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How to Play with a Paper Fortune Teller

Like the mystical Magic 8 Ball, a paper fortune teller can reveal the user’s fortune, but only if you know how!

Well, maybe.

If you don’t remember how to play with a fortune teller, it’s ok. Just jump in my time machine and we’ll head back to the school yard for a little 101 in mystical paper folding.

Before you can Tell a Fortune…

You need to MAKE a fortune teller and fill it will great fortunes. Or not so great fortunes if you’re feeling silly.

Paper Fortune Tellers

How to Fold a Paper Fortune Teller

Yield: 1 Fortune Teller
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Paper fortune tellers -- or cootie catchers -- are fun origami style paper crafts. Bonus: flip it upside down and it's a "salt cellar" that can hold things for you!


  • Paper (8.5x11)
  • Crayons or markers


  • Computer & Printer (optional)
  • Scissors


  1. Start with a blank sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper, or one of my free printables.
  2. Cut the paper into a square.Paper Fortune Tellers
  3. Fold the paper into fourths.
  4. UNFOLD the paper.
  5. Fold over the four corners, evenly into the middle.
  6. Fold into fourths again.
  7. Flip over the paper.
  8. Fold over the corners on the new side of the paper.
  9. Fold into fourths one last time.
  10. Fit your fingers into the slits and open.


Fill your fortune teller with silly fortunes. (My favorite is the Magic 8 Ball style.) Playing with a fortune teller is more fun with 2 people: one person should ask a question, while the other person works the teller.

Now Let’s Play

The fortune tellers we’re making have colors on the outer flaps and numbers on the inner flaps. You’ll see why in just a moment!

Place both of your thumbs and first fingers inside the bottom pockets of the teller. Present the fortune teller to your friend and tell them you will tell their fortune.

Ask your friend to pick a color from the top of the fortune teller.

Spell out the color while opening and closing the the teller. So, if they pick blue, you say “B-L-U-E” and work it four times, once for each letter.

Keep the teller open and have your friend pick a number from the inner flaps. Work it back and forth that many times.

Then have them pick flap to open and read their fortune!

Other Styles of Fortune Tellers

Not all “fortune tellers” are designed to tell a fortune. Some are for playing games!

For example, the Ice Breaker has questions on the inside and is used as a fun way to meet people in a new group. It’s played the same way as a normal teller (with colors and numbers on the flaps) but instead of revealing a fortune they get a question to answer.

We’ve also made fortune tellers that help you pick out a movie or deliver a bit of trivia. There’s even a fortune teller to sort you into your Hogwart’s House!

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