How to make a kite

There are few joys as simple and exhilarating as flying a brightly coloured kite in the breeze. For great family fun, build your own kite with this easy step-by-step guide.

Kite diagram

There are few joys as simple and exhilarating as flying a brightly coloured kite in the breeze. For great family fun, build your own toy craft with this easy step-by-step guide.

Advertisement

You Will Need

  • Large sheet of paper (60cm long by 45cm wide)
  • Bamboo plant support (Thin 60cm)
  • Twine
  • Ribbon, Optional

Total time:

Step 1

Kitediagram1_2-707889e
Measure your kite (Illustration: Liam O’Farrell)

Make the sail of your kite with a large sheet of paper 60cm long by 45cm wide. A reel of brown paper will do, or buy coloured paper from a craft shop.  Fold the paper in half lengthways. On either side, measure 15cm down from the top. Use ruler or other straight edge to draw a line between these marks and the top centre. Draw two more lines from the marks at the side to the bottom centre, to form a diamond.

Step 2

Kitediagram2-ff37bfa
Cut out your kite (Illustration: Liam O’Farrell)

Carefully cut out your diamond.

Step 3

Kitediagram3-267f167
Build the frame (Illustration: Liam O’Farrell)

Thin 60cm bamboo plant supports from garden centres make good, lightweight spars. Using secateurs, cut one of them to a length of 45cm.  Tie the two spars together with twine – checking that the spar-ends still line up with the corners of the paper sail – then knot firmly. Trim the twine.

Step 4

At each corner, use something sharp (such as a cocktail stick) to pierce two holes on either side of the spar. Thread twine through each hole (this is fiddly!) and tie it to the spar, leaving some loose ends for attaching ribbons. Glue the spars the paper and allow to dry.

Step 5

Attach a piece of twine firmly to the spar at the left and right corners, allowing plenty of slack – there should be about 60cm of twine loose between the two corners. Fix your flying line firmly to this twine. (I reused a reel of old twine from a tangled kite in the cupboard.)

Illustration: Liam O’Farrell
Illustration: Liam O’Farrell

Step 6

Cut two 2m x 2cm strips of crepe paper, and tie them to the bottom of the kite. Add two more strips, around 1m long, to the sides or you could use ribbon instead.

Kite-diagram5-58d43f5
Advertisement

I waited for a dry, breezy day – strong winds might damage your fragile kite. When you’re ready for your kite’s maiden voyage, find a patient, excitable person to help you launch the kite.  Stand upwind of the kite, and ask your helper to stand directly downwind. Launch and enjoy the sight of your kite fluttering in the breeze!

Flyers-2-8ce1389