How To Build A Delta Kite

Step-by-Step - The MBK Simple Delta

Learn how to build a Delta kite with these easy-to-follow instructions. Fully illustrated with photographs, every step of the way.

Learn how to build a Delta kite like this one!Simple Delta in flight

Don't worry about how long this page looks...

The steps are easy, hence this simple Delta kite comes together very quickly!

We still take out the Simple Delta occasionally. As long as the wind isn't too strong, it's as much fun as any similar-sized shop Delta. It hovers at a steep angle on the end of our Dacron flying line.

Let the line out to 90 meters (300 feet) or more, if you want to!

Such a simple kite and yet it flies so high in a light breeze. The video below shows this kite coping with fresh gusts that are nearly too strong for it.

NOTE: Video views from this website don't appear to be counted.

1. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Measuring The Sail

You might want to take a quick look at the materials and tools for making this kite, first. Then just click the Back button on your browser to get back here.

The Simple Delta - measuring the sail.
  • Place your plastic bag flat on the floor, with the closed end at the top.
  • Starting from just below the top-left corner of the bag, measure and mark 3 dots on the plastic. I've high-lighted the dots in yellow, in the photo. Judge the horizontal direction by eye. If you're careful, there's no need for a T-square.

2. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Cutting The Sail

The Simple Delta - marking the template shape.
  • Take your ruler and connect the dots with the black marker pen, as shown in the photo. (OK, the lines appear a bit faint in the photo!)
  • Flip the plastic over and trace over all the black lines.

The Simple Delta - the complete outline on plastic.
The Simple Delta - the sail cut out and edged with tape.
  • Cut along the top and right side of the bag, and open it out to show the complete sail outline, as in the photo above.
  • Take your scissors and cut along all the black lines. As in the photo over there on the right, your Delta kite sail is nearly complete!

3. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Adding The Spars

The Simple Delta - taping the spars to the sail - 1
The Simple Delta - taping the spars to the sail - 2
The Simple Delta - attaching the spreader - 1.
The Simple Delta - attaching the spreader - 2.
The Simple Delta - attaching the spreader - 3.
  • Take some 5mm (3/16") dowel and cut off a 70 cm (28 inch) length. Lay this down the center line of the sail.
  • Now cut off 2 more lengths, each 80 cm (32 inches) in length. Lay these down over the leading edges of the sail.
  • Using 6 pieces of insulation tape, each 5 cm (2 inch) long, stick them down in the positions shown in the top left photo, above.
  • Fold all the tapes around to the underside of the plastic. See the top right photo, above.
  • Cut off a 70 cm (28 inch) length of dowel and lay it across the sail, 31 cm (12 1/4 inches) from the nose. Using 2 pieces of insulation tape, each 20 cm (8 inches) long, lay them over the crossing points. See the top photo, in the group of 3.
  • Carefully wind the tapes around the dowels, without getting them stuck to the sail! Now, each join should look like the middle photo on the right.
  • Add an extra tape to the middle of each leading edge, to help keep the sail in place. Also tightly wind an 8 cm (3 inch) piece of tape around the spar join. See the bottom photo on the right, which was actually taken after some test flying in strong wind!

4. How To Build A Delta Kite -
Attach The Flying Line

Try this Stake Line Winder from Amazon, if you are not sure where to get suitable flying line. The 30 pound strength is ideal for the Simple Series or Soft Series kites.

The Simple Delta - attaching the flying line.
  • Get your flying line, which I'm assuming has been wound onto a spool or winder of some sort.
  • Poke a hole in the plastic sail, right over where the horizontal and vertical dowels cross each other.
  • Thread the flying line through the hole, and tie it firmly around the vertical spar. Do NOT tie it around the horizontal spar! This dowel floats free while the kite flies.

5. And Finally - Attach The Tail

The Simple Delta - attaching the tail
  • From spare scraps of sail plastic, make up a long narrow strip no shorter than 4 times the length of the kite itself. The strip should be about 5 cm (2 inches) wide.
  • Thread one end of the tail around the bottom of the vertical spar, as you can see in the photo. Tie the tail to the dowel with a simple knot.


Our original Simple Delta doing its thing on a cloudy day, in light winds.Just enough wind to stay up

Hope you enjoyed learning how to build a Delta kite! Up there is another shot of our original Simple Delta doing it's thing on a cloudy day with plenty of sun and just enough wind to keep the kite flying.

Out In The Field

Delta kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

That's it, you're ready to fly. Take the kite out whenever you can see leaves moving in the trees or bushes.

If the kite won't stay up, try letting out plenty of line and then towing it up at jogging pace. It might find enough wind higher up!

Avoid flying in very windy weather.

Ever Made This Kite?

You've probably read a kite-flying story or 2 of mine, after they appear under the "what's new?" link on this site. I sometimes wonder if anyone else has made and flown this particular design...

If you feel your efforts really paid off when the the kite finally got airborne - please type a few paragraphs in here telling us all about it!

P.S. I can only accept stories of at least 300 words. Just mention a few details like the weather, onlookers, the kite's behavior and so on - 300 words is easy!

Flight Reports From Other Visitors

Click below to read about various kite-flying adventures, contributed by other visitors to this page...

Delta Kite 
I was making a kite with my cousins. Because we were doing a game in which we would win if our kite was higher than the others. I made the delta kite. …

Fun Date With Delta Kite 
A few months ago my girlfriend and I decided it would be a fun idea to try to build and fly a kite. One afternoon I perused the Internet sites on kite …

My First Simple Delta 
I made a Simple Delta from the plans on your website and took it to the river bank to see if it would fly. The wind was from the South moderate to fresh …

1st Time 4H Kite 
My 8 year old son wanted to build a kite for 4H. I thought oh this will be good. I was hesitant on building a kite because I didn't think it would fly. …

Wholesome kite flying fun at the beach 
In an effort to get out and enjoy the summer sun my wife and I decided to build and fly a kite. Your Delta was the first design we looked at and it seemed …

My Delta Kite - Simplicity 
When I was making this kite, all my classmates said it was never gonna get off the ground. This was because all the other kites were extremely complicated …

Click here to write your own.

E-book special of the month (25% off)...

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) diameter Parasail kite. This kite performs well in gentle to moderate wind speeds. That's from 12 to 28 kph or from 8 to 18 mph. It pulls hard for it's size, so should not be flown by very small kids!

Every kite design in the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...

  • Materials are plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
  • Tools are a ruler, scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
  • All cuts are along straight lines.

For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Parasail kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.

What's New!

  1. The Adelaide Kite Festival

    Apr 26, 17 06:00 AM

    Coincidentally, this previously published page has recently been updated. The Adelaide International Kite Festival for 2017 was held earlier this month...

    Read More


Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

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"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world.

Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."


"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."


"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

 Your instructions and methods are wonderful. You help the builder to focus on accuracy, without making it hard. Also, you use materials that are durable, yet cheap!"


"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

thank you"

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7