How To Make A Diamond Kite

Step-by-Step - The MBK Dowel Diamond

This set of instructions on how to make a Diamond kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making. You might already have some of the simple tools and materials required.

It's fun to make a Diamond kite from scratch and then fly it successfully!

Anything you don't have is easily bought. If not exactly what I used, then at least something pretty similar!

The MBK Dowel Diamond Kite is a fairly large tail-less Diamond, inspired by the famous Eddy design. However, it will still fit into nearly all road vehicles, ready to fly. Either just in front of the rear seat, or flat in the trunk (boot).

This design is a great light wind flier and can cope with fairly gusty winds.

Setting up on the flying field is just a matter of attaching the bow-line toggle to put some curve into the horizontal spar. Then the flying line is attached to the bridle. At this point you are ready to launch! The method of attachment is illustrated further down this page.


Download a free kite-making e-book!

Plus an amazing bonus.

Click for more info...



I have chosen to make '1 Dowel Length' equal to 120cm for every kite in the Dowel series. If you are in North America, 48" of 3/16" dowel is close enough to 120cm of 5mm dowel. This will result in a kite with similar flying characteristics to my original.




How To Make A Diamond Kite
Cutting the Sail

Now's the time to read up on the kite making tools and materials required for making a Dowel Diamond, if you haven't already.

Sail template for the MBK Dowel Diamond kite.

The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows... (You will notice that the photos show a slightly different shape - but stick to the Template measurements!)

Dowel Diamond - mark one side of bag
  • Firstly, take a large bag that will fit the entire Template shape within one side, and lay it flat on the floor.
  • Mark dots on the plastic, corresponding to the corners of the Template. There is no need to use a T-square, since any small error will be duplicated on the other side of the sail.
  • Using the marking pen, rule lines between the dots, as in the photo. For lines longer than the ruler, just add a few extra dots using one of the dowel spars as a ruler! Then it's easy to connect the dots. It's probably best not to rule the whole line with the dowel, since it bends easily.

Dowel Diamond - mark other side and open out.
  • Flip the plastic bag over, and trace over all the black lines using your marker pen and ruler.
  • Cut out a rectangular section of the bag containing the kite sail, open it out and lay it flat on the floor - you can now see the complete sail outline, as in the photo.

When doing the following, most of the width of the tape should be inside the kite's outline.

Dowel Diamond - tape edges, add corner strap and add cornber pocket.
  • Use a single length of tape for each line. Hold it out straight, touch it down to the plastic at one end, then at the other end, dab it down in the middle, then press down all along its length.
  • Lay clear sticking tape along all the lines, letting it overlap at the corners.
  • With scissors, cut along all the black lines. This will leave most of the width of the sticking tape inside the sail outline. See the photo.




How To Make A Diamond Kite
The Spars

Dowel Diamond - the 2 spars

For this Diamond, you need 2 long lengths of 5mm (3/16") wooden dowel. At least 1.0DL (120cm, 48") each. They are easily cut to the length required with a small hack saw.

  • Lay down a dowel over the center crease of the plastic. Mark it at the exact height of the sail, and cut off at the mark. Round off the tips with a wood file. This is the vertical spar.
  • Cut off a very short length of dowel, 0.01DL (1.2cm, 1/2") in length. Round off the tips with a wood file. You can use thinner dowel than this if you have some laying around. This will be used as the bow-line toggle. I use 4mm dowel for toggles.
  • Lay down some more dowel across the left and right corners of the sail, mark it at the exact width and cut off at the mark.
  • Round off the tips with a wood file then add a bow-line so the depth of the bow is 0.08DL (9.6cm, 3 3/4"). With the kite flat on the ground, that's how far the tips should be off the grass. This is the horizontal spar. The photo above shows it with the toggle unattached, plus the vertical spar.




How To Make A Diamond Kite
Spar Caps

Prepare 6 lengths of electrical insulation tape, each one about 4 times longer than it is wide. Stick them by a corner onto something handy like a table edge. You can remove them one at a time as needed.

