Kangaroo's Things To Do

You can use this design to make a model kangaroo that stands up.

First, print off this outline of half a kangaroo on to thin paper.

I suggest you make the kangaroo out of card that is thin enough for you to fold and cut easily. Something like a minilla folder.

Most kinds of card fold easier in one direction than the other. Fold it the easy way, making sure you have enough card for half a kangaroo to fit on each side of the crease.

Fold over the paper print-out so that the middle of the kangaroo's back runs along the crease.

Put the fold of the cardboard inside the fold of the paper pattern. You are going to use the pattern to guide you as you cut through the two thicknesses of card and the two thicknesses of paper at the same time.

You can put paper clips or other kinds of spring clips over the back fold to hold them together while you are cutting.

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 model kangaroo, I'd first roughly cut away most of the spare paper and cardboard, so the model is 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 his finger tips and move the card around until my second cut also ended up beyond the dashes.

It doesn't matter what order you do the rest of the cuts, but I'd just make sure to cut inwards to the very base of its tail, past the dashes, and from the tip of its ear right to the dashes at the back of its head.

Cut out the rest of the shape.

While the paper pattern is still attached to the cardboard, the folds are made along the dashed lines.

I'll tell you about the dots on its ears later.

Lay the kangaroo down on something hard. Lay a ruler on each straight dashed line in turn, then lift and bend the cardboard along the edge. You can then lift the kangaroo and bend each fold backwards and forwards a few times and give the creases a hard pinch.

You're still not ready for its ears!

Now you can take off the clips and the paper pattern.

Lay it on its back on something slightly soft. A pad of newspaper perhaps, but I use my mouse-pad by my computer.

Now for its ears.

You have to imagine where those dots on the pattern would be: down the centre of each ear, but on the inside of them now.

Gently draw a wide knitting needle (the one I use says Gauge 3) or something else round and blunt along these centre lines. Then, drawing round and round in tiny circles with it, along the ears, you will see them become curved - and look like ears.

I'm sure you can work out how the model stands.

You can push out its pouch, and ease its tail upwards, as you fold your kangaroo into shape. The tail will end up 'inside out', a bit like a hollow boat. Give it a little squeeze into shape as you lift it.

Its head folds forwards (I'll leave you to draw on the eyes), and its front feet bend down.

Hopefully the soles of its feet will be nearly flat on the ground (it could be hopping and just taking off if they're not completely flat).

If the kangaroo is falling forwards too much, keep the tail pointing backwards and horizontal, but bring the back feet together. Sit the back feet on a ruler and push the tail upwards until its tip is also on the ruler's edge. Then squeeze the tail fold very hard, or rub it over with the back of a spoon until the crease is in the right place.