How To Make A Paper Sode Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 3 of 3

The MBK Paper Sode


Upper Horizontal Spar Attachment

Bear in mind that most of the steps below are more easily done on a table-top. With the vertical spar up against one edge of the table-top. To keep the bit you are working on flat!


Tape One Edge

The Paper Sode kite - one edge taped.One edge taped
  • Take an upper spar piece and align it with the sail leading edge as shown. The layering of paper should be out of sight on the underside. One corner of the wider end should be touching the center-line of the kite sail, also as shown in the photo.
  • Place lengths of sticky tape as shown in the photo.
  • Fold the overhanging tape around, as shown in the next photo...


 

The Paper Sode kite - tape overhangs folded around.Tape overhangs folded around

 


Tape Other Edge

The Paper Sode kite - edge tacked at center-line end.Edge tacked at center-line end
  • Go to the center-line of the sail and pull the free edge of the spar piece back towards the taped edge so the lower guide line becomes visible.
  • Tack the edge down with a short strip of tape, as indicated in the photo. As before, the corner should be where the center-line and the guide-line cross.



 

The Paper Sode kite - edge taped all along.Edge taped all along
  • Tack down more and more of the spar, making sure the edge lines up with the lower guide-line. Go all the way across to the corner of the sail as shown in the photo. The tape strips can overlap a little – but don't leave any gaps.


Shape Spar Piece

The Paper Sode 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. Just like the vertical spar, the aim is to get a crease right in the middle.


 

The Paper Sode 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. See the photo.



 

The Paper Sode kite - both upper horizontal spar pieces in place and shaped.Both upper horizontal spar pieces in place and shaped
  • Now tape the other upper horizontal spar piece in place. Just like you did for the first one.
  • Shape the spar piece by pinching, as you did for the first one. There they both are, in the photo.


Lower Horizontal Spar Attachment

This is very similar to the upper horizontal spar attachment...



Tape One Edge

The Paper Sode kite - one edge taped.One edge taped
  • Take a spar piece and align it with the sail trailing edge as shown. The layering of paper should be out of sight on the underside. One corner of the wider end should be touching the center-line of the kite sail, also as shown in the photo.
  • Place and fold around lengths of sticky tape as shown in the photo.


Complete Spar Attachment And Shaping

The Paper Sode kite - one edge taped.Both lower spars taped and shaped
  • As done for the upper spar pieces, tape down the remaining edges to the guide-lines.
  • Shape the spar pieces by pinching, keeping the crease right in the middle as you go along.


Bottom Horizontal Spar Attachment

This is similar to the previous spar pieces...



Tape One Edge

The Paper Sode kite - one edge taped.One edge taped
  • Take one of the remaining spar pieces and align it with the sail center-line and a guide-line as in the photo.
  • Tape in place. Any overhanging tape can be folded around or snipped off with scissors.


Tape To Sail Trailing Edge

The Paper Sode kite - other edge taped – to sail trailing edge.Other edge taped – to sail trailing edge
  • Stick a length of tape to the spar piece, leaving half the tape width hanging free.
  • Carefully line up the spar piece and the edge of the sail before folding the tape around onto the underside of the sail. Take your time, it's tricky!


Complete Spar Attachment And Shaping

The Paper Sode kite - both bottom spar pieces taped and shaped.Both bottom spar pieces taped and shaped
  • In the same way, attach the other spar piece.
  • Shape both spar pieces to a V shape by pinching along their lengths.


Connect Spar Pieces

The Paper Sode kite - upper spar pieces connected with 3 pieces of tape.Upper spar pieces connected with 3 pieces of tape
  • By folding the sail along the center-line, butt the upper 2 horizontal spar pieces together in the middle.
  • Tack the join together with a square of sticky tape over the top. If the edges don't match well on your first attempt, take the tape off and try again.
  • Apply 3 pieces of sticky tape to the join, starting with the one that goes from top to bottom 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.
  • In the same way, join the lower and bottom spar pieces together. If your tape is too wide for the bottom piece, try snipping a length to half-width before sticking...

 Like to see a video clip? Just scroll down to near the end...

The Paper Sode kite - all spars complete.All spars complete

 


The Bridle Lines

Make Holes

The Paper Sode kite - where the bridle holes go.Where the bridle holes go
  • There's no need for measuring here. Just note where the tape is and make sure the holes just miss the vertical spar!
  • Using the sharp corner of a scissor tip, penetrate the paper where the 4 holes are in the photo. You can open up the holes a little with a pen-point if you want to.


Attach Upper Line

The Paper Sode kite - upper line secured with tape.Upper line secured with tape
  • Measure and snip off a 35cm (14”) length of polyester thread.
  • Put the thread through the 2 holes nearest the nose of the kite. Make the length of thread equal from each hole.
  • Hold the thread in place with a short strip of tape, as indicated in the photo.


