How to make a kite

In each edition of Flow, we feature an illustrated ‘How To’, like how to make pesto, for example. Or how to grow plants from cuttings. In issue 17, illustrator Kate Pugsley made one explaining how to make your own kite.

  1. To make your own kite, you will need two light sticks -bamboo works well- about 50 cm and 30 cm long, thin kite string, waxed kite paper (a newspaper or a plastic garbage bag wil work, too) and glue or duct tape.
  2. Make a cross out of the two sticks. Set the short stick about one-third of the way down the long stick. Tie the sticks together and bind the four end of the sticks together with string. Carve a notch at each end and lead the string along it. Now you have a diamond-shaped frame.
  3. Lay the frame down on the waxed paper (or newspaper or garbage bag) and cut out the kite, leaving extra space (about 2 cm) along the edges. Fold the edges over and glue them in place (use tape if you use a garbage bag).
  4. Tie a piece of string to the four ends of the frame and hold them together. Lift the kite; keep it as horizontal as possible. Adjust the strings, making them shorter or longer if necessary, and knot them together. Then tie the long kite string at the point where the four strings come together.
  5. For the tail, cut a piece of string about 4-5 times the length of the kite. Fold paper bows (about 5-10 cm wide and 20 cm long) lengthwise like an accordion. Knot the individual paper bows onto the tail a short distance from each other: toward the end of the tail make the distance greater and the bows narrower. Now you’re ready to fly your kite!

Text Caroline Buijs Illustration Kate Pugsley