How To Make Kites

Building a kite is quite simple, requiring only a few materials, time, and effort. Directions for three different styles of kites are provided.

Children love to fly kites! Imagine the joy and sense of achievement your child would feel constructing one of their very own. With a little adult direction, this project can be easily accomplished. You and your child will enjoy hours of endless fun with the finished product. Even more priceless is the quality time the two of you will spend together!

In the following paragraphs, directions for three different styles of kites will be provided. The diamond-shaped kite is the most traditional style of kite. It is very aerodynamic and takes flight easily. To begin building a diamond-shaped kite, gather the following materials: a piece of sturdy gift wrap or brown paper (measuring 20 x 30 inches), a ruler, a pencil, glue, super glue, string, scissors, and 2 thin bamboo or wooden sticks (measuring about 32-35 inches). To begin assembling the kite, proceed with the following steps:

1.) Fold the paper you have chosen in half, lengthwise.

2.) Mark the top and bottom of the fold using a pencil.

3.) Carefully unfold the paper and refold it into thirds, going the opposite direction.

4.) Again, mark every edge of each of the fold lines with a pencil.

5.) Unfold the paper and connect all of the marks using a ruler and a pencil. This should create a diamond shape.

6.) Cut out the diamond shape with a scissors.

7.) Fold over the four points of the diamond-shaped paper.

8.) Glue each folded point down onto the backside of the paper. Remove any extra glue by wiping gently with a soft rag.

9.) Make a 1-inch border around the diamond by folding the paper towards the wrong side. Do not fold the points that have been previously glued into place.

10.) Place a lengthy piece of string through the entire fold. Allow the string to pass over the glued points freely, fashioning 4 small loops in these areas. Connect the string at the top of the kite.

11.) Cut one of the wooden or bamboo sticks longer than the length of the kite. Do the same with the remaining stick, using the width instead.

12.) Position the two sticks over the kite, forming a cross. Tie the area where they intersect securely with a piece of string.

13.) Fasten the sticks at the corners, placing them under the 4 loops of string, using

a few dabs of super glue.

14.) Punch a small hole in the paper where the sticks meet. Place the free end of the

flying string through the hole, pushing it through to the right side of the kite.

15.) Tie the string to the sticks, reinforcing the area where they cross.

16.) Decorate your kite if you wish or tie small bits of rags to the bottom to form a tail.

To create a kite that is square in shape, collect the following items: A piece of heavy wrapping paper or brown wrapping paper (measuring 20 x 20 inches), 7 thin strips of wood or bamboo (5 measuring 23 inches each and 2 measuring about 33 inches), rubber cement, airplane glue, some thin twine (make sure it is sturdy), cellophane tape, pieces of rags (for fashioning a tail), and some standard-weight wire. To put this kite together, take the following measures:

1.) Place the paper you are using right side down on a table or flat, smooth surface.

2.) Fold a ½-inch border around the entire outside edges of the paper. Glue down the

border with rubber cement. The paper should measure 19 x 19 inches after this is done.

3.) Cover the 5 pieces of 23-inch wood or bamboo with airplane glue. Place 1 of the strips in the middle of the wrong side of the paper. Position another in the middle of the right portion and the remaining strip in the center of the left side. Finally, place 1 on each end.

4.) Place some weight upon the sticks, using something such as books, and allow the rubber cement to dry.

5.) When the sticks are completely dry, remove the weights. Cut the 2 remaining strips of wood 4 inches longer than the diagonal length of the kite. Glue these sticks to the paper, positioning them diagonally across one another and over the other previously secured strips. Take care to place glue wherever any of the sticks intersect. Permit the glue to dry once again.

6.) Cut 5 pieces of the twine, each measuring 24 inches.

7.) With the right side of the kite facing you, punch three holes into the paper. Punch the first one in the center, over the center stick. The next should two should be made over the stick immediately to the right. Place one hole in the middle of the top section and the other in the middle of the bottom section of the kite.

8.) Take three of the pieces of string and tie them to the sticks behind the hole you have made. Pull the strings through the holes so that they are seen on the front of the kite.

9.) Tie one string to each end of the bottom stick of the kite and pull through as before.

10.) Gather the 5 strings together, knotting them. Attach the flying string to this


11.) Place cellophane tape around the holes to reinforce them.

12.) If you desire to place a tail on your kite, cut off a long section of standard-weight wire. Attach the wire to the middle of the bottom most strip of wood. Tie colorful pieces of rags to the wire, leaving about 1-2 inches of space

between each addition.

Another wonderful kite to make is the flying fish. It requires a little more artistic ability, probably the reason why so many children are attracted to it. To create this kite, you will need the following materials: 2 pieces of plain gift wrapping paper or plain, heavy paper (the size of this kite depends on you, but it should be at least 12 x 33 inches to be seen when flying), a pencil, crayons and/or brightly colored poster paints, rubber cement, standard-weight wire, cellophane tape, and kite string. To make the flying fish kite, follow these directions:

1.) Draw the outline of a fish onto the paper you have selected. The drawing should be about three times longer than it is wide. The fish drawing should have an open mouth.

2.) Color one side of the fish with crayons or paint with poster paints.

3.) Place your colored fish over a second piece of paper. Pin them together and cut out the second side of the fish. Use the colored one as an outline.

4.) Color or paint the opposite side of the recently cut fish design. Try to make them similar in color to match up, creating 2 sides of a fish.

5.) Glue the two halves of the fish together using rubber cement. Apply the glue only along the sides of the fish's body, leaving the center, mouth area, and tail open. Use only a minimal amount of glue and wipe the excess off with a soft rag immediately. Allow the fish to dry completely.

6.) Using standard-weight wire, create a wire loop that fits the mouth of the fish you've created. Join the hoop to the open mouth of the fish using cellophane tape. Fasten the hoop to each side of the fish's mouth securely. This will allow air to pass through the kite.

7.) Tie strings to both sides of the wire loop and knot. Gather the loose ends of the strings together and knot. Tie the flying string to this knot firmly and away you go!

As you can see, constructing some of the more common kites is quite easy. When using plain colored gift-wrapping paper or bare brown wrap, your child can decorate his or her handiwork in any style they desire. Not only will they have built their very own kite, but they can also proudly display their artwork while flying it!

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