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.So cheap and simple - but it flies!

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!

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


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

Sled kite stories of my real-life flying experiences are 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.

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...

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.

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

Click to get 'Making The MBK Parachute Kite'

This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

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 Parachute 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. Flight Report:
    Some Kites Just Need The Beach

    Aug 21, 17 03:11 AM

    The local kite club bought a load of second hand gear - including kites - from interstate some months ago... With the power supposedly being cut sometime between 8am and 3pm today, it was an opportuni…

    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!

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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 decided to run kite making as an elective again on this camp in the past week - so I bought all your e-books, a bunch of materials, and then took a group of 10 high school students through making the kites over 4 days. We built a diamond, a Barn Door, a Delta, and two skew delta kites. Again - every single kite flew."


"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!"


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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