The pure joy of flying a kite into the air is something every child should experience. And if the kite is self-made, the whole thing is even more beautiful. It’s really not too complicated, you can make your own kite yourself. All you need are a few simple materials and a bit of know-how.
Table of Contents
Make your own kite
Making a kite is also a great way to teach kids about science. The concepts of lift and drag are easy to explain. We’ll show you how to make a kite yourself: the classic diamond kite.
Kite Making Supplies:
Learning to make a kite is surprisingly easy, and the materials you need to do it are easy to find. You probably already have everything you need at home.
A large piece of plastic sheeting (a plastic tablecloth or a medium weight tarp).
Heavy-duty duct tape
2 to 4 long dowels
A yard stick or other straight edge
You can use a plastic tablecloth from your local supermarket for this craft. If you want your kite to last longer than just one day, we recommend using a stronger material. Other materials you could try include a plastic garbage bag, newspaper, or even thick wrapping paper. Wooden dowels are traditionally used in kite making and are available at any hardware store.
For the string, you can use multipurpose string from the hardware store, but you can also use fishing line or any other lightweight string. Just make sure you have a whole lot of it so your kite can fly really high!
The classic diamond kite
When you picture the shape of a kite, you probably think of the classic diamond shape. This four-sided design is the easiest to build and easy to fly. It makes a great beginner kite.
How to build the frame
You can build the homemade kite any size you like, but a larger kite will fly better than a smaller one. We would not recommend building one smaller than 60 cm.
You will need two relatively long dowels for the diamond kite. You can use one with a length of 40 cm and one with a length of 80 cm. Take the shorter dowel and find the center. Mark this spot on the dowel. Place the middle point of the shorter dowel about a quarter of the way down the longer dowel, making a cross.
Use some of the string to connect the two pieces by wrapping it tightly around the two dowels. Make sure the two pieces are at right angles to each other and that the cross piece is centered in the middle to give your kite the right shape.
Next, you will need to run a piece of string from one cross piece over the top dowel to the other cross piece. Then run the same piece of string around the bottom dowel and back to the original cross piece, securing each point with tape. Make sure the string is taut when you attach it to each dowel. This will help the kite keep its shape and maintain the right angles.
Building the kite sail
The next step in making a kite is to make a sail that will catch the wind and make it fly.
First, lay out your plastic completely flat. Then lay the frame you just made on top of the plastic . Using a straight edge, such as a folding rule, and a marker, trace the diamond shape of the kite that is slightly larger than the frame.
Cut out the shape you just drew from the plastic, and you have the sail cut out. Place the kite frame on top of the freshly cut sail, fold the sides inward, and secure each side of the sail with the tape.
It’s a good idea to make sure the tape goes all the way around the edge of the sail to give it a little more strength and prevent it from tearing.
Make a kite tail
Next, you’ll need a tail for the kite. The tail may seem unnecessary, but it serves a very important purpose on a diamond shaped kite. The tail keeps it more stable in the air and prevents it from spinning wildly in the wind.
Longer tails usually provide more stability, but if you add a little weight with beads, you can stabilize the kite without having to make the tail as long. For the size of the kite, you can cut a tail that is about three times as long as the kite and about five inches wide.
Once you have the tail cut and measured, tape it to the bottom of the craft or simply tie it to the frame.
Create the bridle
Now that the tail is done and the sail is attached to the frame, you need to prepare the bridle. The bridle is the way the string is attached to the kite to keep it stable when flying. To do this, cut a piece of string about twice as long as your horizontal dowel.
Tie each end of the string to the end of the horizontal dowel. When you are ready to fly, tie the fly line in the middle of this string. Now you have built a classic diamond kite!