Photos on Kites

by Harry Allen
(New York NY)

Q:

Greetings from NYC!

This spring, I want to make a kite out of a photo enlargement.

Do you know of an ideal photo paper, or other material, to use for this purpose, or of an enlargement service that will blow up an image onto worthy material, several feet high, so that one may make a kite out of it?

Kindest thanks.

A:

I'll ask you a question ;-) Do you know anyone who uses Windows XP or later and has a printer attached to the PC?

I'm sure you do - and would you believe it, it is very simple to print out a multi-page version of any image onto ordinary printer paper.

Just use the Windows Paint program, according to these instructions....


  1. Find and open the image, in Paint.

  2. If using Win Vista or 7, select Print | Page Setup. In Win XP, select File | Page Setup.

  3. In the Scaling box, select Fit To and specify the pages. For example 3 by 3.

  4. Print the image, with All Pages selected.


That's all there is to it. The Paint program scales the image up accordingly, to fit the number of pages requested.

Know anyone who has access to a printer that does larger sizes, at work perhaps? That would work even better, with less sheets required.

Be aware that this process will lower the quality of the image. Simply put, the bigger the image file you start with, the better the final printed image will be. But a small amount of fuzziness in the image will not be visible when the kite is over 100 feet up :-)

Ordinary paper is not ideal for a kite, but it will certainly work, taped edge-to-edge with sticky tape. It will tear easily if dragged over twigs or stones, and of course you can't let it get wet.

Using transparencies would be a tougher but heavier sail for a kite. Not to mention a bit more expensive! Glossy photo paper would improve the image, and possibly the durability, again at a somewhat higher price than ordinary copier paper.

A graphic art service will charge a fortune for a poster-sized image! 3 figures possibly, unless you can sweet-talk you way to an 'at cost' job, after explaining the purpose!

Line art can be transferred to a single large sheet of plastic, using grids and permanent markers - but I think you want the actual image don't you...

Hope this helps!

Comments for Photos on Kites

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Dec 26, 2011
Tyvek
by: Tim Parish

Great suggestion Cliff! And if anyone else wants to make use of the technique for A4 rather than Letter size paper - just cut the Tyvek to 210 × 297 mm.

Dec 26, 2011
Printing Large Pictures
by: Cliff

You can print on a material called TYVEK, a poly/paper type product used to wrap a house under construction. You can cut it into 8 1/2 x 11 sheets and feed it through a printer.

Tape the pieces together to form a large image. The material is rugged and will accept the ink. Tyvek comes in different grades. Use the construction grade (like on a house)

Good luck

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