Instructions for Making Chinese Kites

Updated November 21, 2016

China is credited with the invention of kites over 3000 years ago. Originally kites were used for religious purposes, but later began being used in science experiments. Today, kites are used for entertainment by adults and children alike. Kites are available premade, but if you are looking for a Chinese-style kit they can be expensive. Whether you are studying kites in school or just want to make your own at home, you can easily make your own Chinese kite out of everyday materials, for little money.

Draw a fish shape onto a piece of white butcher paper. The fish should be approximately 12 inches by 36 inches. Cut out your fish with scissors. Use your cut out fish to trace a second fish on a second piece of butcher paper. Cut that fish out as well.

Use acrylic paints to paint your fish in any pattern you wish. Allow the paint to dry completely. Your two painted fish will be put together to make one fish so make sure you paint the two sides that will be pointing outward and not the sides that will meet together.

Apply a line of craft glue around the inside edge of one of the fish. Glue the entire outline of the fish, except for the fish's mouth and tail. Place the second fish on top of the fish that has the glue. Press around the edges to seal and wipe away excess glue.

Cut out three pieces of crepe paper that are 18 inches long each. The colour choice is up to you. Glue the crepe paper to the fish's tail. The exact position is up to you. Allow the glue to dry completely.

Twist the ends of two pipe cleaners together to attach them together. Once all four ends have been attached to one another you should have a circular shape. Place this circle inside your glued fish's mouth. Fold the edges of the mouth over the pipe cleaner circle and glue it in place. Allow the glue to dry.

Use the point of a pencil to poke four holes into the mouth of the fish at equal distances. Cut four lengths of kite string which are 18 inches long each. Tie one string through each hole in the fish's mouth. Tie the loose ends of the four strings together, approximately 12 inches from the fish's mouth.

Tie the loose end of a spool of kite string to the tied end of string attached to your fish. You are now ready to fly your kite.


You can purchase kite string spools at toy stores.

Things You'll Need

  • White butcher paper
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paints
  • Craft glue
  • Crepe paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pencil
  • Kite string
  • Kite string spool
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