How To Make A Paper Rokkaku Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 1 of 3

The MBK Paper Rokkaku

Learn how to make a Paper Rokkaku kite with these easy-to-follow instructions. Fully illustrated with close-up photographs, every step of the way.

The MBK Paper Rokkaku kite in flight.MBK Paper Rokkaku
The MBK Paper Rokkaku kite in flight.MBK Paper Rokkaku

These instructions take you step-by-step through making a small but high-flying Rokkaku kite. All from several pieces of A4 or Letter size copier paper and some sticky tape!

This kite performs well in Gentle to Moderate wind speeds. That's from 12 to 28 kph or from 8 to 18 mph. Even quite a small child should be able to hang on to the winder once the kite is up.




On this site, there's more kite-making info than you can poke a stick at :-)  Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small. Every kite in every MBK series.



How To Make A Paper Rokkaku Kite...
The Sail

Tack Paper Sheets Together

The Paper Rokkaku kite - 4 sheets of paper tacked together.4 sheets of paper tacked together
  • Orient the 4 sheets as shown. The paper color(s) are up to you!
  • Bring the sheets of paper together and tack in place with short strips of sticky tape. Yellow lines show where the edges of the tape are. You'll be seeing plenty of those yellow lines from here on!



Measure On One Side

The Paper Rokkaku kite - sail corners measured and marked.Sail corners measured and marked
  • Start measuring from the point where all 4 sheets of paper meet – the central dot in the photo.
  • Using a pencil, make dark dots on the paper, following the arrows shown above. I have added yellow dots to make the positions clear.
  • Note how dots are placed either on the center-line from top to bottom, or to the right of the center-line.


Fold Along The Center-Line

The Paper Rokkaku kite - paper sheets folded.Paper sheets folded
  • Fold the 4 sheets along the center-line, leaving the dots on the outside.
  • Place the paper up against a window while there is some light outside.
  • Trace the 2 dots, seen near the right edge of the paper in the photo, onto the unmarked side.

Note: What if the paper is too dark to see through? Just poke a hole through each dot with a needle so you can see where to put a dot on the unmarked side!



Draw Sail Shape

The Paper Rokkaku kite - lines drawn between dots.Lines drawn between dots
  • Unfold the paper and lay it down.
  • Using a pencil and ruler, connect the dots as shown in the photo.

Note: The lines in the photo are enhanced so you can see them easier.



Apply Tape

The Paper Rokkaku kite - tape laid down.Tape laid down
  • Apply sticky tape as indicated by the yellow rectangles in the photo. The ruled lines haven't been enhanced in this photo!


Cut Sail Shape

The Paper Rokkaku kite - sail cut out.Sail cut out
  • With scissors, cut all around the sail shape. There it is in the photo.


Draw Vertical Guide Lines

The Paper Rokkaku kite - dots drawn for vertical guide lines.Dots drawn for vertical guide lines
  • Lay down the sail so the sticky tape is against the floor.
  • Near the top of the sail, make a dot on each side of the center-line, 0.3cm (1/8”) from the line. See the photo on the left up there.
  • Where the 4 pieces of paper meet, also make a dot on each side of the center-line, but 1.1cm (7/16”) from the line.
  • Similarly, make a pair of dots near the bottom end of the center-line, 0.3cm (1/8”) from the line. The photo on the right shows all 3 pairs of dots.


 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - all vertical guide lines drawn.All vertical guide lines drawn
  • Rule 4 straight lines through all the dots as shown. OK, so they are not quite vertical, strictly speaking!


Draw Horizontal Guide Lines

The Paper Rokkaku kite - line drawn from corner to corner.Line drawn from corner to corner
  • Flip the sail over and rule a line all the way from one upper corner to the other. The distance is 30cm so a standard ruler will be just long enough.


 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - left top of sail - dots marked above and below the line.Left top of sail - dots marked above and below the line
  • Mark dots, 0.3cm (1/8”) away from the line near the paper corner and 1.1cm (7/16”) away from the line near the sticky tape. See the close-up photo.
  • Do the same on the right hand side of the paper, like a mirror-image.
  • Rule a line between the lower 2 corner of the sail and do all 8 dots again. If you take a peek at the next page it should all be clear.

Note: Only the distance away from the line needs to be accurate – the distances from the middle and from the corners can be done by eye from the photo.



