Skint Dad

How to make your own kite for the summer

Keep your children busy this summer with Skint Dad's handmade kite making tutorial!

I love flying a kite and so do my kids. It’s not something that we can do in the garden so we always pack a bag and go for more of a day out.

It can keep me entertained for hours but, to be honest, the kids do get bored after a little while. They like the whole idea behind a kite, enjoy running around with it, but as soon as it’s up in the air they don't want to hold it anymore so play frisbee or eat more from the picnic.

We only have one kite and rather than just watching the kids run around and squabble about who wants to hold it, I looked into whether it was worthwhile making some of our own.

Now I know that a kite isn’t a massive expense but they can be quite big. It turned out that making a kite was relatively easy to do, plus, the actual making of the kites gave my kids a bit of entertainment in its own right. What is an added bonus is that these kites cost pennies to make. The bits and pieces we used were lying around the house so we had no outlay.

Then, when it came to flying the kite, we got the main kite up in the air and I held it in the wind whilst the children ran around enjoying their newly made kites.

We made two different designs which worked well with an 11 year old and 4 year old.

Design 1

What we used

  • Wooden bamboo sticks

  • Sheet of newspaper/tissue paper

  • Thread/sewing cotton

  • Glue

  • Ribbon for decoration

How we made it 

1. Took two of the bamboo sticks and cut one to about ¾ of its original length.

2. In either end of the sticks, made a small notch.

3. Placed one across the other to make a cross and wound the thread around the middle to keep them secure.

4. Passed the thread through all the notches to create a diamond shape.

5. Placed the outline of the kite on the newspaper and cut around it leaving a small overlap.

6. Glued the sides of the paper down.

7. Tied thread to the top and bottom of the kite and added a long length of thread to hang on to.

8. Finished it off with a tail and ribbon on the end.

Design 2

What we used

  • Sheet of card

  • Two straws

  • Glue

  • Thread

  • Ribbon for decoration

How we made it

1. Drew a diamond shape onto the card and cut it out.

2. Measured and cut straws for the width and the height of the diamond.

3. Glued the straws onto the middle of the card.

4. Poked the thread through the central straw and tied a knot when it was central.

5. Added ribbons to the end and away we went.

Both designs were easy to make but the one with bamboo sticks was a lot more fiddly so that better suited the 11 year old who made it. Both hand made kites were actually quite durable and withheld a lot of bashing on the floor and there were no tears. The kite with bamboo took about ten minutes to make and the one with straws took about five minutes. Both children had adult help but they could have done them alone (with the exception of making a notch in the end of the bamboo).

They loved flying their kites and we managed to get enough wind to get them off the ground.

The worst thing - having to tidy up afterwards! My kids always make such a mess!