How to Make a Fortune Teller (Printable Diagram Included) + Cootie Catcher Design Ideas

Learn how to make a fortune teller, one of the coolest origami folding projects ever. These origami fortune tellers go by many different names; some call them cootie catchers (we love to call them like that), some paper chatterboxes, as well as some other names.

However you may call them, we can agree they are pretty fun – follow the step by step tutorial and make your own.

But why stop there? Transform your cootie catcher into a puppet (we have tons of printable templates waiting for you as well as instructions on how to decorate when folding with origami paper.

How to Make a Fortune Teller Puppet - Simple Cootie Catcher Tutorial With Printable Diagram

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Most of us used to make cootie catchers in school, where they were used as” fortune tellers”. You’d write the name of boys and girls inside the cootie catcher (usually classmates) and then with the help of this DIY paper toy, it would be decided who is the “one”, a secret crush or something along those lines.

It certainly was fun, and even though we do love to share fun cootie catcher animal designs with you, the “basic” fortune-telling game still is our favorite.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a fortune teller out of paper (origami paper is best, although you can cut a piece of square paper that will serve the same purpose).

We will also show you some ideas on how to make them really unique – decorate them to become a shark, a bear, a tiger even – the fun will never end with origami fortune tellers!

Love origami? We have a ton of other fun and easy origami for kids and beginners

How to Make a Fortune Teller

What you need

  • a piece of square paper/origami paper
  • if making a cootie catcher puppet; you will also need scissors, colorful paper, glue…

You can also grab a free printable folding diagram at the end of this tutorial.

Step by Step Folding Instructions

Start with a square paper/sheet of origami paper.

For a regular paper fortune teller, you can use regular paper – for cootie catcher puppets; you can also use construction paper. It works out nicely.

Start folding. First, fold the piece of origami paper in half to get a long rectangle. Make the fold crisp. Unfold.

Continue by folding the origami paper in half again, this time along the other side. Make a nice fold. Unfold.

You should see a “cross” across your square paper.

Make folds

Tip: You can also make diagonal folds – it will make the last step easier.

We usually skip this as it makes the cootie catcher puppets look cooler.

Flip over the paper; the colored side or the side with the fortune teller design should face the table.

Start folding, and bring one of the corners to the center of the paper.

Do the same with the other 3 corners. Fold them all towards the middle. Crease well.

You will get a square shape once you fold all corners towards the center again.

Turn the paper around.

Turn around

Again, start folding – bring the corners to the middle.

Bring to center again

Do the same with the other 3 corners.

Folded Fortune Teller

Fold in half. “Close it up” – the “triangles” should be inside, and the “squares” should be on the outside once you fold it in half (see photo below).

Fold in half

One side of the rectangle has “openings.”

Push your fingers in those openings and wiggle it up a bit; as you continue to wiggle, your cootie catcher will begin to form.

How to Make a Paper Fortune Teller

Congratulations! You have learned how to make a fortune teller!

Now let’s move to the fun part and make some quirky cootie catcher puppets.

Grab the printable fortune teller diagram

Make fortune tellers on the go – print out our origami diagram here: Fortune Teller Origami Diagram

Get Access to All Printable Designs

Fortune Tellers for Kids

Cootie Catcher Design Ideas – Create Fun Puppets in No Time

We offer many of these cootie catchers as printable PDF so all you need to do is print, cut, and fold them.

Alternatively, you can also use regular origami paper (or print paper cut into a square) and create all kinds of silly creations – tiger, peacock, and hedgehog are some of our favorites, so do give them a try!


Origami Fortune Teller Shark Cootie Catcher

Totally rawesome and one of our favorites.

Grab the shark cootie catcher freebie here

Forest Animal Cootie Catchers

Fun Forest Animals Cootie Catchers

A whole bunch of woodland creatures are waiting for you.

Tiger Fortune Tellers

Tiger Cootie Catcher

Create one using orange origami paper, or use our adorable printable tiger paper toy template (black and white and color versions are ready for you).

Get the tiger cootie catcher template – > Tiger Cootie Catcher

Peacock Cootie Catcher

Peacock Cootie Catcher

Peacocks are insanely fun because of their wonderful feather tail. Make one with blue origami paper and paper strips or print our fun design.

Get the peacock template here: Peacock Cootie Catcher

Mouse Design Idea

Mouse Cootie Catcher

Use gray construction or origami paper to fold a fortune teller; cut two big gray circles and two smaller pink ones for the ears. Add a few details, and you’ve got a mouse!

Or use our mouse template – > Mouse Cootie Catcher

Magical Unicorn

Ready for some magic? Make an unicorn!

Grab our printable template here: Unicorn Cootie Catcher

Horse Cootie Catcher

Horse Cootie Catcher

The horse has the same level of cuteness as the unicorn does. You can most certainly make it out of regular paper, too!

Grab the printable: Horse Cootie Catcher

Pig Cootie Catcher

Pig Cootie Catcher

Oink, oink! Transform a sheet of pink origami paper into a cute fortune-teller puppet!

Grab the printable: Pig Cootie Catcher

Dinosaur Raawr!

Dinosaur Fortune Teller

Grab our template here: Dinosaur Cootie Catcher

Crabby Fun

Crab Puppets

Or get our printable version: Crab Cootie Catcher


Chicken Fortune Teller

Grab the template: Chicken Cootie Catcher


Turkey Cootie Catcher


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