How to make your own kite kites

Making a simple diamondshaped one. Caution: Never use foil or metal on a kite. Don’t fly a kite in stormy weather or near power lines; if a kite gets tangled in a power line, don’t try to remove it; abandon it. Supervise children who are flying kites.

All you need for a kite are two pieces of 1/8- x 3/8-inch wood, some light string, glue or tape, and covering material. The wood should be light, strong, and straight grained; pine or cypress are good. Notch both ends of each piece, then tie them as shown. The ratio is the same for any size kite: the crossbar is two-thirds the length of the upright; they cross one-quarter of the way down. Stretch string through the notches to form a diamond.

The strongest covering is nylon; the simplest is lightweight paper. Lay the diamond-shaped frame on the material and cut 1 inch outside the string. Snip the corners as shown, then fold the edges over the string, and tape or glue them. To use 1.5-to 2-mil plastic, cut 3 inches outside the string and double the edges over before folding.

On the back of the kite, stretch a string between the ends of the crossbar and pull it taut until the bar forms a 3-inch bow. On the front, glue a patch of covering material or apply a bit of masking tape where the crossbar and upright intersect. Poke a hole in the patch and insert one end of a 78-inch length of string. Tie it to the joint and tie the other end to the bottom of the upright. Tie the end of the kite string one-third of the way down this bridle. On a windy day, attach the string higher and tie a tail of 2-inchwide rags to the bottom of the kite.