ReedDesign

Make Your Own Kite

Nothing is better than the feeling of satisfaction you get when a kite you have made flies for the first time. Making kites is easy. Well, it can be if you pick the right type of kite. For the beginner, a sled kite made out of an old bin-bag (OK, a new one will smell less) and a couple of sticks is the place to start.

You Will Need

Sled Kite

Clicking on the diagram will take you to a Flash animation of how to make the kite.

Method

Cut the bin-bag to the shape in the drawing. Keeping the plastic flat, use sellotape to stick the two sticks to it. Reinforce both wing tips with sellotape. For the tail, make a loop of polythene about 1.8m (6′) long and 35mm (1½″) wide from the left-over material from the bin-bag, and stick each end to the kite. The kite will fly without a tail, but will fly better with one. Cutting two holes towards the rear edge of the kite will help it fly in stronger winds.

To attach the bridle, make a hole at each ‘wing-tip’ and tie a piece of thin string about 2400mm (7′10″) long to each hole. At the middle of the bridle tie a small loop in the string to attach the line. Tie on the line, which for a kite of this size only needs to be slightly thicker than button thread, and you are ready to go.

sled kite A sled kite made by a six-year-old girl for the Streatham Common Kite Day, 2011

To decorate the kite, appliqué bits of plastic cut from carrier bags. If the bin-bag is black this will look like a stained glass window when flying in the sky.

If you want to make a bigger kite, just multiply all the dimensions by two (or three, or four…) but remember that the larger you go, the stronger you will need to make it. You could even see how small a kite you could make.

To launch the kite you will need two people. Let out about 15m (50′) of line and with the second person holding the kite spread, let the wind take it up. With practice you should be able to launch it with only one person.

If you make one, .

Here’s something special from some people who did.

Sled Kite Instructions - 163KB Download the instructions in PDF format.

What is PDF format (pop-up).