Making your own kite, by Victor Koo

NOTE: The original post, reproduced from Victor’s, spelt “Sapu Lily”. Subsequently, I learned it was “Sapu Lidi” or “Sapu Lidih”. Corrections have been made below.

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Victor posted this “how to” piece on making his own kite. Cost him next to nothing as the materials were either recycled or freely available. Reproduced his instructions with his permission (thanks, Victor!).


  • Tracing paper (purchased at provision shop for 20 cents)
  • 2 “Sapu Lily” Sapu Lidi sticks
  • Glue
  • A pair of scissors
  • Reel of string

“Sapu Lily” Sapu Lidi Sticks – Obtained from a sweeper’s broom. Victor wasn’t sure why it’s called “Sapu Lily” Sapu Lidi . He explained that “Sapu” is a Malay word to mean “sweep”. The sticks come from drying out the coconut leaf.
2_sapu lily3_coconut leave


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Cut out a 14-inch square of tracing paper. Tip: Fold diagonally before cutting.

STEPS #2, 3, 4 and 5
For the first stick, break off the thinner end to leave it about 2 inches shorter than the diagonal of the square (i.e. so that you have a 2 inch flap of paper at the corner).
Place one end on the corner of the paper, and put it diagonally. At the other corner of the paper, apply glue and fold over the stick.

Cut out two pieces of tracing paper (about 2 inches square), apply glue and use them to secure the top end of the stick as well as the middle.

Bend the second stick into a curve. The length should be enough to touch the corners when bent (trim the length by breaking off the thinner end of the stick). Bending the stick ensures the kite is taut enough so that it catches the wind when flown.

Apply glue at the corners of the big square paper and fold them over to secure the bent stick in place (as shown in picture).

Punch small holes in the kite (at the positions indicated in red).

STEPS #6 and 7
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Thread a doubled-up string through the holes and secure the string. Tie the string such that the front end is slightly shorter than the rear section. TIP: If both sections are of the same length, the kite wouldn’t fly. If the rear section is longer than the front, your kite would fly backwards.

Cut the remaining tracing paper into long thin strips. Use glue to join the strips and attach to the tail end of your kite. TIP: The tail makes the kite more stable in flight.

Paint the kite if you wish. Attach a reel of string to the kite and you’re ready for your kite to catch the wind.
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Original posts at Victor’s blog and also

Tag: creative learning

2 thoughts on “Making your own kite, by Victor Koo

  1. Hi Ivan, sorry to be pedantic, but shouldn’t it be ‘lidi’ rather than ‘lily’? Nice kite, by the way 🙂 I wonder what I would use here in Perth in place of the lidi… We can get these brooms here at South East Asian groceries, but I’d have to go and buy one especially!


  2. Ivan, thank you very much for replicating my post here. I like the way you rephrased my instructions – so much clearer and concise. Well done.

    CW – Thanks for your comments. You’re right. Since I put up the post, a few persons have pointed out that Sapu Lily should’ve been Sapu Lidi or Lidih. I really didn’t know about this. I found out this term from hearing my colleagues who mis-pronounced, or I mis-hearing, the name.

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