The box kite is variety of kite that is based on a rigid three dimensional structure. While the traditional box kite is rectangular, with sails on each end of the long side, innumerable variations have successfully applied to the basic shape.

As long as a few basic principles are met, it is trivial to make a box kite of any design. Provided the kite is not too heavy in comparison to the surface area of the sails and the sails do not cover too much of the kite, it should fly. Therefore, I'll present a 25cm x 12.5cm x 12.5cm box kite that can be made in five minutes, and leave the variations to your imagination.


You'll also need:

Construction details

  1. Cut two of the straws in half. Make a small notch in each end of the four, now 12.5cm, straws.
  2. Mark the other four (long) straws at five cm from each end with a marker.
  3. Slip two 12.5cm straws on two 25cm straws at the 5cm points. If your notch isn't big enough to cover the width of the straw, make them bigger. Set them on a flat table and glue them, making sure all the angles are at 90 degrees. It should look like a ladder with a few rungs missing.
  4. Do the same for the remaining four straws, but leave one joint unglued.
  5. One it has dried, slip the structure with the unglued joint over the glued structure so that it looks like a box. The 12.5cm straws should form x's.
  6. Using whatever props necessary to hold everything strait, glue the two structures together. Make sure that the 12.5cm segments are at right angles to each other and make sure that they're being glued at their midpoints.
  7. After it's dried, glue a 8cm strip of tissue paper along the top edge of the 25cm side. Keep on wrapping all four sides, and overlap a bit. Use a thin layer to glue the overlap, as well as where the tissue paper touches the straws. Don't go crazy! We want this to be light, and the glue is about the heaviest part.
  8. Repeat this step along the bottom edge. There now should be two 8cm sails with a 9cm gap between them.
  9. Tie the thread to one of the 25cm straws, right next to the tissue paper.
  10. Done! Easy, wasn't it?


This kite is really easy to fly. Almost too easy, actually: Once it's up, it will stay up without any effort at all. For this reason, box kites are often used for other purposes, such as aerial photography or dropniks. For our tissue paper model, you should make sure that the wind isn't too strong, or the tissue paper will rip. Don't worry too much about it, though, as this isn't meant to be a permanent masterpiece.


You shouldn't have much trouble. Unless you really messed up the construction, and assuming there is some wind, it will fly. If it doesn't, try making sure the point where the thread is attached to the kite is adjacent to the sail. If it still doesn't work, /msg me.


There are probably more modifications to the box kite then all other kite put together. Because the design of the box kite is so forgiving, many functional and aesthetic alterations have been done. One common modification is the adding of wings to the kite, to make the box kite easier to launch. The French military kite is an excellent example of such a modification. The box kite also scales very well; box kites used to be used to lift heavy scientific equipment before the times of planes and high altitude balloons.

Box kite.

A kite, invented by Lawrence Hargrave, of Sydney, Australia, which consist of two light rectangular boxes, or cells open on two sides, and fastened together horizontally. Called also Hargrave kite, or cellular kite.


© Webster 1913.

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