How to Make Homemade Chinese Kites

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Traditional Chinese kites are often made in the shapes of butterflies, insects and dragons.
Traditional Chinese kites are often made in the shapes of butterflies, insects and dragons. (Image: chinese kite image by yang xiaofeng from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Though traditional Chinese kites are more often flown in festivals or regarded as works of art today, these kites once played important roles as religious, military and even agricultural objects. The making of a traditional Chinese kite is still an art form, using bamboo, silk and intricately painted decorations. But Chinese kites can be homemade, using simple materials such as construction or butcher paper, tissue or crepe paper, pipe cleaners and of course a wooden dowel and some string.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction or butcher paper
  • Markers, crayons or paint
  • Glue
  • Tissue or crepe paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Bamboo skewers or chopsticks
  • String
  • Wooden dowel

Cutting out and painting your kite

Cut out two identical shapes for your kite. Good shapes include a fish, a butterfly, an insect or a dragon.

Paint one side only of both shapes.

Glue together the wrong sides of the shapes only along the sides, leaving the top and bottom (mouth and tail) open.

Glue tissue paper strips or crepe paper strips onto the tail as desired.

Making your shape into a kite

Twist pipe cleaners into a circle or oval shape, and glue it into the top of the kite (the mouth). Allow it to dry thoroughly.

Glue 2 to 4 bamboo skewers along the inside of the shape to secure it and help it keep its shape. Allow it to dry well.

Attach four pieces of string to the mouth, and lead the string out through the tail. The string should be as long as needed to enable to kite to fly.

Attach the string to a wooden dowel, and wrap the remaining string around the dowel. The kite is now ready to fly.

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