A Garbage Bag Kite

OutsideKites by





Introduction: A Garbage Bag Kite

This is a simple project to do with kids. All you need are two sticks, a bag, string and scissors and you have a kite!

Step 1: The Materials

You will need: a plastic bag, string, two sticks, scissors and ribbon.

Step 2: Tie the Frame

Take the two sticks - they can be garden stakes, dowels, straight twigs, simple skewers tapes together - and tie them together with a piece of string. The cross stick should be tied about one third of the way along the the main stick.

Step 3: Tying the Frame Knot

Wrap the string around the back of the main stick and cross the string across the front of the cross stick. Then wrap the ends of the string back around the back of the main stick and make a single knot. Then wrap each end of the string one around either side of the fron tof the cross stick and back again around the back of the main stick. (Does this sound complicated or is it just me? It's really not complicated.) Then make a double knot. Done!

Step 4: Cut the Sail and Tie to the Frame

Cut the garbage bag to fit the frame of the kite. Tie the ends of the sail to the wood frame. No need to use glue or tape. Just keep the knots tight!

Step 5: Attach the Flying String

First, tie a piece of string from one side of the cross stick to the other, leaving slack to form a triangle like shown in the photo. Then, tie the end of a BIG BALL of string to the bottom portion of the main stick, loop under the slack cross string and tie a simple knot at the intersection of the two strings (so it forms a triangular pyramid shape).

Step 6: Make a Ribbon Balance

Tie lovely ribbons to the end of the kite in order to help balance it. You can even attach a small weight, like a washer, if the ribbons don't seem hefty enough for your kite.

Step 7: The Hardest Step - Find Wind and Fly

The day I made this kite and had my camera with me, there was no wind. :( So it only got about two feet off the ground. But if you can get a nice field and some gusts going, you'll be in business. The best way to launch the kite is to have friend hold it while you back up slowly into the wind. Have your friend let the kite go and let the string out. OR, you can just hold it and run wildly into the wind! Either way works.



    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking
    • Pro Tips Challenge

      Pro Tips Challenge
    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    can you use metal rods


    These instructions show the string bridle improperly tied to the BACK of the kite. It should be tied to the FRONT of the kite. Many online DIY kite instructions make this mistake. Please fix!


    Lovely idea.

    I used to make these with my grandfather as a child. Thanks for the post! I'm going to be doing this with my kids this weekend. :-)

    i have tried this deisgn when i was a kid. but i bend the stick the horizontal one to form half a circle. in that way i can easily steer and control the kite....

    Sorry, but in Ecuador people (kids) have been using plastic bags for ages. They also use split bamboo sticks. and they use rag strips for the tail. HOWEVER they almost never use th + shape. they make an "H" instead see picture


    Haha... my grandpa's house gets a lot of wind, and me and my cousin were seriously bored, so we took a big green garbage bag with the handles, tied some string to the handles, then went on his deck and flew it around... it was so windy that it actually dragged me (I was a good 135 pounds about then) and he had to grab on too... It was sweet.

    I like the idea of tying the plastic to the stick, too. You might use a constrictor knot to make that connection. Once pulled tight, a constrictor knot cannot be loosened - only tightened. The only way to release it is with scissors or a knife.

    If you want a more sturdy kite, look for house under construction and see if you can get scraps of Tyvek. Or you if you get any mail in Tyvek envelopes, those work.

    If you want a cleaner look at the corners, try using a 1/2 to 3/4 inch line of Gorilla Glue on the stick. The disadvantage of the GG is you have to hold the pieces together for 24 hours while the glue dries.

    I made sometrhing like this back in april and the smaller of the two cross-bars for the frame snapped instantly!

    Unfortunate choice of sticks. A different stick should work better.