How to Make Paper Fortune Tellers

Surely you remember playing with paper fortune tellers as a child. They're akin to origami but something also interactive; children love to play with them because they can add secret information under their flaps. In this article, we'll remind you how to make paper fortune tellers so you can re-live those childhood moments with your children.
How to Make Paper Fortune Tellers

Last update: 30 September, 2019

Children from a wide age range enjoy playing with paper fortune tellers. It’s an activity that allows children to have fun and to use their imagination. Fortune tellers continue to be popular at recess time. 

In terms of content, paper fortune tellers contain the answers to various different questions like you would find with a magic 8 ball. The outside flaps can be distinguished by either colors or numbers, for example.

The person being read their fortune will pick a number or color and the fortune teller moves the origami piece the number of times that correspond. Then the player picks an internal flap that is also coded with a color or number, for example, and the fortune is contained underneath the flap.

Here we’ll refresh your memory on how to make a paper fortune teller. We’ll also give you a list of the materials you need to put one of these special crafts together.

What materials will you need?

How to Make Paper Fortune Tellers

The materials you’ll need to make paper fortune tellers are:

How do you make paper fortune tellers?

Making a paper fortune teller is very simple. First, we recommend perfecting the technique of folding the sheet of paper, although really you could use a piece of paper of any size.  In case you need to refresh your memory on how to make one, we’ve explained each of the steps below.

Step 1  

First, cut your sheet of paper so it’s a perfect square. Fold the sheet of paper in half. Fold the folded paper in half again so you end up with the sheet in fourths.

Step 2

Subsequently, you should unfold the paper in step 2, but note the paper is marked with the folds from step 1 and you have a paper that is in fourths.

Step 3

Fold each corner of the paper into the center, where each perpendicular line of the folds in step 1 and 2 meet.

Step 4 

Fold the paper into fourths again to demarcate the lines.

How to Make Paper Fortune Tellers

Step 5

Flip the paper over.

Step 6

Now you want to repeat the corner task on the other side. Fold the corners into the middle.

Step 7

You want to fold into fourths one last time (in this step you’re making the folds more pronounced so your fortune teller is easier to use).

Step 8

The final step, fit your fingers into the pockets under the outside flaps and note how you can open and close the center.

How does the paper fortune teller work?

Have a player choose one of the first four squares that are presented on the top outside flaps of the fortune teller. Spell out the color they chose while you open and close the fortune teller with each letter that is spelled out.

Next, the player will choose one of the four numbers that are displayed inside. Open the fortune teller up and down and from side to side with your fingers inside the flaps. Open and close the fortune teller with your fingers depending on the number they chose.

When you’ve finished counting, look inside and let the player make another choice. Open the flap to reveal what is under the number and read “the fortune” out loud. You can play this over and over again.

Remember that there are all kinds of variations to this game. You only have to use a bit of imagination to make your paper fortune teller. Instead of colors on the outer squares, you can use almost any symbol: animals, weather, planets, people, etc.

The outside flaps could have numbers placed on the outside, while the colors may be included on the second set of flaps inside. The responses or fortunes are located on the inside of the paper fortune teller, underneath the innermost flaps.

Finally, we recommend you use a bit of imagination when making your paper fortune teller. Remember that, in place of numbers on the outside flaps, you can put planets, people, or animals. What are you waiting for? Paper fortune tellers are a fun activity to enjoy with your child.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.