How to Decorate a Wau Kite

Updated on August 7, 2016

Decorating With Wau Kites is a Kick!

Wau Kites just look happy. I first saw them decorating the walls, when I went out to eat at a Malaysian restaurant. I immediately incorporated variations on the shapes I saw, in my oil paintings.

My kite decorating classes have fully engaged participants of all ages. Artists will want to use art materials, including heavy specialty papers, but may incorporate some of the same techniques of stamping.

For kids especially, this is a fun project that can be returned to again and again.

photo credit: this is my photo. All Rights Reserved. No Use Permitted.

What's a Wau Kite?

The name wau kite comes from the shape of the kite. They originated in traditionally muslim countries, like this one, from Malaysia.

The Arabic letter wau (pronounced like its English alphabet cousin, the w, has a shape that would fit into one half of a vertically divided wau kite.

It's shape most closely resembled an English number 9, as in Comic Sans font. So, two nines, set back-to-back, with the tails at the bottom, resemble two wau's in the same positions.

Although ancient kites were used as tools, for fishing, or to make geometric measurements, these wau kites are strictly decorative.

In Malaysia one commonly sees such kites adorning both private homes and shops and public buildings.

Picture These Decorative Wau Kites

Photo Credit: My photo. All Rights Reserved. No Use Permitted.
Photo Credit: My photo. All Rights Reserved. No Use Permitted.

Gorgeous Kites in Malay Kite Shop

Easy decorative project for adults and kids. I've taught this project to college students as well as to elementary school kids. Enthusiasm always runs rampant!

Sled Kite Kits

I used the sled kite shape for a class I taught on making wau kites. I simply drew the wau shape and the students were free to paint the outer borders as they liked. So they were wau kites on sled kite shapes.

Wau Kite in My Oil Painting

Soon after I first saw a Wau Kite, I added the image to my artwork. I continue to include some variation on this shape to my artwork. This painting is named White Heart.

Wau Kite Making Directions

How to Decorate a Wau Kite

1. Assemble materials:

  • Butcher paper or Tyvek, markers, crayons
  • Tempera or acrylic paint, and liquid soap
  • Stencils and foam stencil daubers
  • Design stamps
  • Cereal box or foam craft sheet

2. Tape butcher paper or Tyvek sheet to table

3. Trace kite outline with marker

4. Add couple drops soap to small dish of paint

  • Gently mix w/popsicle stick

5. Dip stamp into paint in dish

  • Stamp design onto kite
  • Repeat or redip stamp into paint or wipe stamp clean with a wet rag

6. Tape stencil over desired area of kite

  • Touch dauber into dish of paint.
  • Daub over stencil designRepeat with same or different color paint

7. Dip wide paintbrush in paint

  • Stroke paint onto kite
  • Once paint dries it can be painted over w/contrasting color, or stamps

8. Dip damp sponge shape into paint

  • Stamp design onto kite, using gentle pressure
  • Redip sponge into paint, continue stamping
  • Rinse sponge shape in bucket of water

9. Layer design shapes over entire kite shape

  • Cut out! Cut cardboard piece the same size as kite body.
  • Use double stick tape to attach decorated kite sheet to the front of optional backing sheet. Alternatively, if you use paper, rather than Tyvek, to make the kite, you may glue the backing sheet to the paper kite.
  • Cut and tie tail decorations from ribbon, yarn, or plastic bags.
  • Hang on wall with poster putty!
  • A second option is to use a think shish-ka-bob stick to stiffen the back of the kite, prior to hanging.

Kite Shape on Green

KiteProfile
KiteProfile

This is my take on one of many variations on the wau kite shape. Feel free to vary your own kite profile.

I made the triangle spot at the top to mimic the typical fringy flag or tassel that often adorns the top of the kite. Matching tassels also stream from the outside points of the top section.

Did you know that tails and tassels actually play a role in stabilizing kites!

Optional Stabilizer for Back of Kite

KiteBack
KiteBack

Optional:

  • Use shish-ka-bob skewer, taped to kite back, to stabilize the kite
  • Use packing tape for permanency. Using this method makes hanging easy
  • Loop thread or fishing line under the skewer, near the top. Hang the kite by placing the loop over a small nail or picture hanger
  • Hang the kite by placing the loop over a small nail or picture hanger

Styles of Wau Kites

Kites With a Variation on Wau Kites

The kids showed off their kites prior to cutting them to shape.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 lesliesinclair

    What Do You Like About Kites?

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @randomthings lm: Thanks, they're fun to make too - just a bit of paint and some stamps and brushes.

      • randomthings lm profile image

        randomthings lm 

        4 years ago

        These are so pretty! Thanks for sharing.

      • smine27 profile image

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Those kites in the Malay store is just stunning.

      • Ben Reed profile image

        Ben Reed 

        4 years ago from Redcar

        These kites are fabulous.

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @Marja79: I know just what you mean. If someone had tried to tell me about the type of kits I would have pictured "wow" since that's what wau sounds like. Luckily for me, I saw them at the restaurant and immediately liked the shapes. Thanks for the compliments.

      • Marja79 profile image

        Marja79 

        4 years ago

        I had never heard about Wau kites either. At first the word kite did not say anything to me, even though I sure know what kite is. I chose to read this lens based on the fact I had no idea what this is about :D I loved this lens. Those Wau kites are gorgeous.

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @Jogalog: You're right, the workshops are fun. I think it has something to do with the curvy shape.

      • Jogalog profile image

        Jogalog 

        4 years ago

        These are lovely. I'd never heard of wau kites before but I would love now to have a go at making one. The kite making workshops must be great fun.

      • profile image

        JennAshton 

        4 years ago

        These are beautiful!!

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @EpicEra: Thanks. The thing that piqued my interest, after noticing their shapes, was that they were even used in fishing.

      • EpicEra profile image

        EpicEra 

        4 years ago

        Beautiful kites of all shapes and sizes! Lovely artwork. The colors are gorgeous. One can almost feel the kites taking flight from this page.

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @LoriBeninger: So glad you like them.

      • Pat Goltz profile image

        Pat Goltz 

        5 years ago

        They're pretty. Thanks for telling me about this design.

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @Pat Goltz: They really are a friendly style, aren't they.

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @takkhisa: Knowing a little more about kites makes me want to see the kite racing in Afghanistan.

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @WriterJanis2: The story that most piqued my interest was the one of lifting a baby across a river by kite.

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @aesta1: They do have such a playful look, at least my version of these kites. I think they could help kids learn about the Asian cutulre, and how kites played roles other than fun and exercise, too.

      • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR

        lesliesinclair 

        4 years ago

        @LiteraryMind: Sadly, the one and only place I've personally seen the kites, a local Malaysian restaurant, has closed and took their kites with them.

      • LoriBeninger profile image

        LoriBeninger 

        5 years ago

        I had never heard of (or seen) these types of kites before -- they are beautiful. Thank you for the introduction.

      • takkhisa profile image

        Takkhis 

        5 years ago

        I have never seen kites like these before and yes I know a traditional style of making kites :)

      • WriterJanis2 profile image

        WriterJanis2 

        5 years ago

        This is the first time I've seen these kind of kites. Very cool!

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        So colourful. Great for kids room.

      • LiteraryMind profile image

        Ellen Gregory 

        5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        These are beautiful. I never heard of a wau kite before.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)