How to Make a Kite for Matariki

How to Make a Kite for Matariki

Today marks the official start of Matariki. Kites are often flown at Matariki events as a way to reach closer to the stars ⭐


What you'll need

  • A full sheet of newspaper
  • 2 pieces of balsa wood dowel (1x approx. 60cm, 1x approx. 50cm)
  • Scissors/ Craft knife
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Masking tape or packing tape
  • Craft glue
  • Ruler
  • Ribbons


Cut your dowel to the following lengths:

  • 60cm for the vertical
  • 50cm for the horizontal

Use your craft knife to cut a notch into each end of each piece of dowel making sure, when you put the cross together, the notches all run the same way.

Place the shorter stick on top of the longer stick to form the cross (about quarter of the way down is the classic kite shape). Add a dab of craft glue to keep it all in place, then bind the sticks together with some string, without cutting the string when you’re done.

Once you’ve bound the middle X together, take the string up through the top notch and thread it around through each notch to create a diamond-shaped frame for your kite. Make sure the string is taut.

Tie the string toward the center of your kite and tie it off with a knot.


Place a large sheet of newspaper on the floor. Place your frame on top of it. Cut about one inch outside the frame to make your newspaper the same shape.

Fold the edges of the newspaper over the string and tape them down securely.

Cut a piece of string 60cm long. Poke holes into the top and bottom points of the kite. Tie one end of the string into the top hole and one end into the bottom hole. (Use some tape to keep it secure.) This is the brindle of your kite. Tie your flying string to this brindle string to fly your kite. (We started by tying the string about 1/3 of the way down the brindle and adjusted it as we flew our kite.)

Use ribbon to create a tail for your kite.


If the weather isn't playing ball for kite flying where you are, Te Papa has a Matariki Kids Activity Book you can download on their website, which could be a good indoors option!


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