October 17, 2011

As you might remember I made a kite this summer together with my grandfather. I would like to share with you all the wisdom I gathered in my learning process. So I present to you a kite DIY!
1. Gather materials: Bamboo, kite-paper, string, spindle, glue, knife, scissors
I used bamboo for the structure of the kite, because it is light, strong and flexible. Younger bamboo is more flexible but also heavier, older dried bamboo is lighter but also less flexible. Strive for a balance between the two. I bought kite-paper in a kite store (which I coincidently ran into when I was in Amsterdam), but you can use many things, light strong paper, newspaper, even fabric or plastic, although I don’t have any experience in these areas.
You can buy a spindle or make your own. The spindle we used was one that has been lying around the house for ages: the base is a tin can. Newspaper is glued to the can and string simply winded around it. You could easily make it in any other way though (although my grandfather, and trust me, he knows, says cans make the best spindles).
2. Split and cut the bamboo.
You don’t have to use such an impressive machete to do so. It just makes better pictures. Basically you are splitting the bamboo until you end up with a piece that has a more or less equal thickness over the length.

After you have your basic split piece of bamboo, you refine it by scraping away pieces here and there. The stick shouldn’t be thicker or thinner at one point and it should bend in a nice curve (no edges or points where the curve does weird things). This part is the most important for the success of your kite and requires some patience.


3. Tie the sticks together
About the length of the sticks: basically it can be any length. Bigger kites have to endure more wind so should be stronger. I used an equal length for both sticks. If you place the horizontal stick in the middle of the vertical stick, the kite will be harder to balance, but it will be easier to ‘mend it in the air’. It’s a typical fight kite. Placing the horizontal stick above the middle of the vertical stick will make it easier to balance (I would recommend this, especially when making a first kite). Tie the sticks together and add glue afterwards over the knot to fasten it.


4 Make a string frame
You do not cut the wire after tying the sticks together. Instead, you use the same wire to fasten to the top where you tie the wire around the end of the stick. You repeat this process for all the stick-ends. You need to put some tension on the wire and sticks. The frame shouldn’t be flat but slightly curved (equally over both ends).


Again add glue on the crucial spots.

5. Glue the frame to the paper.
Add glue to the frame, stick it on the paper and cut the paper just a little big bigger than the frame. Glue the edges of the paper and fold them over the wire.
6. Use a sharp object to pin two little holes in the paper where the sticks cross.
7. Connect a loop of wire to your kite
Use the holes you made to fix the wire at one end (around the point where the two sticks cross), the other end should be fixed at the bottom of the kite. The long wire around the spindle will be tied to this loop. The length of the loop and the placement of the long wire to the loop is quite important. It should be somewhat as depicted in the picture. The place in the picture where the fingers hold the loop is the place where the long wire should be connected. Again, experimenting a bit with the exact placement and length could be helpful.
8. Go fly a kite!
Woohoo! At this point you made your own kite and are able to test it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t fly great the first time. Experiment and learn from your process. If balance is a problem, adding a tail to the kite will make it more stable. Have fun!


  • Reply


    October 18, 2011 at 06:48

    what a fantastic diy.

    who knew there was so much involved in making a kite

    and of course it’s important to listen to grandfathers advice on such matters. They’ve usually been around long enough to know best.

    thanks for your coming and checking out my blog


  • Reply

    Style Dilettante

    October 18, 2011 at 15:31

    Oh my goodness! How adorable is this? If I were a really good aunt I’d make this with my nieces! Next summer I think would be better…

    The best part about this is you got to spend time with your grandfather – grandparents aren’t in our lives forever and it looks like you are relishing the moments!


  • Reply

    Anna Zimmerman

    October 18, 2011 at 15:32

    This is awesome! I have never seen a DIY like this.

    And your grandfather is adorable and seems very knowledgable.

  • Reply

    My Songbook

    October 18, 2011 at 19:09

    This is adorable! Too bad it is getting cold outside! I would totally make this!

  • Reply


    October 19, 2011 at 15:35

    This is really nice! Here in Greece we fly a kite every spring.

  • Reply

    ♥ Nadine

    October 19, 2011 at 19:48

    Oh my, that picture of you and your grandpa is just the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day. Or week. Or month.

    Thanks for sharing that diy. And afterwards you can use the kites for decoration, not? I might steal that little idea from you, ‘kay?

    Here’s to a happy rest of the week. xo.

  • Reply

    Magical Day Dream

    October 20, 2011 at 08:41

    @ polkadotsandsparkles: Yes I think my grandfather is a very wise and experienced man from wom I can learn a lot.

    @ Style Dilettante: Yeah the timing might not have been perfect, but here we get some good days and it would be still possible to fly a kite. And you are totally right about making the best out of the time.

    @ Anna: He is :) There was this one kite that I kept crashing into the ground.. and somehow he just managed to keep it up the whole time with his kite-skills.. he amazed me haha

    @ my Songbook: yes, they should have like enourmous warm halls with high ceilings and 1000 fans to make indoor kites a possibility!

    @Eva: that’s awesome! I don’t think it’s that common here.. don’t understand why though since it’s fun.

    @Nadine: Yes, actually I have some kites just hanging on my wall now. They look nice and make me happy :)

  • Reply

    Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies

    October 23, 2011 at 02:48

    Oh, I just love that you made this with your grandfather. So special!

    It is very cool that you made a kite from scratch.


  • Reply

    lazy explorers

    October 23, 2011 at 17:56

    Awh! What a sweet tutorial!
    Xo Chloe.

    P.S. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

  • Reply


    October 25, 2011 at 14:56

    This is simply amazing! It brought a tear to my eye seeing you and your grandfather. It makes me miss mine since I live so far from my home I don’t get to see my family that much and I have a strong bond with my grandfather which makes being away from him as he is getting older even harder. I think I am going to have to write him a letter today because clearly I will not be able to get him off my mind (which is a good thing!)
    Oh and great tutorial, I love seeing the process of things being made.
    I hope you have a wonderful week!
    Much Love,
    P.S. Thanks for leaving a sweet comment on my blog {thehouseofhearts.com} Otherwise I am not sure I would of found your blog and clearly I need to be here ;)

  • Reply

    Magical Day Dream

    October 28, 2011 at 08:50

    @ PP&P, lazy explorers: thanks!

    @ Crystal: Thanks for sharing that with me. Ofcourse I don’t make to make my readers cry, but I am happy if it brought some positive effect. I hope you did write him a letter. And I hope you have a wonderful week as well! :)


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