Making A Box Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 3 of 3

MBK Dowel Box (mod. winds) 

Making A Box Kite
Before The First Flight 

Bridl 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.

Suspend the kite from the Double Loop knot of the bridle. Shift the Prusik knot along the bridle line until the upper bridle leg makes a right-angle (90 degrees) with the spar. The kite should fly like this, but you can try shifting the knot rearwards a little for best results in lighter winds. That is, no more than a few centimeters or a couple of inches.

Making A Box Kite

The Dowel Box kite in flight, on a perfect day.

Firstly, this kite requires more than a 'very light' breeze to stay in the air. So if you can see barely any movement in the leaves of trees or bushes, perhaps take some other Dowel kite instead!

Out In The Field

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

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

At the other extreme, you might snap a cross-piece if you attempt to fly in 'very windy' weather. So, a nice average moderate breeze is best.

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 a fair amount of 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! It's a good idea to wear a glove of some sort.

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.

The picture up there shows the Dowel Box on its first outing, in a gusty moderate breeze. Have fun flying, and I hope you've had fun learning how to make a Box kite.

Some Improvements: After testing the original kite, some improvements came to mind...

If the wind is too strong, the horizontal cross-piece in the upper cell will snap. So, use slightly thicker dowel for the horizontal cross-piece in both the upper and lower cells, to keep the kite balanced. 

Right now, all the cross-pieces attach quite close to the trailing edge of both cells. Try shifting them 0.1DL (12cm, 4 3/4”) away from the trailing edge. Don't forget the tape reinforcements too, so the ends of the cross-pieces don't puncture the sail. This change should reduce the amount of spar-bending that happens in fresh breezes, will still keeping the cross-pieces within easy reach during setup.

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...

Making And Flying The Dowel Box Kite 
I made a few modifications to the instructions: 1. Instead of one long piece for the cell, I pieced together alternate black and white plastic to make …

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 Bridle Sweet Spot

    Oct 21, 16 11:51 PM

    It was too windy yesterday, but today the breeze was ideal down at a beach...

    As a final attempt to optimize the bride, the lines were swept just slightly forward of the kite's leading edge and shorten…

    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."


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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

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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