Drum-Box kite, Drumbox kite, How to fly a kite, How to make a kite, Kite flying, Kite making, Writer's Blog

Making a Drum-box Kite

I am going to show you the Drum-box kites my husband is currently creating. Along with his brother I think the plan is to fill the sky with these latest designs. These instructions assume you are an experienced enough kite flyer to know how to add the spars and line at the end of the process but please do contact me if further information is required and I will send you more instructions.

First, the template needs to be marked out and created as shown below.

The two long edges need to be 890 mm but measuring a 10 mm concave.

The bottom edge is 540 mm with a 10 mm concave to the centre and the small flat top edge needs to be not quite pointed, but with a flat of 10 mm.


Ten sail pieces are required in whatever choice of fabric you have decided upon, but alternating patterns/colours look the most effective. The side edges and the wide bottom are slightly concave by only 10mm to the centre of each panel. The reason for the concave shape is that when they are all sewn together they will be as tight as a drum!


As you can see in the above image, the alternating design is effective and will look stunning in the sky. The sections are then all sewn together (as above) and then the two ends are joined to form a continuous circular shape.

At the almost-pointed end of each panel, he then created reinforcing pockets into which the spars would eventually fit. They start with semi-circles of fabric sewn with the edge lining up with the flat at the top of the triangles as shown below.
The overhanging parts of the reinforcing fabric need to be hotcut to remove and tidy.
The top and bottom edges of the fabric are bound in black to create a stunning-looking outline.
Next, you need to create ten pockets. Cut a piece of fabric 15cm long and turn over 1cm at the end and then fold in half (as below).
Turn the fabric over and fold in half with 5mm to spare as shown below.
Mark up the centre and then in between as shown here.
Pushing the edges inwards, first mark up and then sew straight along as shown below, sewing both sides to form the pocket.
Attach these two the almost-pointed ends, on top of the reinforcement semi-circles.
At each pocket-point, tabs are added which is where the flying line will be attached.
When the sewing is all completed, create your frame, using 10 carbon fibre spats which need to be 6 mm wide and each one just under 1 metre in length. A cap is fitted at one end which pushes into the pockets which were sewn in as above. The other end of the carbon fibre goes into a centre piece shown below – five pointing up and five pointing down.
Attach the line (if you are a beginner kite maker then do contact us for more information on this as needed), and your kite is ready to fly!
Credit for the pocket images goes to Dick Toonen. My husband has used his instructions to create his kite and I look forward to sharing the images of his finished Drum-Box when the frame is finished.



2 thoughts on “Making a Drum-box Kite”

  1. What a neat tutorial! I like sewing but have never tried sewing a kits. The kids and I were buying those cheap kites they sell over here at Wal-Mart but they usually break after the first use. I was thinking of trying to make something out of 6 mil plastic for added sturdiness. Would cotton woven fabric work? I have a ton of quilting fabric scraps in my sewing closet that are about the right size.


    1. Thanks for your comments. I asked the guru, aka my husband, and he thinks cotton woven fabric might be too heavy to get the lift you need.
      However if they are scraps might be worth a try and do let us know if you do xx


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