How To Make A Barn Door Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 3 of 3

The MBK Dowel Barn Door

How To Make A Barn Door Kite
Tying The Bridle

Try this Stake Line Winder from Amazon, if you are not sure where to get suitable flying line. The 50 pound strength is ideal for these Dowel Series kites.

All the construction details for the bridle are contained in the large photo below. Look and read carefully, and you can't go wrong on this rather important bit!


If you are new to this, you might need instructions on how to tie the following knots...

Loop Knot
Double Wrap Slip Knot
Prusik Knot
Larks Head Knot

TIP: Secure the slip knots onto the dowels with enough wood glue to ensure the knots can never slip along the dowel. They won't loosen either.


Once your kite + bridle looks like the photo up there...

Hold the short bridle line up so all the bridle lines are straight, with the kite laying flat on the table or floor.

Make sure the Prusik knot closest to the kite is adjusted to the middle. Right over the center-line of the kite.

Referring to the diagram below, shift the other Prusik knot to the shown position. It's not necessarily the perfect position for your individual kite, but it should at least fly on the first attempt!

Later, you can experiment with shifting the position towards or away from the nose, a little at a time, to improve how high your kite flies.


This page has plenty of photos - so their size and quality have been limited to make the page load faster. (And everyone with a slow Internet connection said Hooray!)

No such limitations are necessary for an e-book, so all the images are larger and sharper.

At this point, you've pretty much finished making the Dowel Barn Door! However, there is a short Setup procedure to go through before it will fly...

How To Make A Barn Door Kite
Attaching The Line

The Dowel Barn Door - bridle knots

Make up a flying line and attach it to the bridle with a Lark's Head Knot. See the photo over there, where the Lark's Head has been left loose.

Also check that both wing tips leave the floor at the same time when you pull the kite up off the floor by the short bridle line. If one tip comes up first, adjust the Prusik knot nearest the sail until both tips come up at once.

How To Make A Barn Door Kite

The Dowel Barn Door kite soaring high beneath a thin canopy of Cirrus cloud cover.

Firstly, if it's very windy outside, stay home! This is a light-wind kite and won't like being launched in a gale. If the wind is too strong, the spars will bend excessively and the kite will not fly very high as a result.

Out In The Field

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

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

The Prusik knot on the bridle line can loosen off a little over time. If necessary, pull on all the lines to tighten the knot up before a flying session.

Assuming there is some breeze outside, just dangle the kite at arm's length until the wind catches it. As long as you feel the kite pulling, let out line slowly by taking loop after loop off the winder.

Be careful when letting line slip through your fingers. If a gust hits the kite, the line could burn you! For a kite this big, it's a good idea to wear a glove.

Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, on the end of maybe 15 meters (50 feet) of line. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.

Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Barn Door kite!

The e-book instructions for this kite include even more handy hints which will ensure you get the most success possible when flying this particular design. They show you how to make the kite more transportable too, so you can remove the diagonal spars and roll the kite up into a slim bundle.

Now, just in case you have actually made and flown this kite at least once already...

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...

A Great Date 
I found this site about a month ago. My girlfriend works a job where she has to leave and be gone for a week at a time. It's a taxing job and I'm always …

LOVE the Barn Door! 
My second MBK kite and another very satisfying build-and-fly experience. With one more dowel than the diamond, the barn door needs just a little more wind …

The 48 inch Dowel Barn Door Kite in Flight 
This is a picture of my Barn Door kite.

Kites in Colorado 
I enjoy the site very much, and we love the Dowel Barn Door! Hopefully, I will correctly post a couple of pics here and there. We live in a northwest …

Barn Door Kite - Pretty Good Not rated yet
This kite flies great. I made the Dowel Barn Door kite for a school project and it worked perfectly. (T.P. - Thanks Ian, glad it worked out for you! …

Click here to write your own.

Return to Page 2 

E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

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. Flight Report:
    Parachute Flaw Discovered

    Oct 24, 16 12:49 AM

    I was looking for slightly stronger smooth winds today, but instead learned another lesson from the Parachute kite...

    The idea was to see if greater wind speed - say in the mid-twenties (kph) - would p…

    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

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...


"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