Make a Kangaroo Bookmark


You can cut out the kangaroo shape to make a bookmark. Some printers will take paper that is a little thicker than normal, or even thin card.

As I'm sure you can guess, its head folds forwards where the dots are, and so do its front paws. You can hook its paws over the page you want to mark, or you can leave them outside the book.

Here are five helpful tips for cutting that not many people know.

1. Cut very slowly with your scissors, using only the half of the blades nearest the hinge. Don't snip near the points.

2. Keep your sissors hand in the same place most of the time. I rest my arm on the arm of a chair, so my hand is nice and steady.

3. Use your other hand to twist and turn the cardboard, or whatever you're cutting, and feed it into the blades as they slowly close.

4. The best way to cut out complicated designs is to cut the inside of tight shapes first.

5. Where possible, try to cut from large spaces into tiny spaces and pointed places, even if it means making several cuts from different directions.

In making the kangaroo bookmark, I'd first roughly cut away most of the spare paper or cardboard, so it's easy to handle.

Next I'd look for tight spaces - the main one is between its front paw and its ear.

I'd aim my first cut to hit the widest part of its ear, on the outside, and cut into its arm-pit - right to the end of the line. Then I'd start at its finger tips and move the card around until my second cut also ended up just past the dashes.

Next I'd cut inwards from the tip to the base of its tail, on the side of the small space, and then inwards from its toes and heel to the same place.

It doesn't matter what order you do the rest of the cuts.

If the paper is stiff, you may want to score it before you bend it. Below, I'll explain how.

I'll leave you to add eyes where you think they look best.

If you want to make its head and shoulders a little more shaped, or help the card or paper fold easily, you will need to 'score' some lines.

Lay your kangaroo on another piece of cardboard or a pad of old newspaper on a hard table top. (This will help to stop the table getting marked and also help you get good 'score' lines for creasing.)

To score lines I use a fairly big knitting needle. Mine says Gauge 3, but any one that is not too pointed will do - or you can use something else that is blunt and rounded.

The score lines are shown as black dashes.

If the kangaroo is simply going to be folded, lay your ruler where the arrows point and run your needle between its ears and across its front legs to make paws. You can then flap these parts over.

If you are going to try to add some shape, the dashes coloured over with blue pencil are scored too, then just given a little pinch to add some shape.

Firstly score the black head fold, and its paws, then the blue one along the back of its neck. I put a little spot with a pencil in the middle of its nose, and also mark half way between its arms (you could measure or guess). I put my knitting needle on each mark and put a ruler against the needle. Then, when I draw my knitting needle along the edge of the ruler, the score line should go through the marks I've made and be nice and central.

I stop the fold at its arms.

Next I use my ruler again as I score the triangle at the back of the kangaroo's head.

I draw a line 'freehand' down the centre of each ear, then I lay my kangaroo on the mouse pad beside my computer. By drawing round and round in tiny circles with the knitting needle, down the middle of each ear, they become a nice curved ear shape.

I then pick up my kangaroo and squeeze gently to crease the long line at the back of its neck and its head, and pinch the little triangle, trying not to crease in other places. Then its head can be folded forwards.

If you haven't yet done so, you then fold its paws over, and it's finished.