Making Kites

How to Use Geometry to Make a Kite

Start making a kite using geometry by drawing two diagonal lines across an 8 1/2-by-11-inch piece of paper to find its center, says Pearsonsuccessnet.com. Mark the center with a dot. Fold the paper in half, lengthwise, creasing about a 1/2 inch from the marked dot. This fold will be called “the keel.”

Bend each front corner of paper over the keel. Pearsonsuccessnet.com suggests using a single staple to attach both corners of the keel to each other, about 1 inch from the front of the kite.

Use another staple perpendicular to the keel. Tie one end of the spool of thread to this staple. Once complete, you can measure your accuracy with a few math equations. According to mathopenref.com, the two short sides of the kites will be equal. The two long sides of the kite will also be equal. The angle between the short top sides and the long bottom sides of the diamond shape will be separated by a 120 degree angle.

Double check the accuracy of your kite using simple geometry. According to keymath.com, a kite is two isosceles triangles that share a common, hidden base. Confirm that your kite is in this configuration before flying.

Things You Will Need

  • Sheets of 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper
  • Two wooden sticks
  • Staples
  • Stapler
  • Spool of thread or string
  • Pencil

Tip

Once you have made a kite using exact measurements described, try altering the sizes of paper used, fold depths and angles used, and make different projects. Test the flight capability of each kite.

Try using balsa wood sticks, found at a local craft store. The pieces of the kite should all be light-weight and streamlined for the best flight capabilities.

“A kite is a quadrilateral with exactly two distinct pairs of congruent consecutive sides,” says the website at keymath.com. “The angles between two congruent sides are called vertex angles, and the other two angles are called nonvertex angles.”

How to Make a Sky Bird Kite

Place the plastic sheet over a cutting mat. Use the fine tip marker and draw an overhead view of a bird soaring. The wings should span the 36-inch wide portion of the plastic.

Cut along the marker lines with a craft knife to completely cut out the sky bird shape.

Cross the dowels over each other and perpendicular to each other so that they intersect in the centre. Fasten the dowels together by wrapping craft wire around the joint. Twist the wire tight with needle nose pliers. Clip the excess wire off with the cutter on the pliers. This is the kite frame.

Align the dowels over the plastic kite outline. Poke holes every three inches on either side of the dowels with a pencil tip.

Slide a wire tie through each hole and pull the tie tight to the dowel in order to secure the plastic sheet to the frame.

Drill a 1/16-inch hole through the dowel at the front of the kite, or at the head of beak of the bird, and thread the kite string through the dowel. Tie-off the string.

Paint the details of the bird onto the plastic sheet. Include details such as eyes, wing feathers, tail feathers, talons and beak. Allow the paint to dry before use.

Tip

For a more durable kite, use a light sheer fabric in place of the plastic.

Warning

Wear eye protection when operating a drill. Cut away from yourself when using a craft knife.

How to Make an Eagle Kite

Make 1/2-inch slits in both ends of both bamboo sticks with a bread knife.

Position the bamboo sticks in a cross formation, with the 20-inch stick placed 10-inches from the top of the 24-inch stick.

Wind the string around the center cross points of the two sticks. Create an “X” and weave the string around and under the crossed center.

Bring the string to the top tip of the long stick and thread the string through the slit. Bring the string around the perimeter of all stick ends, threading the string through the slits to create the kite frame.

Bring the string ball back to the center cross. Wind the string back and under the “X” formation several times and knot securely. Cut string.

Cut the plastic bag at the center and bottom seams to create a large flat piece of plastic.

Position the kite frame over the black plastic. Cut the plastic to the size of the frame, adding 1 inch on each side to create a diamond shape.

Fold the points of the diamond over 1-inch and glue down.

Fold the long edges of the plastic over the string and glue down.

Cut a triangle of white construction paper to measure 5-by-5-by-5 inches and glue it to the top of the kite diamond for the eagle head.

Cut a small orange construction paper triangle to measure 1-by-1-by-1 inch. Glue it to the tip of the kite diamond for the eagle’s beak.

Cut three grey construction paper triangles to measure 5-by-6-by-6 inches. Glue them to the center and bottom of the kite for eagle wings and tail feathers.

Cut a piece of string to measure 24 inches. Tie it securely to the top and bottom tips of the kite frame to make a bridle.

Attach the string ball to the bridle 8 inches from the top of the bridle.

Cut a 72-inch piece of string and attach it to the bottom of the kite frame for a kit tail.

Cut the ribbon into 4-inch sections. Tie the ribbon sections to the tail every 5 inches.

Things You Will Need

  • 24-inch long bamboo stick
  • 20-inch long bamboo stick
  • Serrated bread knife
  • String ball
  • Black plastic garbage bag
  • Masking tape
  • Grey, white and orange construction paper
  • White glue
  • Ribbon