How to Make a Paper Kite

How to Make a Paper Kite

by Sahar Tavakoli

Navigate here for the text in Albanian, Catalan, Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Mandarin, Montenegrin, Norwegian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.


  • 1 sheet white paper: A4, letter, or similar
  • Durable thread: I recommend fishing line or the thick kind used for hemming denim
  • Something that can double as a spool (probably already attached to your choice of line/thread)
  • Sticky tape
  • Hole punch (or any kind of piercing implement. A pen or a small Phillips-head screwdriver will each do in a pinch but please be careful not to injure yourself)
  • A pen
  • A bamboo skewer or other thin, lightweight, straight stick (I used a length of craft wire)
  • Ribbon or ribbons, as long as you can find or make them, as long as your kite can support


  1. Place your paper in front of you. As you look at it, the long edges should be at the top and bottom of your page.

  1. In your best writing, cover the page in the words of Refaat Alareer. Write it or print it out from one of the translations in pdf files here. Draw it in pictograph. Imprint it in braille. Any script legible to a heart, any language some curious stranger might be able to pick up and read, any translation for this soul who translated for so many others.

3. Fold your page in half so that the shorter ends now meet

4. Taking one free edge, fold your page back in a diagonal line to create a shape somewhere between sailboat sandwich and toast soldier.

5. Repeat this fold on the other side of your page

6. Tape the folded edges together.

7. The underside of your kite should have a rudder. Using a hole punch (or pen or screwdriver) puncture a hole at the shallow end of the rudder, closer to its free edge than to its wings.

8. Turning your kite over once more, tape your skewer or wire across the diagonal of your kite, perpendicular to its fold. This is easiest done with some overlap, you can snip the excess off with scissors or pliers once you have the supporting element fixed in place.

9. You can now thread the hole you’ve made on the underside of your kite. I recommend a lariat loop or running knot so as not to tear the paper. 

Sahar Tavakoli writes The Stopgap’s late news (10 letters).