Origami Kite

How To Make And Fly

There is an Origami kite shape that is used as a base for many other origami creations. I actually tried using the base itself as a kite but was disappointed...

Origami kite in flight.Origami kite - it flies!
Origami kite in flight.Origami kite - it flies!

By overlapping the folded-in portions by just a few millimeters and holding them there with tape (tut tut!) a somewhat rigid structure resulted. With some tail and a thread flying line added, the result looked like a tiny diamond kite but proved far too heavy to be practical.

Another approach has been tried by others, which starts with the kite base but then folds out so just a single paper surface serves as the kite sail. This is my approach here. I also use polyester sewing thread as flying line, due to it's very light weight. A light plastic tail is essential to give the folded square enough stability to maintain a positive line angle as often as possible. Otherwise you can't really describe this paper craft as a kite :-)

Not everyone has access to actual Origami paper, so this page describes how to use A4 or Letter size copier paper instead. Of course, if you do have Origami paper, give it a try because it holds creases so well...

When the weather's good and you have the time, it's great to get out with a kite or 3. But what about on bad weather days? Then it's time to pull out...

"Kites Up!" - my downloadable kite-flying board game! Apart from towing indoor kites, doing a spot of imaginary flying is the next best thing :-)

Materials, Tools

It's a pretty short materials list...

  • 1 sheet of copier paper (optionally printed with an image or pattern on one side)
  • polyester sewing thread
  • sticky tape

And the same goes for the 'tools' list :-) ...

  • ruler
  • pen
  • scissors

Origami kite materials and toolsLeft: materials | Right: tools
Origami kite materials and toolsLeft: materials | Right: tools


Making An Origami Kite

1. If you have a printed sheet of copier paper, flip it over to the blank side. From the top-left, measure across 20cm (7 3/4") and make a mark. Do the same from the bottom-left corner and rule a line through the 2 marks as shown...

(The next 2 photos show A4 - it will look a little different with Letter size paper)

Origami kite - step 1

2. From the top-left corner of your paper, measure down 20cm (7 3/4") and make a mark. Do the same from the top of the ruled line. Rule a line through the 2 marks as shown...

Origami kite - step 2

3. With scissors, cut along the ruled lines to cut out the square shape...

Origami kite - step 3

4. Fold the square in half along a diagonal, keeping the printed side (if any) on the inside...

Origami kite - step 4

5. Fold both the corners back so the edges line up with the central crease as shown. One side is visible in the photo, the other is against the table-top...

Origami kite - step 5

6. Fold the corners again so the edges line up with the previous folds as shown...

Origami kite - step 6

7. Pinch-hold the 2 corners and pull them apart. I've rotated the paper so the nose is at the top and the pattern is visible - as during flight. The paper will now sit with the folds half-flattened as shown...

Origami kite - step 7

8. Cut 3 lengths of thread, each one 40 cm (16") long. Stick 1 end of each piece of thread to the non-printed side of the paper with 3cm (1") strips of tape as indicated by the yellow rectangles in the photo...

Origami kite - step 8

9. Bring the 3 threads together and adjust them so the kite hangs level, but with the central crease dipping down at 45 degrees as shown. When happy with how the kite hangs from your hand, tie the strands together with a multi-strand simple knot...

Origami kite - step 9aTail dipping at 45 degrees
Origami kite - step 9bAnother view

10. Tie a long length (say 3 meters or 10 feet) of thread to where the 3 threads come together. That's your flying line :-)

Eagle assembly - step 10

11. Nearly there! Tape a 60cm x 6cm (24" x 2 1/2") rectangle of thin plastic to the tail end of your origami kite as shown. Fold the corners of the plastic together first, so the tail better fits to the narrow tail end of the Origami kite...

Eagle assembly - step 11



A breeze inside the Gentle range is best for this Origami kite. That is, when the air is moving at between 12 and 19 kph or between 8 and 12mph.

Just dangle the kite from your hand and let the wind catch it up. Let a bit more thread out if you can.

The video below was taken as a puff of wind came through our back yard. I took a few steps back to help things along but there it is - it flies :-)

I hope you enjoyed creating your Origami kite!


As mentioned earlier, there's another alternative to towing indoor kites if it's just not possible to fly outdoors...

"Kites Up!" is my downloadable board game. It's a PDF file which has all the documentation for the game plus images for all the components. Tokens, cards, the board itself and so on. Anyway, just click that link to see more info :-)

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It's a printable PDF file. Make a diamonddelta or sled step-by-step. They fly hundreds of feet up for hours on end. Woohoo!

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