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Warm spring breezes tend to fill the air with colorful, multi-shaped items known as kites. The simple diamond shaped kite has been around for years and in earlier times was only seen floating in the sky when someone discovered how to make them at home. Today kites can be bought in all sizes, colors and shapes. Even so, a good part of the adventure in kiting is learning to make your own.

To begin making a home made kite you will need two pieces of light wood and paper. The upright piece should be 54 inches by 1\8 inch by 1\8 inch. The crossbar will need to be 36 inches by 1\8 inch by 1\8 inch. The paper should be three feet wide by 4 1\2 feet long. You will need plenty of kite string or strong cotton string and strips of light weight fabric to make a tail. The tail will be an important part of your kite since it is used to weight the bottom portion down.

Start by making small slots in the end of each wooden stick. These will be used to insert string completely around the kite so they should be deep enough to hold the string but not too deep or they will effect the way your kite flies. Usually 1\8 inch slots work well. Using the shorter stick as a crossbar, tie the sticks together with the shorter one 14 inches below the top of the longer stick. Attach the string, using a knot in the end to anchor it in the first slot and then running it through the slots so it forms a diamond shape around the outside of the kite.

Lay this on the paper and cut so that the paper is 1 inch larger than the string outline. Cut off the corners of the paper at all four pointed edges to allow a small amount of the sticks to protrude through. Fold the edges of the paper over the string kite frame and glue or tape. Next you will need to tie a string from tip to tip across the back side of the crossbar, pulling it tight so the crossbar bows about three inches out from the string. Cut a small square out of a grocery sack and glue it to the front paper part of the kite where the sticks cross.

Poke a small hole through the center of the square as close to the crossbar as possible. Thread one end of a 7 foot piece of string through the hole in the front of the kite and secure it with a knot. Tie the other end of the string to the bottom of the upright stick. To make the tail for your kite, cut the light weight fabric into six 2 inch strips. Knot each one around a 24 inch piece of string approximately 4 inches apart and attach to the bottom of the upright piece. Attach the end of the remainder of your kite string to the 7 foot piece of string making sure it is at a position of about 1\3 the distance from the top of the string.

You can decorate your kite with designs drawn on the paper and colored in. It is not wise to attach items to the paper although light weight items such as sequins seem to do okay. Never use foil or metal on a kite. Nor should you ever attempt to fly your kite during cloudy weather or too close to power lines. If your kite becomes entangled in power lines do not try to remove it. Kites can soar to some interesting heights but can also easily move into the path of lightening bolts.