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Build and fly a box kite

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

You can make this kite with easy-to-find materials from your hardware or craft store. Lightweight materials will help it soar, even in a mild breeze.



  • Pocketknife
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Fine-toothed saw
  • 4 wooden dowels 1⁄4” x 36”
  • 4 wooden dowels 1⁄4” x 17”
  • 4 straws that can slide over 1⁄4” dowels
  • Household string
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Duct or masking tape
  • Lightweight construction paper (You can also use 2 mil painter’s plastic cloth, newspapers, wrapping paper or plastic trash bags.) You will need two sheets of material 11” x 64”.
  • Kite string


kite-11. Cut the 1⁄4” dowels to length. Use your pocketknife to carve a notch in each end of the 17” dowels. Notches at opposite ends of each dowel must be at the same angle to fit into the dowels they will cross.

kite-22. Mark each 17” dowel halfway along its length at 8 1⁄2”. Turn notches in correct direction and tie two tightly together at the halfway point with household string. Soak the string with glue. After the glue dries, wrap the joints tightly with masking or duct tape. Make two of these crosspieces, which will hold the frame together.

kite-33. Cut eight lengths of straw 4” long. Cut and fold each straw as shown. Slide the straws onto each 36” dowel. Use tape to hold the straws in position, 6” from the end of each dowel. Make sure both straws on each dowel are pointing in the same direction. Slide the crosspieces into the straws. Use tape to hold the whole thing together while you tie the joints tightly together with string, soak with glue and tape as in Step 2. This process will make a very sturdy frame for your kite. As an option, you can wrap a string around each end of the frame to add strength.


kite-44. Tape and tightly wrap the 11” x 64” sheet material around the frame. Trim to length and tape in place.

kite-55. Apply tape around the sheets on all edges.

kite-66. Attach the kite string as shown, and you’re ready to fly.

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12 Comments on Build and fly a box kite

  1. Thank you for the very clear and easy to follow directions.

  2. Thank you for the info we will be building a box kite in one of my classes and this could really work:)

  3. this is nice

  4. Still gotta have a tail on all kites.

  5. terrible design.

  6. now i know how to build it

  7. i like chicken

  8. eaglescout17 // August 29, 2015 at 11:48 am // Reply

    my kite was too heavy to fly, I wasted a whole roll of duct tape making it, don’t waste your time.

  9. i don't want to put my nick name! // May 30, 2015 at 8:17 pm // Reply


  10. very easy to follow

  11. How can I add wings to this kite? It looks much nicer and it is a little more stable.

  12. Very good. I have built box kits before but these directions are simple and easy to follow thanks.

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