Fall is here! Besides school, apple pies, and pumpkins, it’s also the best time of year for kite flying. Fall days are often windy which makes them ideal for some fun in the sky with a kite. You may not be an expert kite flyer – yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out there on the next blustery day and have some serious fun. Don’t have a kite of your own? Well don’t worry, you can make one yourself, and it’s actually pretty easy! (See below for complete instructions on How to Make a Kite.)
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How to Make a Kite: (Download your printable How to Make a Kite instructions right now!)
Kites come in many sizes, shapes, and colors, but to keep it simple, we’re going to make a traditional diamond shaped kite. First, before we learn how to make a kite, we need to gather our supplies and tools.
Supplies needed to make your own kite:
- A kitchen garbage bag
- Two wooden dowels. One that is 24 inches long and one that is 20 inches long.
- A roll of string or fishing line
- Clear packing tape
- Markers, stickers, etc. for decorating your kite
- Ruler or tape measure
- Knife for notching your dowel – Make sure parents say it is ok to use a knife!
Once you’ve got all your supplies ready, you are all set to make your kite. Let’s get started:
- Take your 24 inch long dowel and measure 6 inches from one end. Mark that spot.
- Take your 20 inch long dowel and measure the halfway spot (10 inches from one end). Mark that spot.
- Lay the shorter dowel across the longer dowel lining up your marks. Your dowels will now make a cross shape.
- Glue the dowels together where they meet. Once your glue is dried, reinforce this area by wrapping string around and over this spot crisscrossing the string as you go.
- With a knife, carefully notch each end of your cross so that there is a groove along the edge that the string will slip into. Make sure you carve the notch at least 1/8 inch deep.
- Take a piece of string and run it along the edge of each dowel to form a “frame” in the shape of a diamond. Make sure the string fits securely in the groove at the end of every dowel. Make sure your string is taut, but not so tight that it bends the dowels or snaps the string. Reinforce the hold by placing a dab of glue on each notch. You’ve now created the frame for your kite!
- Take the garbage bag and cut it open along one side seam and the bottom seam. The bag will now be a flat sheet.
- Lay the frame on the top of the open garbage bag. Trace the diamond shape onto the bag.
- Now it is time to cut out the diamond, but in order to wrap the plastic around the frame, you need to cut the diamond about two inches bigger on all sides than the shape you traced onto the plastic. This will give you enough room to wrap the edges of the plastic around the frame.
- After you’ve cut the plastic diamond, decorate the top and bottom of it however you would like.
- Place the plastic over the top of the frame. Flip it over, and wrap the edges around the bottom. Tape the edges to the underside of the plastic. You’re almost done!
- Cut a piece of string 20 inches long. Poke holes in the top and bottom of the kite one inch from each end. Tie one end of the string to the top hole, and the other end of the string to the bottom hole. This is your bridle.
- Tie the rest of your kite string to the bridle string at about the same point where the dowels intersect.
- Attach the ribbon by taping it, gluing it, or stapling it to the bottom end of your kite. This is your tail and is important for your kite to fly properly.
Now get out and fly your kite! It’s fun and easy. On the next windy day, just start running with the kite dragging behind you a couple of feet. As your kite lifts into the air, let out more string. Be careful of power lines and trees. You do NOT want to fly your kite anywhere near power lines, including the lines running to your house.