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 really, in 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, but they 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

Fig. 1.

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 lashed. 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.

Making a kite with lashings
How to make a kite with lashings

                         Fig. 2 .                                                        Fig. 3.

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?

Lashing 7
How to make a kite - wooden framing

                     Fig. 4.                                                                    Fig. 5. 

building a kite
Lashing 10

           Fig. 6.                                                                                     Fig. 7.