How to Make a Kite

Four Methods:Traditional Diamond KiteDelta KiteBumble Bee Paper Kite (Schaefer)Eddy Kite

Kites are the classic childhood toy that we have fond memories of. However, they can be pricey if you buy them from a store. Why not make a homemade kite? A kite obeys basic laws of physics and it's a simple, practical craft that you and your kids can enjoy constructing. Flying a kite made by your own hands will make you smile!

Method 1
Traditional Diamond Kite

  1. Image titled Make a Kite Step 1 preview
    Use paper to form the body of your kite. If you must, tape four pieces of paper together. But you have to tape them together the right way! Tape the two on top together, then tape together the two on bottom. Tape them on each other, making sure they're secure.
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    To cut a diamond shape on the paper, cut the 4 corners off. Take a look at the design below for a good idea on proportions. The diamond needs to be slightly bottom heavy -- about 3" from the top is where your two left and right corners should lie.
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    Tie two sticks together. To make sure they're in the right spot, line them up with your paper first. Tie as tight as possible! It should be securely knotted and the excess string cut off.
    • Any string that will keep it in place will do the job. As long as it doesn't come undone and isn't rope (rope is bulky).
    • Wooden BBQ Skewers work well for sticks. Just don't stab yourself! Ow.
  4. Image titled Make a Kite Step 4 preview
    Pierce 4 holes in the diamond-shaped paper at each corner. Thread a string through each hole and around each pipe cleaner or stick. Leave a bit extra on the top to thread a ribbon on, if desired later. Knot the stick in place to the kite itself.
  5. Image titled Make a Kite Step 5 preview
    Tie a string to the right and left hand sides of the horizontal stick. Then tie the string to the center of that string for your flying line. This string needs to be as long as you need to be for flying!
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    Tie on paper or ribbon to the corners to form the tail. You can add small strips of material to the end of the kite for added buoyancy and weighting. It also looks more complete.
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    Find a breeze or some light wind. Ask someone to help you hold your kite as you wait for a moderate wind to come. The wind should be blowing toward you, not from behind.
    • When you sense a breeze coming, start running and throw it up into the air! With luck, it'll stay airborne.
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    Fly your kite. It's so much more gratifying when you make it all yourself, isn't it? Once you get bored with simple flight, start doing twists, turns, and dives.
    • And if your kite isn't may want to be prepared for repairs and bring tape with you.

Method 2
Delta Kite

  1. 1
    Get a large plastic bag. A big garbage bag or a garden bag is ideal. A plastic grocery bag won't do your kite any favors and won't be big enough to reap any real high-flying reward. Go for the big guns.
    • Lay it on a flat surface. You'll need a clean, flat surface to work on to make sure your kite is built as stream-lined as possible.
  2. 2
    Work from the bottom seam. You'll be drawing half of your kite, so when you open the bag, it doubles in size. Starting near the top of the bottom seam, draw two sides of a triangle (the third side is the edge). When you have all the dots in place, flip it over and trace on the other side.
    • The seam should be 11 1/2" (29 cm) long.
    • The bottom line should be 10 3/4" (27 cm) long and should end 1 1/2" (3.75 cm) higher than where it started.
    • The top line should connect from the top of the seam to the end of the bottom line. Draw a line -- this will be referred to as the "fold line." Then add a 2" wide (5 cm) flap that begins 2 1/2" past the starting point of the top line and extends all the way to the bottom. Two of your edges will now be small squares instead of points.
  3. 3
    Draw your keel separately. This is a small triangle that will control the flight of your kite. It should be 5 3/4" (14.5 cm) tall and 4 1/2" (11.6 cm) wide. Draw those two lines starting at a common point and connect the two with a third line. Cut it out with scissors.
  4. 4
    Adhere tape to the outline of the kite except for the length of the 2" flaps. Clear as mud? Place tape on the edges of the kite (only 1/2 of it or so, to minimize weight) but not the flaps that start 2 1/2" from the top and extend to the bottom.
  5. 5
    Place your skewers. Long, wooden, BBQ grill skewers should do the job. The straightest one you can find should be placed down the middle. Cut it to length and snip off the pointy end. It should go from the highest point to the bottom.
    • You'll also need skewers on the edges. Place one on each side on the fold line that stops with the edge of the flap (2 1/2" from the top). Ideally, these are just as straight as the center skewer.
    • 4 3/4" (12.2 cm) down from the top of the center skewer, place another skewer perpendicular, forming a cross. Cut it to length, with the ends resting on the skewers on the left and right. This piece is known as the spread and gives your kite structure. Apply glue to both ends where it meets the side skewers.
  6. 6
    Move onto your keel. Grab some flying line and tape down 2 lengths onto it on both sides (sides mirroring each other). Wrap a bit of tape around the corners to make them strong.
    • Where the four strings meet, tie a knot. Then, towards the end of the string, tie another knot. Tie the loose ends of the strings at their respective corners into knots, too, flush against the plastic.
  7. 7
    Go back to your kite. The glue is dry? Great. Fold over those pesky sail tabs over the left and right skewers and adhere with tape. Then fold over the tape you previously applied onto the ends of your skewer cross.
  8. 8
    Attach your keel. Poke a hole through the plastic right where the two center skewers intersect. The keel should match the angle the center skewers form; thread the upper keel lines through the hole and secure with a knot.
    • Do the same for the edge of the keel. Poke another hole for where the keel ends and thread the line through, again securing with a knot. Now that the keel is lined up properly, attach tape to secure it to the plastic.
  9. 9
    Attach a line and a tail. You know that extra string you have hanging from your keel, the one with two knots? That's what you'll be attaching your line to -- that's how the keel controls the flight of your kite. Because of this, make sure your keel isn't coming to come off or adjust!
    • As for a tail, simply slide a length of plastic (or ribbon) between the center skewer and the plastic and loop around. The tail is more for looks than anything. Don't wrap it too tightly and you can always remove it later if you don't like it.

