How To Make A Diamond Kite

Complete Instructions For The MBK 1-Skewer Diamond Kite

This set of instructions on how to make a diamond kite assumes you know absolutely nothing about kite making. You might already have some of the simple tools and materials required. Anything you don't have is easily bought. If not exactly what I used, then at least something pretty similar!

The instructions on how to make a diamond kite might look awfully long, but that's because they are so detailed. For those who like pictures, every detail is illustrated with photographs too.

Just quickly work your way through, skimming over any detail that you don't need. All in all, it should be quite hard to make a mistake!

The MBK 1-Skewer Diamond Kite is rather small at 29 cm across and 29 cm tall, with a tail. This diamond is a very nice little light-to-moderate wind flier.

Have you read the page on kite materials? If you haven't already, do it now to see what's needed for making a diamond kite.

How To Make A Diamond Kite - Frame

How to make a diamond kite - spars

  • snip the point off a skewer, then measure it to establish '1 skewer length' for your kite
  • snip the point off another skewer, to exactly the same length as the first one

These will be referred to as the 'spars' from here on.

How To Make A Diamond Kite - Sail

How to make a diamond kite - template

The template shown above represents one side of the kite sail. You will now transfer these measurements to the sail plastic as follows...

How to make a diamond kite - corners

  • firstly, take the large freezer bag that you will be using for the sail, and lay it flat on the table
  • measure and mark the half-way point on the horizontal spar then lay the spars down on the plastic to show where the sail corners are
  • mark the corners of the template shape with dots, as shown in the photo - notice that marks are also made on the side edge of the bag, which is the center-line of the kite sail
  • using the marking pen, rule lines between the dots

Getting the spars at 90 degrees to each other by eye will be quite accurate enough, if you are reasonably careful.

How to make a diamond kite - sail edges 1

  • flip the plastic bag over, and trace over all the black lines using your marker pen and ruler
  • cut out a rectangular section of the bag containing the kite sail, open it out and lay it flat on the table - you can now see the complete sail outline, as in the photo

How to make a diamond kite - sail edges 2

  • lay clear sticking tape along all the lines with each line showing through the center of the tape - that's 4 pieces of tape in all
  • with scissors, cut along the black lines - this will leave some of the sticking tape inside the sail outline

Tip: Try to leave less than half the width of the tape on the inside of the black outline. It's important to save weight on such a small kite. Also, don't worry about overlapping lengths of tape at the corners, it will all look tidier after the cutting is done.

How to make a diamond kite - spar taped down

The tape is hard to see, so the red rectangles indicate where the pieces are.

  • Place the unmarked bamboo spar on the plastic, in a vertical direction, with the edge tape facing up
  • Cap the ends of the spar with tape, as in the photo, by sticking it down over the bamboo and plastic then folding it under the plastic to stick on the other side - a bit tricky, take your time!
  • Next, lay down the horizontal spar and cap each end with tape - pull the slack out of the plastic, but don't pull it really tight
  • Secure the horizontal spar to the vertical spar with 2 drops of glue, one above and one below where the spars cross, as in the photo
  • If you want to, trim the bits of tape that stick out at the top and bottom of the spar, with scissors

How To Make A Diamond Kite - Bridle

How to make a diamond kite - bridle knots

Are those drops of glue dry yet? If so...

  • Cut off some flying line to a length of 3 skewers, and tie a very small loop into each end
  • Poke 2 holes in the plastic sail at each of the bridle attachment points - one hole on either side of the spar, so 4 holes altogether
  • Tie each end of the line to the bamboo, through the holes - use a single half-hitch, and pull tight against the knot of the small loop

prussik knot

Now take a length of flying line about half a skewer long, and tie one end to the bridle line with a Prussik knot. Tie a small simple overhand loop into the other end, just to get a big knot.

How To Make A Diamond Kite - Attaching The Tail

How to make a diamond kite - tail

Have you read the page on making kite tails? Assuming you have...

  • Make up a tail from another freezer bag, making sure it is at least 6 times as long as the diamond kite itself
  • Attach the tail by poking one end between the bottom of the vertical spar and the sail plastic
  • Pull the rest of the tail through the loop, but don't over-tighten

See the photo, where I have left the tail a bit loose to make it clear. After the photo, I tightened it and pulled it down the spar as far as it would go.

At this point, you've pretty much finished making the 1-skewer diamond!

How To Make A Diamond Kite - Preparing To Fly

How to make a diamond kite - attach line

Finally, make up a flying line and attach it to the bridle with a Lark's Head knot. See the photo above.

As a final check, suspend the kite from the flying line. Shift the Prussik knot along the bridle line until the kite hangs at about a 30 degree angle from the horizontal.

How To Make A Diamond Kite - Flying!

Assuming there is some breeze outside, just dangle the kite at arm's length until the wind catches it. As long as you feel the kite pulling, let out line slowly by letting it slip through your fingers. If it refuses to climb despite pulling on your hand, shift the Prussik knot towards the nose a bit, and try again. Keep going until the kite behaves itself!

Another approach is to get a helper to hold the kite up and let it go, with maybe 10 or 20 meters of line let out. This way, the kite soon gets high enough to make it easy to let more line out.

How to make a diamond kite - short line

Here's a picture of the revised MBK 1-Skewer Diamond Kite being expertly test flown by my son Aren. Look at that eyebrow - 'Whatcha doin Daddy?'

Have fun flying, and I hope you've enjoyed learning how to make a Diamond kite from scratch.

All the above info, plus much more is available in a PDF eBook which covers the entire 1-skewer series of kites.

Last updated: 10 Sep 2008

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