Make your own kite for high-flying fun

Building and flying a fast, maneuverable kite from wood and paper is an enjoyable challenge for adults and kids alike. We'll teach you how to make a traditional diamond-shaped kite in 5 easy steps.

Make your own kite for high-flying fun

Go fly a kite

A traditional kite should be two-thirds as wide as it is high. To make one, you'll need the following:

  • Two pieces of dowelling: one 140 x 8 centimetre (55 1/8 x 5/16 inches) for the upright, and one 90 x 0.5 centimetre (55 1/8 x 1/4 inches) for the crossbar. Squared pieces of wood can be used if doweling is unavailable.
  • One 140 x 90 centimetre (55 1/8 x 35 7/16 inches) sheet of brown wrapping paper.
  • A long length of string.
  1. Begin by making small slots in the ends of the dowels, then tie the dowels together so that the short one forms a crossbar 35 centimetres (13 3/4 inches) below the top of the upright.
  2. Run a string through the slots so that it forms a diamond-shaped perimeter. Cut the paper so that it's 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) larger than the string outline. Snip off the corners of the paper diamond to allow the dowels to protrude. Fold the edges over the string and tape or glue them in place.
  3. Tie a string to the back side of the cross and pull it tight so that the crossbar bows out about 7 centimetres (3 inches) from the taut string at its centre.
  4. Glue a paper patch to the paper where the dowels cross, and poke a hole in it near the position of the crossbar. Tie one end of a 1.5-metre-long (5-foot-long) string to the cross, pass it through the hole, and tie the other end to the bottom of the upright. Attach the kite string about a third of the way down the bridle.
  5. Add a tail, such as a plastic bag cut into strips or a line of string with bows attached. It's better to have a tail that's too long rather than one that's too short. A tail creates drag and provides needed stability.

Now that you've made your kite, all you need is a nice windy day. Find an open field and let your creation soar!

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