Making Paper Kites For Kids

The MBK Paper Sled. No Sticks!

Perhaps you've read about making paper kites from single sheets of copier paper with 2 sticks or straws forming the spars. Little Sleds in other words, which dance around in light breezes outdoors or perhaps are towed around indoors if there is enough space.

Making paper kites from a single sheet of Letter or  A4.

Well, this design goes one step further and eliminates the sticks. It does have spars, but they are folded into the sail, origami-style!

I went out one day for a test fly, in almost calm conditions.

Every now and then, a puff of wind came through. It proved just enough to loft the little Sled up around tree height, for some video and still shots. Perhaps for half a minute or so each time. But it certainly flew.

Making paper kites in this way does not require any ruler measurements or scissor cuts! Read on to find out how...

So, the only materials required for this super-minimal design are

  • 1 sheet of plain copier paper. It should be A4 or Letter size.
  • 12mm (1/2") clear sticky tape. In a dispenser preferably.
  • Very light Dacron or Nylon flying line. Strong cotton thread can also be used.

No joke, that's it!

Regarding flying line, this QuikRetrieve Kite Winder from Amazon has 20 pound line. More than strong enough and yet not too heavy for flying on 30 or 40 feet or so.

The tool required is a skewer, of any type of material. It just has to be sharp, to poke a couple of holes. In fact, I got by with a bamboo BBQ skewer!

Later on, you might get the urge to try a much bigger and better Sled which will fly over a wider range of wind speeds.

That's the time to look at 'Making The MBK Dowel Sled Kite', an e-book which has step-by-step instructions and photos. Also, there are plans and a flight report. Kids like the eye-catching diamond-shaped cutouts!





Step 1 - Find The Center-Line

Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 1a

Fold the sheet so the longer sides bend. Line up 2 of the corners as accurately as you can.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 1b

Don't crease the paper all the way along the fold. Instead, just pinch it right near one end as in the photo. Then line up and pinch the other end too.


Making a paper kite - Step 1c

Lay the paper flat. You should see the 2 tiny creases as in the photo.






Step 2 - Fold Up The 'Spars'

Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 2a

Fold the sheet in from both sides so the shorter edges meet exactly in the middle.

Lay the folded sheet on a smooth hard surface, and sharpen the creases with your fingernail. That's right, press firmly and run your fingernail up and down the creases.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 2bc

Turn the paper over and unfold one flap, as in the photo.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 2

With both hands, pinch a small width of the crease and fold it back towards you. After sharpening the new crease, it should look like the photo.

How's that - making paper kites without anything extra for the spars!


Now do the other side the same. Don't worry, I've found it's quite easy to get them both very similar in width. Just do it so it 'feels' the same.





Step 3 - Fold And Tear Leading Edges

Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 3a

Fold the paper and line up 2 corners as shown.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 3

Fold both layers of paper into a triangular flap as shown. The fold line starts right next to the spar-folds that are already there.

Crease sharply using your trusty fingernail. An essential 'tool' for making paper kites!


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 3c

Open out the whole paper kite, and sharpen the crease of both flaps individually. Now fold them both back the other way, and sharpen the crease again with your fingernail.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 3d

Do this 8 times on both flaps to weaken the fold-line, then carefully tear them off.


OK, if you want to cheat on that last step, go grab a pair of scissors. I admit it's quicker, but you can't brag that you used no tools at all except a skewer!

Now this paper kite is starting to look like a Sled!





Step 4 - Adding The Bridle

Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 4a

Fold the paper kite as in the photo and line up the corners.

Then poke your sharp skewer through both layers of paper, where the black dot is.

You don't have to mark a black dot, I just marked it to make the position clear in the photo.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 4b

Cut off a piece of flying line or strong thread that is at least twice as long as the longest side of a sheet of copy paper.

Tie each end through a hole in your paper kite. Without crushing the paper, as in the photo.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 4c

Stick a length of tape in place to reinforce the bridle attachment. Make it long enough to fold a similar length around and onto the other side of the paper. Try to make it look just like the photo.

Do the other hole the same way.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 4d

Fold the kite to bring the corners and holes together, and hence find the exact center of the bridle line.


Making the Paper Sled kite - Step 4

Tie a small loop into the bridle line at dead center. There it is at the top center of the photo. If you look hard!






Step 5 - Flying Paper Kites!

That's the kite all made up. All that remains is to attach a flying line to that little loop and watch the little Sled soar up to the ceiling!

Out In The Field

My collection of real-life Sled kite stories is worth checking out!

Illustrated with photos and videos, of course.

There's really not much to making paper kites in this way...

Outdoors, you will need to wait for gentle winds of between 5 and 8 kph (3 to 5 mph) for best results. Or, in a dead calm, just jog along slowly to tow it up.

You will have best results if you use ordinary polyester sewing thread for the flying line.

The QuikRetrieve Kite Winder line from Amazon is slightly heavier, but is still a good choice if you want to fly other small kites on it as well.

Have fun, and here's a video of this folded paper kite for encouragement...







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...

Impressive Flight 
I was looking to make a skewer kite today but ended up stumbling upon your paper sled design which didn't require a run to the store to get skewers! …

Click here to write your own.

 

Don't forget to try the MBK Dowel Sled after you have had plenty of fun with this tiny paper version. The Dowel Sled looks much more impressive and will float around hundreds of feet up, even in very light wind.

 

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Out With The Backup Kite: 2-Skewer Sode

    Oct 22, 14 12:31 AM

    After getting be-calmed yesterday, today was looking much better for seeing what the little paper Sled could do on a generous length of polyester sewing thread.

    However, down at the reserve, the gusty…

    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 Making A Kite For Kids from Making Paper Kites

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 Sled Kite

Download
"Making The
MBK Dowel Sled 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"