Balinese Kites

by Desmond
(Mill Valley, CA, USA)


Do you have specific instructions (possibly measurements) on how to make a Balinese kite? I want to make a kite for my math project that I can paint a picture on. So it seems like the paper mache type would work best. I also love their really long tails.


No. That's the short answer.

But here's a couple of suggestions :-) ...

1) Trying to make an authentic Balinese kite from scratch might not actually be very practical in your situation. In addition, it would be very easy to end up with a heavy, poor flier. Particularly if you piled on a bit too much paint, or made the paper mache too sturdy.

If it wasn't for the fact you are probably supposed to make the kite yourself, there are of course, quite cheap Balinese kites for sale on eBay. Just see the listing on that page, after scrolling down a bit. has some instructions, but they are vague and basically useless for an inexperienced builder to have success with. No instructions on how to adjust the bridle, for example!

2) Why don't you consider making one of my Simple Series kites. Either a Diamond or a Delta - but use Tyvek instead of plastic. That way, you have a perfect 'canvas' for your painting, since it is like painting on paper.

If you can't get your hands on Tyvek easily, any old thin plastic sheet will do. In which case, colored permanent markers are the way to go, to create a pleasing picture on the sail without adding much weight at all.

The Simple Diamond and Simple Delta are reliable fliers in light winds, so there should be no disappointment there.

Whichever way you decide to go, I hope your project goes well!

Comments for Balinese Kites

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Mar 04, 2018
Bali kites
by: Tim P.

It's possible that the kites you have were never meant to fly, unfortunately. Some kite-makers in S.E. Asia have 2 sides to their business - flyable kites and heavier more ornate ones that are meant to be hung on a wall as art.

However, here's how you can have a go at making your kites fly, if it's at all possible...

Cut off a piece of flying line about twice as long as the head and body of the 'bird'. Attach one end near the head or neck of the kite and attach the other end near to where the tail joins on to the body. Call this line the 'bridle loop'.

Tie your flying line on to the bridle loop, quite close to the head/neck end. Experiment with flying the kite, shifting the attachment point back towards the tail end just a few mm at a time until best results are obtained. With persistence, you might just succeed!

Mar 04, 2018
Help with Balinese kite!
by: Holly

Hello, I visited Bali a while back and after seeing so many children having fun flying kites everyday I decided to buy my nieces one each. However... I got them back to England and realised they have no string attached! I ordered kite string from eBay and attached them to the kite but I can’t get it to fly!
I must have attached the string wrong, do you have any advice/instructions on how to attach string? They are only small kites, with a small head, wings and tail. They are so beautiful and I don’t want to have to throw them away!
Thank you,


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