Attach Lower Line

The Paper Sode kite - lower line secured with tape.Lower line secured with tape
  • Measure and snip off a 60cm (24”) length of polyester thread.
  • As before, put the thread through the 2 holes and make the length equal from each hole.
  • Hold the thread in place with a short strip of tape as indicated in the photo.


Adjust Bridle Lines

The Paper Sode kite - bridle lines adjusted.Bridle lines adjusted
  • Bring all 4 pieces of thread together between finger and thumb.
  • Suspend the bridle while the kite lays flat on it's back, with as little thread as possible coming out the top of your hand. See the photo.
  • Adjust so the bridle lines come together just past the lower edge of the upper horizontal spar. That is, when you are looking from directly above.
  • Double-check that all lines have pulled straight before tying a Multi-Strand Double knot close to where you gripped them all.
  • Trim the free ends to the same length, with scissors. See below...


The Paper Sode kite - a closer look at the bridle knot after excess thread trimmed off.A closer look at the bridle knot after excess thread trimmed off

 


The Tails

1 Sheet To Start

The Paper Sode kite - 5 dots marked, at 3cm (1 1/4”) intervals down from paper edge.5 dots marked, at 3cm (1 1/4”) intervals down from paper edge
  • Mark 5 dots on a sheet of paper as shown at top left. From the top edge of the paper, all spacings are 3cm (1 1/4”).

Note: To avoid lots of measuring, just use this sheet as a template for the sheets that follow! Line up the sheets and just copy or trace the dots each time.



Add More Sheets

The Paper Sode kite - another sheet similarly marked with dots and taped on.Another sheet similarly marked with dots and taped on
  • Take another sheet of paper and mark with dots, exactly like the first one.
  • Bring the 2 sheets of paper together, short edge to short edge.
  • Lay tape all the way across the join and trim flush with the paper's edge with scissors.
  • Flip the paper and lay tape across the join again, trimming as before.
  • Flip the paper again so the dots are on top.


 

The Paper Sode kite - more sheets dotted and taped, until there are 10 sheets.More sheets dotted and taped, until there are 10 sheets
  • Repeat the process, marking dots and taping both sides of the join, until you have 10 sheets of paper joined.
  • On the last sheet, add dots across both short edges.

Note: A kite made from A4 paper will have slightly longer tails than a kite made from Letter sized paper. However, the difference in flying characteristics between the 2 kites out in the field would be hard to spot!



Cut Into Tails

The Paper Sode kite - lines ruled through all the dots.Lines ruled through all the dots
  • With ruler and pen, connect all the dots along the paper from end to end.
  • Rule a line across the paper, 5cm (2”) from one short edge. See this near the left side of the photo.


 

The Paper Sode kite - three main-tails and two side-tails.Three main-tails and two side-tails
  • With scissors, cut along the 5 lines to create 5 ribbons that are 10 sheets of paper long.
  • Cut 2 of the ribbons down to 6 sheets in length – and keep the 4-sheet off-cuts as spare tail material!
  • Cut the 2 shorter ribbons in half, right up the middle, until you reach the line that goes across the paper. This can be done by eye. There they are at the bottom of the photo.


Attach To Sail

The Paper Sode kite - tails taped to rear side of sail.Tails taped to rear side of sail
  • Lay the sail down with the vertical spar against the table-top or floor.
  • Align the 5 tails with the sail edges and spars by referring to the photo. Tack each tail in place with just a tiny piece of tape.
  • When happy with the placement, use a strip of sticky tape all the way across each tail. As indicated in the photo.


 

The Paper Sode kite - tail taped on front side of sail.Tail taped on front side of sail
  • Flip the kite over.
  • Cut away the corner of the vertical spar, at the tail end of the sail. This will allow the spar paper sides to collapse flat against the sail when you stick tape over it....
  • Apply 5 strips of sticky tape as indicated in the photo.
  • That's it. You're done!



Flying!

The MBK Soft Sled kite in flight on a 'blue' day.Nothing to it - attach line, catch breeze

After taking the kite to a flying field or beach... Your flying line can be tied behind the large knot of the bridle lines, wrapped around all the lines. That's it, you're ready to fly.

Avoid flying in very windy weather. The thread should be good to around 30kph but there are no guarantees beyond that.

If the kite seems very reluctant to climb despite plenty of breeze, you might need to re-tie the bridle – shifting the knot a centimeter or 2 (1/2” to 1”) towards the nose end.

A note about durability... After about 2 ½ hours of flying time, my Sode started to develop small tears in the 3 main tails – right near the ends. Nothing a few strips of sticky tape won't fix though. Then the kite is good for a few more hours in the air.

Hope you enjoyed learning how to make my Paper Sode kite design!






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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