Kites have been used for playthings, to carry messages and in scientific experiments for centuries - and in almost every part of the world. While stopping by the store to pick up a kite can be the beginning of a good day, building your own kite makes it even more exciting. One of the simplest kites to build is a traditional diamond kite. Working with newsprint, you can create a serviceable diamond-shaped kite in just a few minutes. This kite is designed to be flown in moderate winds and may not hold up to a blustery day.
Cut two willow rods or other thin straight branches about 1/4 inch thick and 24 inches long. Cut one of the rods to length at 24 inches with a utility knife. Cut the other at 18 inches. Tie the two sticks together at their centres, so that they are perpendicular to each other, forming a large plus sign.
Cut notches in the ends of each stick with a small saw or steak knife wide enough to accept a kite string. Tie one end of the string to the top of the longer stick. Wrap the string around the kite frame, threading it through each notch, starting and ending at the top notch on the long stick. Pull the string snug and tie it to the long stick.
Place the diamond-shaped frame on a piece of newspaper, butcher paper or other large, thin paper. Draw a diamond about 1 inch larger on all sides than the string outline. Cut this diamond shape out with scissors.
Place the stick frame on the paper diamond and apply white school glue in a thin bead around the outside edge of the diamond. Fold the edge of the paper up and over the string and fold it back on itself, gluing the paper to the kite frame by folding the glued paper edge over the string all the way around.
Tie a string between the two ends of the short stick with the sticks facing up. Pull the string tight to bow the stick slightly and tie it tight. Turn the kite over. Cut a piece of string 36 inches long and tie it between the two ends of the long stick and let it lay on top of the paper. Do the same with a 24-inch piece of string on the short stick.
Tie the end of a ball of kite string around both of these strings so that they meet in the middle to form a harness, running back to all four corners of the kite. Tear a strip of old bed sheet 2 inches wide and 24 inches long and tie it to the bottom of the long stick for a tail.
Things you need
- 1/4-inch fresh wooden rods or wands
- Utility knife
- Steak knife
- Kite string
- White glue