Carp Kites - Koinobori

On children’s day (May 5th) in Japan, families with sons hang carp kites outside their homes: one for each son. The carp in Japan represents strength and determination.


  • Large white copy paper
  • Shiny patterned wrapping paper or streamer paper
  • Markers
  • Double-sided tape
  • Chopstick
  • Red yarn


  • Cut a large fish shape out of large white paper. There is no need to add the tail shape: it will come later. Extend the top for hanging. See image.
  • Cut fin shapes out of wrapping paper or streamers. You can mix and match designs and colours as desired.
  • Cut a tail shape out of coordinating wrapping paper.
  • Lay out strips of double-sided tape in lines across the fish body. Stick scales onto the tape in rows. Leave a small area of the top blank for the face.
  • Attach the tail to the bottom of the fish using double-sided tape.
  • Using markers, decorate the face of the carp.
  • Roll the end of the mouth around a chop stick and tape in place.
  • Tie red yarn to each end of the chopstick to create a loop to hang your kite.

TIP: Streamers are the perfect width for scales so they are convenient to cut out. Wrapping paper, on the other hand, may provide some broader options for shine or pattern.