Plans Sharing the joy of miniature kites. Learn how to make mini kites. Explore photos by your favorite small kite maker. Share photos of your own kites. Learn about kiting, defining sizes of kites, kite on foreign languages, discover kite books, tips on kiting. Find free kite plans. Learn about kite materials and supplies. Learn kiting making techniques. Learn about tools for mini kite making. Learn how to donate to a kite auction. Talk with other kitefliers in the forum. Find practical uses for your small kite. Mon, 23 Apr 2018 23:07:08 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Mini Smile Kite Finished Mini Smile Kite


Supplies needed:

  • Pattern
  • Lightweight paper, like deli paper or translucent origami paper
  • 20” thread
  • 15” pearl cotton, # 8
  • Clear tape
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • 1/8” wide strip of cardstock, 4” long
  • Glue stick or double stick tape




Trace Mini Smile Kite

1) Trace the pattern onto your lightweight paper.

Cutout Mini Smile Kite
2)  Fold the paper in half to cut out.

3) Decorate as you choose.

Place Spare on Mini Smile Kite
4) Note the marks for the spreader. Use either glue stick or double stick tape. Carefully place the 1/8” strip into position. Trim the excess off the sides.

5) Cut 15” of the #8 pearl cotton for the tail. Using a very small piece of tape. Tape it to the back of the kite at the bottom center point.

6) Cut 20” of sewing thread. Knot one end. Thread the other end into a needle. From the back of the kite, push the needle thru the bridle point. Again using a very small piece of tape, cover the knot to keep it from pulling thru the paper.

7) Refold the kite. Pinch the spreader to make a dihedral.

8) Like all small kites, this one flies best with a flying wand. A flying wand can be anything from a 6” stir stick to a 18” long dowel. The extra length of the wand puts the kite away from the turbulence caused by your arm.

9) Tune the kite by folding to give it more dihedral, adjust the length of the tail, or shorten the flying line to match the length of your flying wand 

]]> (Barbara Meyer) Kite Plans: Single-Surface Wed, 08 Jul 2009 08:27:29 +0000
Making a Cocktail Napkin Kite Napkin Kites




Kites in the size range of about 1 1/2 to 4 inches can be made from cocktail napkins.  They are reasonably light and stable fliers when a suitable tail is attached.


The cocktail napkin kite originated after a birthday party I attended where they had some napkins with a funny gorilla on it.  The graphics on the napkin looked like it would be good on a kite.  It was easy: cut the sail from the napkin and glue skinny bamboo spars to the back, attach the flying line and a tail and it was ready to fly.  Some adjustment of the bridle point was necessary, but it was made to fly reasonably well.  Since that first kite, many more have been made in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials.  Some adjusting of the bridle point, the tail, and some tweaking of the dihedral and sail angles is sometimes necessary to get good flying, but this is true of much larger kites too.


Paper napkins, and the cocktail napkins in particular, are available in a variety of colorful designs and patterns.  There are special patterns for Holidays, special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, graduations and retirement.


Materials and Tools

For this sample project, I recommend the following:

   1. Good lighting.
   2. A magnifying glass.
   3. Paper napkin.
   4. White glue.
   5. Bamboo or nylon bristles for spars.
   6. Good tweezers.
   7. Very sharp, double-edged razor blade of the old carbon steel type (that snaps when it breaks instead of bending like the stainless steel type).
   8. Flying line.
   9. Clear tape.
  10. Reel.
  11. Storage box.


Construction Procedure

Preparing the sail:

   1. The type of kite that you make is up to you and what you see in the napkin pattern you choose.  The Eddy, Diamond, Edo, Hata and Shield (modified Eddy) are the shapes I typically use, but you are limited only by your imagination (see illustration on last page of this article).  If you like, you can trace one of these kite shapes to use as a template for this project.
   2. Cut the sail to the shape of the kite by the method you prefer.  I like to use transparent plastic templates of the different kite shapes.  This way I can be sure the kite is positioned with the graphics on the napkin centered on the kite sail.
   3. I use a single-edge razor to cut the napkin around the edges of the template.  Some people prefer to draw the outline of the kite with an appropriate colored marker around the template and cut the napkin with scissors, outside the drawn border.  I draw my borders after the kite sail is cut out with the razor blade.
   4. Then, I remove the extra layers of the napkin tissue.
   5. Lightly crease the kite sail on its vertical spar.  This also puts some dihedral into the sail to help the flight stability.


