Home Plans Kite Plans: Single-Surface Making Chinese Paper Cut Kites

Making Chinese Paper Cut Kites

Charlie Sotich Papercuts


A.   What to look for in a paper cut (pc) if you want to make it into a kite.

  1. Symmetry or close to it will make the kite easier to apply spars, and make it easier to bridle so the kite will fly successfully.

  2. Solidity, holes in the sail may help stability, but don’t provide any lift. A PC with a more solid sail should fly slower and be stronger.

B.    Locate spars on the sail similar to “large” kites.

  1. They should stiffen the sail to hold its shape while the kite is flying.

  2. They should be approximately symmetrical so the sail will flex evenly.

  3. They should build in dihedral and have a slight longitudinal carve as in a fighter kite.

  4. The spars should provide an anchor point for the bridle line.


 back of papercut kite


C.   Make the spars out of good bamboo that can be split into long (4 – 6 inch minimum) narrow strips. One source is the bamboo brushes used for cleaning Chinese woks.

  1. Form large radii by pulling the spar across a fingernail or a sharp corner.

  2. Form small radii by bending the spar around the tip of a mini hot glue gun or low wattage soldering iron.

D.   Glue the spare to the sail

  1. Use tacky craft glue, thinned with a little water so it is easy to spread.

  2. Wipe off excess glue before putting the spar in place.

E.    A tail can be made from colored Mylar about a quarter inch wide and 20 to 30 inches long.

  1. Use small strips of tape (1/16” x 1/2") to attach the tail to the sail, on the back.  Tweezers are help in positioning the tail.


Charlie Paper cut of girl with bee


F.    Attach a thin sewing thread flying line to a spar on the longitudinal center line. About 30 percent of the surface area should be above the bridle point.G.   The kite is ready to fly. Readjust the bridle point if indicated by the kite’s flight pattern.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 February 2010 17:33)

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