 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - spar guide-lines drawn through all the dots.Spar guide-lines drawn through all the dots
  •   Using your ruler, draw lines through all the dots as shown.


The Vertical Spar

Measure Shapes

The Paper Rokkaku kite - measured and dots marked.Measured and dots marked
  • The bottom of the photo above is a short edge of the paper. Measure and mark dots where indicated in the photo.

Note: Keep the dots within half the area of the paper. You can crease the paper in the middle, open out and then keep the dots on one side of the crease. See the crease near the top of the photo.



Draw Lines

The Paper Rokkaku kite - lines drawn between dots.Lines drawn between dots
  • Using your ruler, connect the dots as shown. As you can see in the photo, you don't need a line drawn across the middle of each shape.    


Duplicate Shapes

The Paper Rokkaku kite - the 3 shapes duplicated.The 3 shapes duplicated
  • Fold down the unmarked half of the paper.
  • Trace dots at the positions of the shape corners. Up against a window works well, with sunshine lighting up both thicknesses of paper from behind.
  • Tear the paper in half along the crease.
  • Rule lines between the corner dots. There's the original and the copy in the photo.

Note: If you have trouble tracing due to dark paper or insufficient light... With a needle, poke holes through the 2 sheets of paper, at the corners of the shapes. Be careful not to let them shift! Then, after tearing the paper in half, rule lines between the pin-holes on the blank sheet.



Tape Over

The Paper Rokkaku kite - shapes taped.Shapes taped
  • Lay strips of sticky tape over the spar shapes as illustrated in the photo.
  • The strips of tape can overlap slightly and should cover the shapes completely. That's the only requirement!



Cut Out

The Paper Rokkaku kite - shapes cut out.Shapes cut out
  • Cut out the shapes, which will be totally covered in tape on one side. A little bit of curl is OK – the ones in the photo have been stuck down!

Note: The middle shapes have been rotated around. In the next step you will layer each group of 3...



Stick Together

The Paper Rokkaku kite - longest and mid-sized shapes stuck together.Longest and mid-sized shapes stuck together
  • Lay down both the longest shapes with the taped sides facing down.
  • Lay a mid-sized shape over the top of each longer shape, also with the taped sides facing down.
  • Line up the wide ends exactly, shift the top shape up or down to center it over the lower shape then stick in place with tape. Also tack down the narrower end with a square of tape as shown in the photo.


 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - shortest shapes added.Shortest shapes added
  • Now line up the remaining shapes, taped sides down. Use sticky tape at both ends as before.


Encase In Tape

The Paper Rokkaku kite - tape laid down over one long edge.Tape laid down over one long edge
  • Lay a strip of sticky tape the full length of one spar, leaving half the width overhanging.


 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - tape folded around long edge.Tape folded around long edge
  • Fold the overhanging tape around so it sticks to the other side.


 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - tape laid and folded around both long edges of both spar pieces.Tape laid and folded around both long edges of both spar pieces
  • In the same way, wrap tape around the 3 remaining long edges, so both spar pieces are almost completely encased in sticky tape.
  • Using scissors, trim any overhanging tape from the short edges of the paper.


Wide End Cuts

The Paper Rokkaku kite - measured and lines drawn, on 1 spar piece.Measured and lines drawn, on 1 spar piece
  • Take a spar piece and fold in half near the wide end. Create a crease line near the edge. It doesn't really matter which way up the paper is.
  • Carefully measure 0.4cm (3/16”) along each long edge, and make a small dot on each edge.
  • Draw lines from the dots to the end of the crease, as shown in the photo.
  • Measure and draw lines on the other spar piece in the same way.

Note 1: A thin gray line has been added to show where the crease is.

Note 2: A felt-tip pen will make it easier to leave marks on the sticky tape!



 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - cuts done on both spar pieces.Cuts done on both spar pieces
  • Using scissors, cut along the 2 ruled lines on both spar pieces. See the photo.



As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making on this site than you can poke a stick at :-)  Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small. Every kite in every MBK series.



Continue to page 2



Get my free newsletter....

News, tips, flight reports and more.

And as a 'thank you' for subscribing, you also get "Simplest Dowel Kites" - my handy kite-making guide!

Here's more info on both the e-book and the newsletter. You need to be over 16 years of age to subscribe.




Like/share this site...

Like/share this page...

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...