edit]

To maintain the Bag it Up Box Kite you will need more bamboo sticks in case the frame is damaged. If the malt fabric is damaged,depending on the severity, it can either be fixed with duct tape or another malt bag.

Testing Results[edit]

The Bag it Up Box Kite was tested on its ability and ease to fly, while also testing how easily it could be recreated.

Flying Results[edit]

The bag it Up Box Kite flew very well in moderate wind. It took of with ease and was steady in the air. When it did crash, it did not suffer any damage. The kite was found to fly best under non-rainy conditions with moderate wind speeds around 10-20 MPH.

Recreating Results[edit]

Instructions and materials to build the Bag it Up Box Kite were given to a adult and a child. They were asked to recreate the box kite without any help from the team, Reduce, Reuse, Remalt Bag. The purpose of this test was to see if the instructions were clear enough for an individual with limited crafting skills to recreate the kite. The pair were able to understand most of the instructions and made note of the steps that were confusing. With their help, team Reduce, Reuse, Remalt Bag was able to develop a set of instructions that are easy to follow. The test subjects were able to build the box kite, and they got it to fly.


REMALTBAG 215SH S13Poster.jpg

How to build[edit]

Steps to Build Box Kite
Image 1Image 2Step
Caption CaptionStep 1: To start, you will need 2 clean, dry malt bags. Cut the bottom seams out and cut down the back of the bag (opposite of the front label). This project does not use the plastic liner. You should now have 2 pieces around 44"x30".
Caption CaptionStep 2: Tape down a bag on a large flat surface on all edges with masking tape. Put the iron on a medium settings. With parchment paper between the iron and the malt bag, iron the entire bag from end to end until flat.
Caption CaptionStep 3: With a ruler, mark off two rectangles measuring 41"x10". Surrounding the perimeter of the rectangle with an extra 1/2 inch of fabric for a seam draw another set of lines.
Caption CaptionStep 4: While the bags are still taped down, cut along the the second set of outside lines. Leaving the bag taped makes cutting easier and prevents fraying. Do not pull loose strands, cut them only.
Caption CaptionStep 5: Prefold all edges along the 1/2" border. Only on the 41" sides ,liberally apply glue in small sections at a time to keep the ends from fraying.
Caption CaptionStep 6: Use wire cutters to cut 4 pieces of bamboo to 30" in length. Then cut 4 pieces to 27.5" for the center cross sections. If you want to make a different size kite,the formula for cross sections is width multiplied by √2.
Caption CaptionStep 7: Take the four, 27.5" pieces, and mark their midpoints. Then glue 2 together at the midpoint to create an X with 90* angles. Tie string around the midpoint for reinforcement. Repeat to make 2 center cross sections.
Caption CaptionStep 8: Take the 4, 30" long sticks and mark a point 10" from each end. The cross sections will be attached at these points.
Caption CaptionStep 9: Glue the cross sections to the 30" bamboo sticks. Tie string around the connection spots to reinforce. Add a dab of hot glue to prevent string from untying. Your frame should be complete with this step.
Caption CaptionStep 10: Take 2 of the malt bag rectangles and glue them together along the 10" seam. Make sure its a tight seam. Repeat with the other 2 rectangles, crating 2 rectangles 82"x 10". You will probably have extra fabric needed for your kite but do not cut it yet.
Caption CaptionStep 11 a.: To attach the fabric to the frame, take a rectangle of malt bag material, (82"x10"), and wrap it around top end of the box frame. Meet the ends together and stitch together with needle and thread. Do this at top and bottom corners of fabric only. This step requires two people. One person to pull fabric taught and the other person for stitching and gluing.
Caption CaptionStep 11 b.: Glue seam between stitches on the joining seam. This will be the top portion of your kite. Repeat these steps for the bottom of kite.

If you should find that you have extra fabric you can cut the excess after gluing the seams.

Caption CaptionStep 12: Attach all corners with needle and thread to bamboo rod ends. Glue each corner at the position that the fabric meets the frame.
Caption CaptionStep 13: Attach the string to the top of one of the corners. You are ready to fly!
Caption CaptionStep 14: Go fly your awesome box kite!



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