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Kirigami is origami’s scissor-wielding cousin, from the Japanese kiru meaning “to cut” and kami meaning “paper.” I have been anxious to try my hand at this sort of precision papercutting ever since I got a CutterBee Reatractable Knife for Christmas. It looks like the ergonomic lovechild of an X-acto hobby knife and a ballpoint pen, and the hands-free blade replacement cartridge is much less hazardous than trying to snap off the tip to get a new sharp edge. (Unlike the kitchen, so far I have never had an injury in the studio that required stitches, and I would like to keep it that way! :)

If there is one thing I can always use more of, it’s bookmarks, so I decided that’s how I would use my first little piece of kirigami. I traced the floral leaf motif from a cutting template in Papercrafting In No Time; I have learned the wisdom in having training wheels when trying out a new type of art. As I get more proficient at the cutting techniques themselves, I would like to try sketching my own designs.


I made the papercutting out of plain white cardstock, then mounted it on some printed paper for contrast. The top layer slides back to reveal another printed paper and an appropriately bookmark-ish quote. This project only took about an hour start-to-finish, and I see bookmarks of all shapes and sizes in my future. Now if I could just figure out how to construct a few more bookshelves with paper and a cutting tool, I would be set… :)