Method 3
Bumble Bee Paper Kite (Schaefer)

  1. 1
    Use a regular sheet of printer paper. It should be 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Decorate it with pencils or markers.
  2. 2
    Fold it in half so the short ends meet up with each other.
  3. 3
    Measure 2 1/2" (6.25 cm) from one edge. Place a mark for later reference. Then, place a second mark 5" (12.5 cm) from the edge, also along the bottom of the paper.
  4. 4
    Fold down one edge to your first mark, but don't crease it. You'll need the curve to maintain flight. Grab the other side of the paper and fold it down as well (still without creasing). Then, staple the edges to the center of the paper.
  5. 5
    Punch a hole through your second mark. This will be used for your flying line. Knot it tightly against the edge of the paper. That's it! Find a light breeze and you're ready for lift off. The video below shows how it's done.

Method 4
Eddy Kite

  1. 1
    Cut the sail from a thin plastic garbage bag. Fold the bag in half then cut. That will ensure that both sides are equal.
  2. 2
    Attach a 1/8” dowel (the vertical spine) with strapping tape by folding the tape over equally on front and back.
  3. 3
    Attach a 1/8” dowel (the horizontal spreader) with tape in the same manner. The sticks should cross at the hole in the sail.
  4. 4
    Put four pieces of tape on the sticks near the center hole as reinforcements. That's the back of the kite.
  5. 5
    Bow the spreader by putting a tension line on the back of the kite. Tape it to one side of the spreader, pull it into a 2" bow, then tape it to the other side of the spreader.
  6. 6
    Tie a tail to the bottom of the spine. (6 foot long and 1 inch wide strip from a garbage bag)
  7. 7
    Attach the flying line through the hole in the front where the sticks cross. The sticks should be on the back. Tie a knot.


  • Find a space with no trees and lots of wind like a lake.
  • It is best to fly a kite at the park or on the beach where there is lots of space.
  • If your kite starts to go down run backwards to get it back at the air.
  • Make the kite the right size according to the person you make it for. Children will need child-sized kites.
  • Write some inspirational words on it. When people see it in the air, you'll brighten their day!
  • You can color your kite with pencil or markers. Write your name on it in case it blows away!
  • The longer the string, the better. But remember to wind it up properly!
  • A good way to decorate a kite is to use different style tapes. Try zebra and cheetah print.
  • Size A4 paper is a bit too small to use for the first method. If you have larger, use it.


  • Do not color with pen or marker unless you are sure that these will not create holes or bleed through to the other side and weaken the paper.
  • Keep kites away from storms, roads and power lines. And listen to everything that Louie the Lightning Bug has to say when it comes to electricity.
  • Paper kites tear easily so make sure the wind is gentle and light; do not attempt to fly it in medium or high winds.

Things You'll Need

Traditional Diamond Kite

  • Construction paper
  • String
  • Pipe cleaners / sticks
  • Scissors
  • Colored pencils /markers (optional)
  • Tape (optional)
  • Rulers

Delta Kite

  • Skewers
  • Scissors
  • Large plastic bag
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • String
  • Pen

Bumble Bee Paper Kite

  • One sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper
  • Coloring pencils/markers
  • Stapler
  • Hole punch
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • String

Eddy Kite

  • Plastic bag
  • Ruler
  • Strapping tape
  • Dowels
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Pen

Article Info

Categories: Kite Making and Kite Flying