Preparing the spars:

   1. Follow the instructions earlier in this article for selecting and preparing material for your spars.  


Gluing the spars to the sail:

   1. Use white craft glue.  If the glue is a bit thick, it will work better if it is diluted with 10 to 20% water.  The thinned glue is easier to apply and to remove excess glue.
   2. Monofilament or bamboo spars can be pulled through a small puddle or drop of glue to wet the spar’s surface with glue.  Then pull the spar across your finger tip to wipe off the excess glue; spread the remaining glue more evenly along the spar’s length.  Only a thin film of glue is needed along the spar.
   3. The spar must be carefully placed on the napkin so that the glue goes where you want it.  Using tweezers might help in placing the spar.  If the spar is set in the wrong place, pick it up and move it.  If more glue needs to be added to the spar, use the tip of a straight pin to pick up a small amount of glue from the puddle.


Flying Line

   1. I’ve used two methods of attaching the flying line to the kite.

a)      If the correct bridle point is known: Thread the line on a needle, wrap the flying line around the vertical spar and tie it in place in the front of the kite.   

b)      If you are trying a different design or new materials, some adjustments may need to be made.  In this case I tie a knot in the end of the thread line and tape the line to the face of the kite.  A piece of clear tape 1/4-in. to 1/2-in. long and 1/8 in. wide goes on the line just above the knot.  The tape is put on the sail with a pair of tweezers.  Don’t push the tape down tight until after it is test flown and you are sure of it’s placement.


Kite Tails

These kites can have too high a sail loading for their size to be stable without some help.  Dihedral and tail take care of this problem.


The kites with fishiing line cross spars can have dihedral added just by bending the spar sharply.


There are a number of materials available that work well for tails.  A metallized curling ribbon 3/16 in. wide is effective for kites that are at least 3 in. square.  Depending on the specific kite, 12 to 18 in. long tails will do the job.  For the smaller kites strips of gold or silver tinsel from Christmas decorations, about 1/16-in. wide and 18 in. long provide stability and add sparkle to the kite.  A single strand folded in two might do the job for the 1 1/2-in. kites, but as the kite size goes up more strands are needed.  A 4 in. square kite might need 6 or 7 pieces.  The tinsel is attached to the kite by first sticking them to a piece of clear tape 1/4-in. x 1/2-in. and then sticking this to the bottom of the kite.  Tweezers help to put the pieces of tinsel just where you want.  Wait until a test fly before pushing the tape firmly in place.


Flying Cocktail Napkin Kites

Warning:  Don’t try to fly these kites outside in damp weather – they get soggy!

It doesn’t take much wind to fly a small kite; 3 to 8 mph is about all that it can handle.  If it’s too windy outdoors you can fly your small kite indoors.  No, don’t run around pulling the little kite behind you.  It’s much easier to fly the kite from the end of a 3 ft. long, 1/4-in. dowel.  A pin or screw at one end of a dowel holds the thread.  The length of the line should be shorter than the dowel for good control.  By moving the dowel so the tip does a large figure-eight, the kite will follow.  It does take some practice to get the kite to fly smoothly.  The stick’s tip must move faster at the ends of the figure-eight and bit slower at the center.  For a fancier stick, use a telescoping rod or antenna.  Mount an alligator clip to the end (to hold the thread).  You should be able to carry it in your pocket or purse and be ready to fly at a moments notice.


Storing your kite
Keep the kite and reel in a suitable box for storage.

