Learn How to Make a
Kite this Summer! Easy Kite Making Instructions and Pictures
Learn how to make a kite
this summer! You would be surprised
just how many people search on the Internet these days looking for
kite making instructions on how to build a kite. Which is nice to see
this day and age with the kids keeping more and more to their rooms
behind their computers, gameboys and X-boxes. So come on mums and dads!
Take your kid out on a good family outing, do some bonding with some
kite flying and learn how to make a kite for your son or daughter.
The kite is usually made
of a framework of wood, is lashed together with cord, strung with cord
according to design, and finally is covered with paper; but in each
case some other material might be substituted, and you will see this as
you learn how to make a kite.
The drawings in this
article on kite making have the framework represented by full lines and
the string by
slant dotted lines. The framework must be kept light and strong. It is
usually made of wood, the pieces varying in number from two in the
plain tailless, to sixteen in a good box-kite, and to a great many in a
large tetrahedral kite.
For kite-making soft
tough woods are better than the hard, heavy woods.
Spruce is considered the most satisfactory, but yellow pine, basswood,
and even white cedar will do. For a three foot kite, the California
redwood is very satisfactory. Some good sizes of wood to use
are 3/16"x3/8"x3', 1/4"x1/2"x4' and 3/8"x3/4"x5'. These should be
straight grained and well seasoned.
Sticks should be uniform in weight and bending qualities.
Where sticks are to be centered, careful measurements must be made,
then by balancing over a knife-blade the difference in weight can be
detected and the heavy end reduced by whittling off some. Some try to
find center by balancing, but this is very inaccurate; a string may be
used for measuring.
Aluminum tubing can be
used when learning how to make a kite and some make frames of paper,
are more for curiosity than utility. For large frames bamboo is
excellent, but requires a different fastening of joints than sawn out
material, Fig. 1.
Split bamboo is excellent for curved outlines and for light framework
of butterflies and bird kites, and for Japanese, Korean and Chinese
kites. Wire can be used for frames of small kites.
How to Make a Kite using Lashings
How to make a kite with
lashings? What do we mean by that? Well, when two sticks are to be
fastened together, instead of nailing them together, they should be
First wind diagonally around both sticks in both directions, Fig. 2; then wind
between sticks around the other windings. This draws all the cord up
tight, Fig. 3.
Coat over with glue or shellac.
Large box-kite frames with
sawn out material should have the upright posts let into the long
horizontal pieces a little, Fig.
4 . If a brace is notched at the end to fit over another
piece, Fig. 5,
and is liable to split out, it can be wound just back of the notch with
thread, Fig. 6,
and coated with shellac. All windings should be neatly done without
criss-cross windings as in Fig.
7. Which do you like best Fig.
6 or Fig.7?
How to Make a Kite with
How to make a kite for
Folding frames can be made
for most kites. Large tailless kites have either a removable spine or
bow, the square box-kite has braces that spring into shallow notches,
and the triangular box and house kite combination can be rolled by
having a removable cross-stick. It is a great advantage to have folding
How to Make a Kite: Stringing
Symmetry is so necessary
in the making of a good kite, that the stringing becomes an important
factor; for if two opposite sides are made unequal, there will be more
pressure on one side of center than the other, the kite will be pulling
off to one side or darting down and perhaps will refuse to fly at all.
A small hard twisted cotton cord is good for stringing as it does not
On kites where the string
passes around the entire frame, Fig.
8, it is best to fasten at the end of one stick only, as
at a, then pass in the notches of the ends of the other sticks at b, c,
d, and tie again at a. We must assume that the horizontal stick in Fig. 8 has been
measured accurately for center as that is a part of the framing
process. The sticks can be notched with a knife, Fig. 9, or a saw-cut
can be made in the end, Fig.
10. The latter is less liable to split out, but the first
is more convenient, for every boy is likely to have a knife or can
After the string is
secured around the entire figure, adjustment between points is made. If
a tailless kite is being strung up, the two upper portions are shifted
until the right and left sides are equal. The ends are then wound with
another cord, Fig. 11,
to prevent slipping. The two lower sides are then spaced and the lower
end of the spine is secured in the same way.