Dowel Diamond - spar taped down
  • Spread out the sail, with the edge tape facing upwards.
  • Lay down the horizontal spar over the sail, so it would bow away from the sail if you attached the toggle. With the toggle unattached, line up the tips of the spar with the left and right corners of the sail.
  • Cap one tip of the spar with tape, by sticking tape down on the dowel and plastic, then folding it around the tip and under the plastic to stick on the other side. A bit tricky, take your time!
  • For added strength, put another piece of tape at right-angles to the first. See the completed cap in the photo up there.
  • Now do the other tip of the spar similarly, using another 2 pieces of tape.
  • Finally, cap the top and bottom ends of the vertical spar, with one length of tape in each case.




How To Make A Diamond Kite
Lashing The Spars

Lash and glue the spars together where they cross, using a short length of flying line. Fix the knot with a drop of glue so it can never come undone.






How To Make A Diamond Kite
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!

KNOTS:

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

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.

Annotated bridle photo for the Dowel Diamond kite.

ADJUSTMENT:

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 vertical spar.

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.

Side-on illustration of a correctly adjusted bridle for the Dowel Diamond kite.

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.





How To Make A Diamond Kite
Attaching The Flying Line

Attachment of flying line to the bridle.

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.

Now, drop the rigged kite so it floats face-down towards the floor. If it tends to drop its nose and glide forward, add weight near the bottom corner of the sail until the gliding stops. For example, wrap some extra tape around the vertical spar near the tail end.





How To Make A Diamond Kite
Flying!

The original Dowel Diamond in flight.

Firstly, if it's very windy outside, stay home! This is a light-wind kite and won't like being launched in a gale. The picture shows the original Dowel Diamond on its first outing, hovering at around tree-top height in a dying late-evening breeze.

Out In The Field

My collection of real-life Diamond kite stories is 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 cautious about letting line slip through your fingers. If a big gust hits the kite, the line could burn you! For any kite this big or bigger, it's a good idea to wear a cloth 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 Diamond 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 a spar 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!

Please Enter A Title

Flight Reports From Other Visitors

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

Trash bag kite in the sky 
I have made this type of kite for my son using your instructions. Must say these are really well-written instructions, with links to helpful knot tying …

Very Satisfying First My-Best-Kite Experience! 
Just made my first MBK kite - the Dowel Diamond - and I absolutely LOVE it! Used a super light trash bag and got the kite up in almost no wind. It is …

Fantastic! 
G'day. I had a go at making this kite - and did it turn out well! Members of my family, and friends were skeptical of my kite making because often my home-made …

Winter Kite Build 
First kite I've made in 50 years, my last one was made from news paper and small flat pine sticks. I have to admit this one is much better. First flight …

Quick Kite Project 
I attempted to make my own kite without reading any directions and failed miserably. I made a quick and dirty version of the MBK Dowel Diamond kite …

Click here to write your own.

You might have noticed that this site has a monthly newsletter...

For single-line kite fliers and builders, it's always been a good read. But if you are interested in KAP and/or large home-made kites you won't want to miss it!

So sign up today, and download the free 95-page e-book "What Kite Is That?" straight away. Info-packed and fully photo-illustrated.

And there are even more free resources, such as a kite-making e-course, waiting for you in the next issue of this newsletter.

What's New!

  1. Awesome Performer In Moderate Winds

    Sep 11, 14 03:00 PM

    An old flight report, written after a great late-evening flight with the 1.2m (4ft) span Dowel Barn Door kite...

    Read More





New! Comments

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...



Apologies for this site's current lack of video when viewed on mobile devices...

For now, please view this site on a Desktop or Laptop computer to see the videos. And there's plenty of them!

 

Return to How To Make A Kite from How To Make A Diamond Kite

All the way back to Home Page

E-books

Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!


Kite e-book: Making The MBK Dowel Diamond Kite

Download
"Making The
MBK Dowel Diamond Kite"
(see flight video!)



Make
all the Dowel kites, including the one above...

Kite e-book: Making Dowel Kites

Download
"Making Dowel Kites"



ALL the e-books.
Best value of all...

Kite e-books: The Big MBK Book Bundle

Download the
"MBK Book Bundle"





E-book
Testimonials

(unedited)

"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"