How to Make a Paper Fortune Teller

A single sheet of paper and a few origami folds are all you need in order to spend hours of fun finding out what luck you have in store. 

paper fortune tellers on blue surface
Photo: Ilyssa Minkus

Humans have always had a fascination with what the future holds. We have our palms read, ask questions with Magic 8-Balls, and love to crack open fortune cookies hoping it will tell us that something good is on the horizon. These childhood favorites are a schoolyard staple. Make one to let your friends know what is in store for them. For extra-fancy versions, use patterned origami paper instead of plain or use a pair of scissors to cut out embellishments like letters, numbers, and stick-on stars.

Remember how to play? First, hold the fortune teller: Insert your thumbs and index fingers into the four square flaps on one side, and move your fingers back and forth, opening the fortune teller's "mouth" in alternating directions. Have someone pick a panel from the first four flaps, and open and close the teller once for each letter in that word; repeat twice with the words, letters, or numbers on the inside triangles. Pick one last time; lift the flap, and reveal their fortune.

What You'll Need


  • Card stock paper (Colorbok Pastel Smooth Card Stock, 8.5" by 11")


  1. paper fortune teller step 1
    Ilyssa Minkus

    Fold a square piece of paper in half, then in half again. Open, and smooth flat.

  2. paper fortune teller step 2
    Ilyssa Minkus

    Fold each of the four corners into the center, creating a smaller square.

  3. paper fortune teller step 3
    Ilyssa Minkus

    Fold a square piece of paper in half, then in half again. Open, and smooth flat.

  4. paper fortune teller step 4
    Ilyssa Minkus

    Fold the paper in half and unfold; fold in half the other way and unfold. Write words, letters, or numbers on each of the four flaps and the eight triangles inside the teller.

  5. paper fortune teller step 5
    Ilyssa Minkus

    Decorate your teller: On the outermost part of the teller, draw or glue colored paper circles. On the next layer, pick numbers to put on each smaller triangle. On the last layer, lift each flap to write "fortunes" underneath.

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