How To Make A Paper Rokkaku Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 2 of 3

The MBK Paper Rokkaku


The Horizontal Spars

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.
  • Fold the sheet pf paper in half, crease and open out again. See the crease across the top of the photo.
  • Measure, and mark dots so all 3 shapes fit below the crease. See 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.
  • Get a second sheet of paper and crease it in half also. This is in preparation for the next step...


Duplicate Shapes

The Paper Rokkaku kite - the 3 shapes duplicated onto half-sheets of paper.The 3 shapes duplicated onto half-sheets of paper
  • Fold down the unmarked half of the paper that has the lines on it.
  • 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.
  • Also trace dots onto both halves of the blank sheet.
  • Rule lines between the corner dots.
  • Tear or cut both sheets of paper in half along the creases. There's the original and the copies in the photo.


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, so don't fuss over the details in the photo above!


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.


Stick Together

The Paper Rokkaku kite - longest and mid-sized shapes stuck together.Longest and mid-sized shapes stuck together
  • Lay down the 4 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 ends 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 piece, 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 all spar pieces.tape laid and folded around both long edges of all spar pieces
  • In the same way, wrap tape around the remaining long edges, so all spar pieces are almost completely encased in sticky tape.
  • Using scissors, trim any overhanging tape from the short edges of the spar pieces.


Cut For Dihedral Joins

The Paper Rokkaku kite - measured and lines drawn, on 1 spar piece.Measured and lines drawn, on 1 spar piece
  • Fold a spar piece in half near the wide end. Create a crease line near the edge.
  • Carefully measure 0.5cm (3/16”) along the crease from the edge, and make a dot.
  • Draw lines from the corners to the dot, as shown in the photo. A felt tip pen works better over the sticky tape!
  • Measure and draw lines on the other spar pieces in the same way.

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



 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - cutouts done on all spar pieces.Cutouts done on all spar pieces
  • Using scissors, cut along the 2 ruled lines on all spar pieces. See the photo.


Vertical Spar Attachment

Tape One Edge Of Upper Piece

The Paper Rokkaku kite - one edge taped, before trimming tape.One edge taped, before trimming tape
  • Take one of the longest spar pieces – part of the vertical spar - and lay it down, aligned with one of the guide lines as shown. The spar piece is also aligned with a join-line in the sail. Look closely near the middle of the photo to get this right. The shorter layers of paper of the spar piece should be underneath, out of sight.
  • Tack in place with squares of sticky tape – at least 1 in the middle and 1 near each end.
  • All good? Now lay a strip of tape down the whole length, as indicated in the photo.
  • Trim off overhanging bits of tape with scissors.


Tape Other Edge

The Paper Rokkaku kite - edge tacked at one end.Edge tacked at one end
  • Flip the spar piece across and flatten it down, so the second guide line becomes visible.
  • Go to the wide end and pull the free edge of the spar piece across so it lines up with the second guide line. Tack it down with a short strip of tape, as indicated in the photo. See how the spar piece corner aligns with the guide-line and the sail join-line.



 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - edge taped the rest of the way, before tape trimmed.Edge taped the rest of the way, before tape trimmed
  • Using somewhat longer lengths of tape, tack down more and more of the spar piece, making sure the edge lines up with the second guide-line. Go all the way across to the sail corner as shown in the photo. The tape strips can overlap a little – but don't leave any gaps.
  • At the end, trim off any overhanging bits of tape with scissors.

Note: It's just too tricky to tape it all down in one go!



Shape Upper Piece

The Paper Rokkaku kite - pinching started at one end.Pinching started at one end
  • Go to one end of the spar piece and carefully pinch it between finger and thumb, as in the photo. The aim is to get a crease right in the middle.

Note: The paper won't crease sharp due to all the sticky tape, but pinch firmly anyway.



 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - V-shape formed, all the way along.V-shape formed, all the way along
  • Work your way along the spar piece, pinching tightly all the way. I like to use both hands at once, close together.
  • Go all the way along and then back again, so nothing is missed. You have created a section of spar that is stiff enough to do the job required of it! See the photo.


Add Lower Piece

The Paper Rokkaku kite - lower piece (on table) taped on and shaped.Lower piece (on table) taped on and shaped
  • Position, tape and shape the lower vertical spar piece just like you have done for the upper spar piece.

Note: The most practical way to do this is with the paper sail over the edge of a table-top. This lets the wide end of the upper spar piece swing out of the way while you align and tape the corners and edges of the lower spar piece. See the photo.



Join Upper And Lower Pieces

The Paper Rokkaku kite - held in position with a square of tape over the top.Held in position with a square of tape over the top
  • Tack the 2 pieces of spar together with a square of sticky tape over the top.

Note: Be careful not to put any unnecessary strain on that paper join, particularly while it is being stuck together.



 

The Paper Rokkaku kite - join completely taped up, viewed from above.Join completely taped up, viewed from above
  • Apply 3 pieces of sticky tape to the join, starting with the one that goes from left to right in the photo. Each piece should be 6cm (2 1/2”) long. The pieces on either side of the spar appear narrow because of the viewing angle.



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.



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