Fold a Fortune Teller – Easy Origami Tutorial

September 14, 2013Allison Murray

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

You may not have heard of a fortune teller before but that may be because you were never a ten year old girl. Boys may have been into them to, but honestly I was too busy playing with my fortune teller or learning that I’d be living  with Paulie Shore and 7 little Paulies in a shack while playing a game of M.A.S.H.

So when my origami loving nephew decided he was tired of making Kusudama flowers and origami cars he wanted a new folding project to try out. He’s only six and I don’t know what kids are into these days so I asked “have you ever played with a fortune teller?”

He gave me some line about how he went to see one at the circus and she told him he would be rich and and lose an ear to a donkey or something, so yeah, he’d played with a fortune teller. Um. No. This is the kid that when he was four told me “I went on a limo ride with Batman and he told me that I shouldn’t lie anymore.” Good luck with that, kid.

Since I was pretty sure that he didn’t know what I was talking about I was more than happy to introduce him to a little piece of paper that would tell him everything he needs to know about his future. As it turns out, he’ll be getting a new cat, he’ll get scratched by a cat and he’s going to go to jail.

Want to fold up a fortune teller and rock it hardcore elementary school style? Get a piece of paper and let’s go:

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

Either grab a piece of origami paper or cut a piece of paper into a square. I’ve used plain old white paper and notebook paper successfully. Construction paper will work in a pinch but it kind of “cracks” where the folds are and won’t last very long before it will tear.

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

If your paper has two differently colored sides turn the darker side down…

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

You’re going to fold the paper in  half diagonally, vertically and horizontally.

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

And here’s a little animated GIF showing everywhere you’ll need to fold along the dotted line…

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

With the darker side still facing down, fold each corner up to meet the very center of the paper. You’ll be able to easily eyeball it because this is where all of the lines intersect from your folds.

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

When you’ve folded every corner in, you’ll have a smaller square.

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

Flip it over…

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

And fold in the four corners again and you’ll have an even smaller square…

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

Flip it over one last time and write one through eight on the flaps.

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

And write all sorts of possibilities for the future on the flaps. They can be positive or negative. My nephew thought it only made sense if one side of the flap was something good and the other something evil. Hence, “you will get a new cat” (good) “you will get scratched by a cat”  (evil). We didn’t quite get what evil is though, I think, as one of those fortunes was “your butler will be bald.” This was my mother’s fortune and she was stoked that she was going to have a butler. “It’s supposed to be bad YaYa!”

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

From the backside, place your thumb and index finger from one hand under two flaps.

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

When you pinch your fingers together it will naturally form the shape of the fortune teller. Repeat for the other side.

Fold a Fortune Teller - Easy Origami Tutorial

Move your fingers so that the fortune teller opens horizontally, closes, opens vertically and bam – you’re ready to see the future.

The way we always played was have the person select something, most often a color. Spell the color with each opening. When you stop let them choose one of the visible number and read the fortune under that flap.

Isn’t that fun? Now if you’ve never made a fortune teller you know how! And if you already did, maybe you’ll be inspired to make them again!


Comments (9)

  • Brianna @ Craft Thyme

    September 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Hadn’t thought of these in years. I am pretty sure I could still fold one in my sleep if I needed to!

    1. Allison

      September 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      It actually took me a good 2 or 3 tries before I could knock one out. I remembered the basics but somehow kept messing it up :)

  • Midsommarflicka

    September 14, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Your nephew seems to be a fun kid ;)

    I remember doing those fortune tellers in school, maybe fifth or sixth grade… But it is nevertheless the only origami-thing I remember until today. Which probably speaks for its simplicity :)

    Have a great weekend!
    Love, Midsommarflicka

    1. Allison

      September 15, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      He is a fun kid, Mid! He’s his own person, that’s for sure!

      Hoping your weekend has been great, too!

  • Pat Schwab

    September 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    We made these all the time when I was a kid and had so much fun. Then in Junior High through High School we used to fold notes to pass in class that were shaped kind of like tiny football out of our school paper and tucked in somehow.Don’t remember how to fold those anymore but I used to save my notes and had them for years in an old suitcase with pen pal letters, post cards etc. Sadly one time when I was in a cleaning mode I got rid of almost everything including the old suitcase. I have regretted this on more than one occasion. It would really be fun to read these and see if I even remember what seemed so important to tell my friends to risk the teachers wrath if we got caught passing notes. Some teachers would make you read them aloud as punishment. My kids made the fortune tellers when they were younger also. Thanks for the memories.

    1. Allison

      September 15, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      I’m so sorry you lost your notes. That’s totally the type of thing that I do, too. In the fervor of cleaning or organizing, I totally miss the ship and toss away something precious or valuable. I’m so glad you have fond memories, though!

  • Ana

    September 24, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    I love your tutorial! These were a a favorite of mine as a kid. I’m sharing a link to your fab post in my blog newsletter! Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Allison

      September 25, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      Oh, thanks so much! It’s such an honor that you like my paper project : )

  • I prefer to remain anonymous

    September 24, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    I am an 11 year old kid and i thought this was awesome!

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