]]> (Charles Sotich) Kite Plans: Single-Surface Thu, 18 Jun 2009 08:36:05 +0000
Making a Mylar kite Normal 0 You will need to develop some skills far different from those used in making medium-size or even large kites.  This is because the physical characteristics of the materials are unusual and the pieces are so small.


The steps outlined below can be followed in making a variety of small two-dimensional kites.  Read the instructions through a few times before you begin the actual construction.


Materials and Tools

Gather your materials and tools.  For this sample project, I recommend the following:

   1. Good lighting.
   2. A magnifying glass.
   3. Plain white paper.
   4. Sharp pencil.
   5. A pattern or design to trace for decorating the kite.
   6. A piece of thin, stiff cardboard, larger than the final kite size.
   7. Mylar film for sail.
   8. Rubber cement (full strength)
   9. Permanent ink marker.
  10. Colored permanent ink markers.
  11. Bamboo or nylon bristles for spars.
  12. Good tweezers.
  13. Very sharp, double-edged razor blade of the old carbon steel type (that snaps when it breaks instead of bending like the stainless steel type) is best for cutting Mylar.
  14. Flying line.
  15. Piece of frosted tape (about 1/16 x 3/16 in.)
  16. Reel.
  17. Storage box.


Prepare the kite plan:

   1. Draw your full-size plan for the kite outline and spar locations on plain white paper with a sharp pencil.  Have in readiness a pattern to trace for decorating the kite.

Make a frame to hold the Mylar in place:

   1. On a piece of thin stiff cardboard, cut out an opening 1/4-in. larger than the kite.
   2. For the sail, cut a piece of Mylar slightly larger than the opening in the cardboard.
   3. Put several small drops of rubber cement (full strength) around the cut edge of the opening in the cardboard.
   4. Place the film over the opening and touch it lightly to the cement drops.
   5. Remove the wrinkles from the film by lifting edges one at a time and tacking them down again, applying light tension to the film.

Trace the kite plan onto the sail and decorate the sail:

   1. Trace the outline of the kite from the paper plan onto the Mylar sail with permanent ink marker.
   2. Position the Mylar kite sail outline over the decoration pattern.  Trace and color the design on the Mylar sail with colored permanent ink markers.

Cutting and gluing the spars:

   1. Turn the cardboard over so the sail is face down and again center the Mylar sail over the paper kite plan.  You will put the spars on the backside of the Mylar sail because rubber cement can dissolve marker inks.
   2. Cut the spars to length, being as accurate as possible
   3. Lightly bend the cross spar to create a dihedral angle in the center. Try gently scraping your thumbnail over the center, the way you would to curl ribbon.
   4. Glue the spars to the sail by applying very thin rubber or contact cement to the spars, then placing the spars with tweezers in position on the sail.
   5. Cut out the Mylar sail by using a very sharp razor blade guided by a ruler to cut the film along the outline.  Be careful because a dull razor blade will snag the film and develop a tear.


Prepare the flying line:

   1. Tie a simple knot near the end of the flying line.
   2. Prior to attaching the line to the kite, stick a piece of frosted tape (about 1/16 x 3/16 in.) across the line next to the knot on the long side of the line.
   3. With a pair of tweezers, place the tape (with the line) at the bridle point on the face of the kite.  Use minimum pressure on the tape.
   4. Test fly the kite on about two feet of line by moving your arm back and forth.  Move the bridle point down if the kite oscillates from side to side.  Move the bridle point up if the kite dives to one side.
   5. Repeat step 17 until the kite flies properly, then tack down the tape securely to the line on the sail.
   6. Measure off about three to six feet of flying line, then wind it on a reel.


Flying your small kite:

   1. Hold the reel in your hand and your hand off to the side of your body so the kite will be moving in a clear air stream.
   2. These kites require less than one mile-per-hour air speed, so begin walking forward slowly and watch to see if the kite rises.
   3. Move faster until the kite rises over your hand.  Slightly faster or slower movement will make the kite rise or fall and give you a feel for how much wind speed is necessary to keep the kite flying.  With more practice, you can fly a small kite while you are standing still or sitting down just by moving your arm back and forth.
   4. To turn the kite, you have to speed up your arm at mid-stroke and drop your hand, causing the kite to over-fly your hand.  Give the kite some slack and do a quick 180-degree turn so the kite is ready to start moving back in the opposite direction.
   5. It may be easier if you mount the reel and line on a three- or four-ft. dowel.  Then you can fly your kite just by moving your wrist.  

