How to Make a Paper Fortune Teller


Predicting your future using paper fortune tellers was a common pastime during the grade school years. Sometimes called "cootie catchers," paper fortune tellers magically told who liked you, who hated you, if you would be rich some day, and even answered questions. Take a piece of paper and make one yourself and you'll find that the fun of playing with a fortune teller doesn't diminish just because you're no longer in school.

Things You'll Need

  • Plain paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers or colored pencils.
  • Stickers
  • Create a perfect square of paper by folding the top left corner of a standard sheet of paper diagonally to the opposite side of the paper. Cut the excess strip off the bottom, open the folded sheet and you should have a square of paper measuring approximately 8 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches.

  • Refold the paper on the diagonal, but this time create the fold using the right, top corner folded over to the left bottom corner. Open the paper back to its square shape and you should have two crease marks running from corner to corner.

  • Grab a corner of the square and fold it to the center of the paper. Repeat for each corner until you have a smaller square of paper with four flaps.

  • Turn the paper over and again fold each corner into the middle to create an even smaller square with four flaps.

  • Turn the paper over again so that the four square flaps are facing up. Fold the paper in half along the open flap lines to create creases. The paper creases form a plus sign since you are folding from side to side, not corner to corner.

  • Grab the fortune teller and open it up for a test drive. To open, use your index finger and thumb of your right hand under the square flaps on the right side. Do the same for the left side. Slowly bring your fingers together and the fortune teller will open.

  • Open and close the flaps on the fortune teller by opening and closing your fingers together, manipulating the flaps one way and then another.

  • Write four colors on the top, square flaps. Choose colors with different numbers of letters in the word, such as red (3), blue (4), green (5), orange (6). The flaps can be colored or decorated to match their respective colors.

  • Flip the fortune teller over and write 8 numbers on the triangular flaps. Use one odd and one even number for each pair of flaps.

  • Raise the triangular flaps and write one fortune under each 1/2 triangle. Fortunes will vary depending on the age of the person making the fortune teller. Examples from your school days include, "you will be rich," "you will have 10 kids," and "someone will call you today."

  • Tell someone's fortune. Hold the fortune teller in your hand and have them choose a color. Open and close the device one time for each letter in the color. Next, have them choose a number and then open and close the fortune teller the correct number of times, based on their number. Finally, have them choose one more number, lift the selected flap, and read the fortune.

Tips & Warnings

  • People's names, animals, or any theme can be incorporated into the fortune teller for a little variety.

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