Some may think it a waste
of time to measure the lower strings after the upper ones have been
adjusted, but very often there is quite a little difference, due to a
springing of the spine. A six pointed star kite would have six, instead
of four spaces to even up. Some stringing is used for inside designs,
and some is used for strengthening frame.
How to Make a Kite: The
Probably more tissue paper
is used in covering kites than any other material because this is how
to make a kite the easiest and cheapest way. There are a number
of kinds of tissue papers, but the cheapest, because it is the
cheapest, is used most. These cheap tissue papers can be found in all
shades and tints of colors.
The French tissues are
more durable, and as a rule, more brilliant in color. A kite covered
with this paper can be used from time to time without being disabled.
The Chinese tissue paper
is the strongest of all tissues in one direction, and should be used so
as to bring the length way of the paper in the direction of greatest
strain. This paper only comes in a cream color, but is very
satisfactory where strength and hand color work are
desired. There are some wrapping papers that are pliable and
strong enough to be used, especially on box-kites, but only a few of
these are of much service on plain surface kites. The tight covering on
a box kite is an advantage. You can of course just use plain brown
parcel paper which works just as well.
You can also learn how to
make a kite using
material as a covering and cambric is the most popular, although calico or
any similar cotton cloth will do. The sizing
is sufficient to keep the covering in shape during construction, it is
light in weight, comes in variety of good colors and is cheap. When
cloth is used on plain surface kites, care must be observed that the
goods are not used on the bias, as the unequal stretching would
unbalance the poise of the kite. Silk is excellent, but it is the most
Most coverings are turned
over the outer strings, and arc pasted or sewn down. In representative
figure kites, the edge of the paper is sometimes left free, while the
string is made fast by extra strips of paper pasted fast over the
string and to the back of the cover, Fig.
leaving the edges to flutter in the breeze. Some large kites can be
covered with paper, if a network of string is used at the back to give
support to the covering.
Tailless, and some other
kites require loose coverings, this looseness should be planned for in
a systematic manner. If the cover of a 3-foot kite is placed on a table
or the floor with the frame laid on top, the edge of the cover may be
cut one inch or one and one-half inches to the outside of the string.
Instead of turning in this whole amount, only turn in one-half inch of
the outer edge. This leaves plenty of looseness for bagging of cover,
and is regular.
How to Make a Kite:
Putting on the Kite Tail
A tail and other balancers
are used to give poise to an otherwise unsteady kite. When a kite is
constructed in such a way as to present a broad flat surface to the
breeze, it will sway and dive and no matter how carefully you attach
your bridle it cannot be supported in the air.
For kites that represent
irregular forms, there must also be a special balancer. The tail is
usually resorted to in such cases. The tail is more than a weight. A
foxy kite refuses to come to terms by the addition of a thread and lead
or other weight. The weight drops so quickly to its plumb line that the
kite has not come to poise, and makes another pitch in some other
value of the tail depends not so much on
weight as on its pulling capacity while being drawn through the air.
tail, usually consisting of a string with a number of pieces of paper
folded and tied thereon, Fig.
13, and with cloth streamers at the end for weight, exerts
considerable pull for long enough time to give steadiness to the
How to make a kite
successfully means that the kite must have poise in
the air just as we balance a board on the end of a finger - if the
finger is not centrally located, the board will fall to the left, or
right, front or back; so with the kite, if the pressure of the air is
not centrally located it will glide to left or right, or pitch forward
or tumble backwards.
The tail helps most in
remedying the two latter troubles. Almost any light surface can be
supported in the air by proper attachment of bridle and tail. The
Japanese use two or more tails on their square kites consisting usually
of long cotton ropes with large tassels on the end. These look very
beautiful trailing out in long graceful parallel lines.
We hope that you have had fun learning how to make a kite, and to see
those kites up in the air soon! Hopefully you will
submit a photo or two of the finished product to add to our website!
RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON HOW
TO MAKE A KITE
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Sunday Comics for Kite Making Not rated yet When I was a child, we used dowels, kitchen string and the Sunday comics. We also used Dad's old t-shirts for the bows on the tail.
Every spring, …