Make a Kite: Upcycle Your Local Paper

Pull those old newspapers from the recycling bin and make a homemade kite this season to fly at Half Moon Bay Beach! Withstanding the test of time as a source of fun for all ages, people have been making paper kites since the 5th Century BCE. San Mateo County has an enormous amount of beautiful open space and more nice beaches than most places along the California coast, and many are lightly visited with runners, beach combers, dog walkers, surfers — and of course kite fliers. View some of our favorite spots in San Mateo County to fly a kite here. 

The New York Times gives us instructions for upcycling a paper into a kite! Go Fly a (Newspaper) Kite! With your feet on the ground, you’re a bird in flight, with your fist holding tight to the string of your homemade kite. Easy to build, simple to fly, the diamond kite — two sticks crossed and bound together, covered by a diamond-shaped piece of paper — is the most recognized kite shape in the Western world. A woodcut image from the 1600s is the oldest known reference to the diamond kite. And all it requires is a couple of sticks, some newspaper and string.

Now, are you ready for an update? This 21st-century diamond kite is made entirely from newspaper, even the sticks.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times


What you’ll need:
Four double-page sheets of newspaper

Plenty of Scotch tape on a dispenser — preferably three-quarter-inch width but half an inch should be OK

Polyester sewing thread — polyester embroidery thread is nearly as good, with no chance of breakage

A pen or pencil

A three-foot ruler or any handy straight edge that’s long enough


A bamboo or metal skewer, no more than three millimeters in diameter

Start by making the sail

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 1

Sharpen the crease down the middle of a double-page sheet of newspaper and then open it. With your pencil, make a dot about a finger-width from the top of the page.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 2

Measure four and three-quarter inches straight down from the dot and mark the spot. From that spot, measure nine and a half inches out to each side, again marking the spots. Going back to the middle dot, measure 14 and a quarter inches down from it and mark the spot.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times


Step 3

Use a ruler to draw straight lines between the dots to create a diamond outline. Lay tape over the lines, centering the edges of the tape over the lines.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Get the final steps to complete your homemade kite in the New York Times article here.

Conveniently located between San Francisco and Palo Alto in San Mateo, Bay Meadows offers housing within walking distance of Caltrain. Ease of transportation is only one reason you’ll fall in love with Bay Meadows. Smartly-designed, high-quality new homes and apartments sit among 18 acres of open space, which includes parks, a community garden, public art, ball fields, bocce and basketball courts and a new playground. All this just a walk from Whole Foods, Blue Bottle Coffee, Slices San Mateo, ROAM Artisan Burgers, Fieldwork Brewing Co., Hillsdale Shopping Center and more. Learn more about what Midurban life offers by following our Facebook page.