Storing your small kite:

   1. Keep the kite and reel in a suitable box for storage.]]> (Charles Sotich) Kite Plans: Single-Surface Thu, 18 Jun 2009 08:32:50 +0000
Miniature Tube Kite Tube Kite





Tissue paper - rectangle 8 inches (203mm) by 3.25 inches (83mm).   Select a printed tissue paper of your choice.


Ink Jet Translucent Vellum - .25 inch (7 mm) by at least 8 inches (203 mm). Cutting it a couple of inches longer can make it easier to work with.


Thread - 2 yards (2 meters) or more in length for fly line.


Embroidery floss winder or a 2 inch (50mm) square piece of tag board - for winder.


Large sewing needle or 1/16 inch (1.6mm) hole punch


Scotch® Double-Sided Tape Pen or other 3/16 inch (4.75mm) wide double-sided scrapbook style adhesive.





Wrap thread around embroidery floss winder or tag board.


Lay the strip of vellum on a piece of scrap paper. Use the Tape Pen to run adhesive on one side of it.   Stick the vellum strip on the backside of the tissue paper along the edge running from A-C.   If the vellum is longer than the tissue paper trim the vellum after it is stuck to the tissue paper.


Run adhesive along the C-D edge on the backside.   Pickup the A-B edge and roll it over to the C-D edge. Overlap the two edges the width of the adhesive to form a tube and stick the edges together.


Where the four layers of paper overlap punch a hole using the 1/16 inch hole punch or a large sewing needle. Push thread through the hole and tie a couple of simple overhand knots. Make the thread taunt so that it helps hold the seam of the kite together but not so tight that it starts crumpling the edge


]]> (SusieJo Skinner) Kite Plans: Multi-Surface Thu, 28 May 2009 05:42:25 +0000
Making Chinese Paper Cut Kites Charlie Sotich Papercuts


A.   What to look for in a paper cut (pc) if you want to make it into a kite.

  1. Symmetry or close to it will make the kite easier to apply spars, and make it easier to bridle so the kite will fly successfully.

  2. Solidity, holes in the sail may help stability, but don’t provide any lift. A PC with a more solid sail should fly slower and be stronger.

B.    Locate spars on the sail similar to “large” kites.

  1. They should stiffen the sail to hold its shape while the kite is flying.

  2. They should be approximately symmetrical so the sail will flex evenly.

  3. They should build in dihedral and have a slight longitudinal carve as in a fighter kite.

  4. The spars should provide an anchor point for the bridle line.


 back of papercut kite


C.   Make the spars out of good bamboo that can be split into long (4 – 6 inch minimum) narrow strips. One source is the bamboo brushes used for cleaning Chinese woks.

  1. Form large radii by pulling the spar across a fingernail or a sharp corner.

  2. Form small radii by bending the spar around the tip of a mini hot glue gun or low wattage soldering iron.

D.   Glue the spare to the sail

  1. Use tacky craft glue, thinned with a little water so it is easy to spread.

  2. Wipe off excess glue before putting the spar in place.

E.    A tail can be made from colored Mylar about a quarter inch wide and 20 to 30 inches long.

  1. Use small strips of tape (1/16” x 1/2") to attach the tail to the sail, on the back.  Tweezers are help in positioning the tail.


Charlie Paper cut of girl with bee


F.    Attach a thin sewing thread flying line to a spar on the longitudinal center line. About 30 percent of the surface area should be above the bridle point.G.   The kite is ready to fly. Readjust the bridle point if indicated by the kite’s flight pattern.

]]> (Charles Sotich) Kite Plans: Single-Surface Wed, 06 May 2009 04:26:53 +0000