How To Make A Kite: Step-By-Step Guide To Make A Kite In Minutes

Always Wanted To Learn How To Make A Kite? Now’s The Time

July 20, 2020 Updated July 24, 2020

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Kite-flying is one of those timeless activities that can be easy to forget about until you end up watching the original 1964 version of Mary Poppins (thanks, Disney+) and get the “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” song stuck in your head. Sure, you could order one online and have it delivered, but what’s the fun in that? If you really want to get your kids invested in flying kites (and by “invested” we mean spending hours on the project, buying you some glorious time that does not involve an iPad in their sticky little hands), you may want to consider the DIY route.

Basically, it’s two activities in one. First, you have to learn how to make a kite and then construct one (or more) yourself. Then, you can actually go outside and fly the kite. (Just make sure you try it on a day with at least some wind, so the kiddos don’t get frustrated and quit right away). But what if you’re not sure how to make a kite? Don’t worry, we’ve got that part handled. Here are some methods, tips and suggestions that will have you flying a kite before you can say “Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins is an emotionally unavailable egotistical monster who treats his wife and children like property.” And off we go!

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Some products are easier than others to make – I’m still struggling to figure these out. The tricky part is not using glue – I love kids using skills like tying and folding, I don’t want to include glue in plastic pots (or expect parents to have to go and look for some). I want my toys to be simple so they will inspire kids to want to make them again. I’m hoping we’re close. Hoping a weekend will work some magic and these will take flight on Monday! #letsgoflyakite #diykite #ecofriendlyproducts #kidsplay #toymaking #kite #meetthemaker #problemsolving #kidscrafts #plasticfreepartybags #plasticfree #smallbusiness #wahm #wahmlife #toys #biodegradable #ecofriendly #plasticfreeparenting

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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

DIY kites are very customizable (translation: you can probably make one with stuff you already have in your house). But in general, there are four types of supplies you need to make a basic kite:

  • Material for the main part of the kite. This could be tissue paper, newspaper, garbage bags, tissue paper covered in contact paper. Get creative!
  • Something hard, light and relatively straight to serve as the bones of the kite. These could be paper straws, sticks, or whatever else you have that could fit into this category. (Remember, being lightweight is key here because you’re going to try to get this kite airborne.)
  • Glue or something sticky. If you opt to go the contact paper route, you can skip this part because that’s sticky enough. But if you’re working with plain tissue paper, newspaper or garbage bags, you’re going to need something like glue or tape to get the body of the kite to stick to the frame.
  • String or ribbon. This serves two purposes: to hold the straws or sticks together, as well as give you something to hold onto at the bottom of the kite to allow you to fly it.

If you’re interested in making a fancier kite (or want to keep the kids occupied for longer with the craft component of this project), we’ll talk more about decorating your creation in a moment.

Step 2: Assemble the Frame

Before anything else, make your frame. If you’re going with the traditional diamond-shaped kite (which is probably a good idea for beginners), make a cross where the length is longer than the width. This could mean using one stick that’s longer than the other, or two straws of the width and three for the length. Then, attach them to each other. You could use string, glue, or even strong tape (like duct, masking, or shipping tape).

Step 3: Make a String Border

Now, take the frame you made, and run a piece of string around the entire border of the kite. This will make it easier to cut and measure the paper or plastic that’s going on top of it.

Step 4: Cut and Attach the Material

Take your material of choice, and cut it to roughly the shape of the kite (using the string kite as your guide). Once that’s done, fold the edges of the material over the string border of the kite (there shouldn’t be a lot of material left on that side) and either glue or tape down. (Tape is faster and easier, but using glue makes the whole project longer, if that’s something that’s important to you.)

Step 5: Attach the String

Next, take a very long string and tie it around the very center of the kite (where the two sticks/straws come together). Make sure it’s tight. Give yourself plenty of string (more than you think you need) so allow your kite to reach great heights.

Step 6: Decorate (If You Want To!)

After Step 5, the kite should be functional, so if that’s all you’re after, you can head right outside (assuming there is some type of wind). But if you want your kite to have some flair, you can add ribbons to the bottom of the kite to make a pretty tail, or have the kids color, paint, or put stickers on the kite to make it their own. Really, this part can take as long or as short as you need it to. You can even make it a competition among the kids: Who made the kite that works the best/flies the highest, and which kite has the best decorations.

There are plenty of variations and tutorials out there if you want to get more advanced, but this one is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require an advanced degree in engineering to construct. Now, go be like Mr. Banks at the end of Mary Poppins, after Julie Andrews made him (at least temporarily) less emotionally abusive and he takes his family to a nearby park to fly a kite.