The Butterfly Kite

Some Observations And Examples

Just a few thoughts here, about the Butterfly kite. To tell the truth, I can only remember seeing one actual example flying in the air. It strikes me as a rather female-friendly kind of kite...

Authentic Chinese Butterfly kite
Authentic Chinese Butterfly kite

In fact, the one my wife and I saw at a kite festival was being flown by a woman. Not a child, note! I can also recall the occasional online photo or two of a Butterfly being flown - once again, by a woman! And how about the keen photographer who took the image at the bottom of this page .... you guessed it ...

Butterfly kites are arty. It doesn't seem to matter in what exact shape, size or form they come. Butterfly kites are almost always dressed up. Sometimes purely as an artwork, whether childish or more sophisticated.

Otherwise, they are made to look as realistic as possible. That takes some doing, since the living insect puts on an intricate and often very beautiful display of color.

Pretty things sell better than plain things, so a decent butterfly design must be fairly easy to move off the kite-shop shelves. OK, walls or ceiling ;-) You know how they like to hang things here there and everywhere, like some sort of kiting art installation.

I guess the closest thing I have designed so far, that has 'wings' would be the MBK Dowel Delta :-) Like a friend of mine has done, you can always add a little art to make it look better than my pale-orange original...

Making The MBK Dowel Delta Kite is one of my handy e-books of printable step-by-step instructions. It's a PDF file download. The PDF also contains plans for the huge Multi-Dowel Delta.


A typical Butterfly design is just a little taller than it is wide, in many cases. Hence it should be easier to get flying stable than say a Bird kite. That's just a hunch on my part. If you have made a lot of kites, would you agree? I've certainly read some stories online of how long some Bird kite designs took to get right!

Good Butterflies don't actually need tails, but often have them for looks. Also, these types are generally mid-sized. Say, less than a meter (3 feet) across.

Talking about size brings to mind a group of enthusiasts who posted a photo of their giant Butterfly on this site! There's a copy of that photo down near the bottom of this page...

The Butterfly has become one of the most popular creature-kites around, among single-surface designs. Other big 'creature' categories would have to include Bird and Fish kites. These ideas seem to have originated in China, centuries ago.

A Butterfly Kite Zoo


Child's Butterfly Kite Project

Child's Kite Kit

Child's Butterfly Kite Project

Photo courtesy of

A typical small kite for kids. This one's plain, but kids can easily add their own art-work to the sail material before the kite is cut out and assembled.

Modern butterfly kite from shop

Modern Kite Shop Butterfly

Modern butterfly kite from shop

Photo courtesy of

This hi-tech example flies stable without tails, and features a 3D appearance. Rich colors are even brighter when the sun shines through from behind. Marvelous!

Traditional Chinese butterfly kite

Traditional Chinese Butterfly

Traditional Chinese butterfly kite

Photo courtesy of

The real thing, in pink to be in keeping with the female-friendly tone of this page! These designs have hardly changed in terms of materials, construction techniques and general appearance for hundreds of years. Amazing.

Massive Home-Made Butterfly Kite

Massive Home-Made Butterfly

Massive Home-Made Butterfly Kite

This monster is almost 2 1/2 meters (10 feet) wide and weighs 4 1/2 kilos. It has a linen sail, and is reputed to be somewhat harder to land than to launch... Spectacular! By some kite-making enthusiasts from the Czech Republic. Yes, this one's not so much a lady's kite is it!

How's that for a 4-picture summary of the Butterfly corner of the kiting world! Enjoy the photo below, too...


And if DIY is more your thing...

Making The MBK Dowel Delta Kite is one of my handy e-books of printable step-by-step instructions. It's a PDF file download. The PDF also contains plans for the huge Multi-Dowel Delta.


You might like these...

FREE E-Book!

I'm referring to Simplest Dowel Kites, my popular kite-making download. It's a printable PDF file. Make a diamond, delta or sled. Each kite is capable of flying hundreds of feet up for hours on end.

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P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

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1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

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