Building a kite from scratch is quite simple. If you are an avid kite maker, it is excellent fun to teach your child how to make a kite, and you can both enjoy an afternoon of kite flying.

Things Needed for Building a Kite at Home

  • kitebuildA Plastic shopping bag (it would be good to have a bright colour bag for this)
  • 7 Drinking Straws
  • A pair of Scissors
  • A roll of Cellophane tape
  • A Black Marker
  • Dental floss for the string
  • A sturdy piece of stick, PVC piping or pencil

Making the Kite

First, you take four of the drinking straws and crimp the ends. Connect them together, end to end and then using the cellophane tape, tape the connections for reinforcement. Do the same to the remaining three straws. These will form the spine or spar for your kite.

Take the plastic bag; lay it flat on a clean surface; cut the bottom off and the top areas where the handle is. By doing this, you will have a closed rectangle to work with. Next, you cut the bag open on one side; lay it flat on the table, this will be the surface or face of your kite.

Next, position the straw spars on the plastic bag, forming a cross, with the top end half way shorter than the bottom. Use the marker to trace a dotted line connecting all the outside points of the straw. This will look like the true shape of a kite. On the bottom left-hand side of your kite sketch, mark another dotted line across to facilitate the making of your keel which will be used to stabilize your kite.

Remove the straw spars and cut out your kite from the bag, and also the keel. Lay the plastic kite flat on the table to be able to fasten the spars correctly. Position the spars on the kite with the shorter spar at the bottom then tape the ends of the tip of the cross bar of the straw spar. Place the tape about two inches in from the tips.

Using the longer spar, tape the keel about 1/3 way down the length then tape it in place on the kite. Then you thoroughly tape down the centre bar to further re-enforce the spar. Tape the top end, as well as the bottom tips, of the straw spar, placing the tape about two inches from the tips.

Connecting the bridle string can be tricky, so the measurements are critical. Cut the bridle line from the dental floss by measuring the length about four inches above and below the main straw spar. Then connect the string to one end of the short straw spar, and holding up the keel, measure the string to ensure it comfortably connects to the other end of the spar. If it connects comfortably, then securely tie the ends and tape them firmly in place.

Next, you will connect the main reel line to the bridle line. Holding the bridle line taunt in the middle, connect the reel to it by tying them securely. Afterwards, secure the keel to the connection by taping them together. After this, you tape the connection securely.
To have enough kite string for flying, unroll all the floss from the container and wind it on the plastic PVC pipe or the sturdy stick you have. Tape all the points on the kite for further reinforcement.

Making the tail is simple as well, just cut strips of plastic from the remaining piece of your shopping bag, tie the ends together, and firmly secure it to the tail of the kite. Now you are ready to go kiting!

For visual instructions, you may look at this YouTube video: