How to make a Cootie Catcher Step by Step Instructions

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Cootie Catchers come by many names and yet are made by children ALL OVER THE WORLD. I remember them as “Himmel and Hoelle” in my (German) childhood.. and as an adult have come across cootie catchers, fortune tellers, chatterbox, salt cellar, whirlybird, buffalo shakers, tipi tipi tap and paku-paku. We love this classic of all Paper Crafts and a must make in every childhood! There are so many Benefits of Origami – so come on, lets get stuck in and learn how to make a fortune teller today!

Bug Facts Fortune Tellers
One of our many printable templates! But you can make cootie catchers with just paper too!

Supplies needed to make a Cootie Catcher

  • A square sheet of paper printer

You can use a rectangular shape piece of paper too. Make the first triangle fold below and trim off the edge! We also have a number of free printable templates for you to download and color! For example or fun BUG HUNT Cottie Catcher. A fun way to learn about bugs and play with your friends. Print, cut out the square paper, colour in and follow the folded paper instructions below! Hours of fun!

What paper should I use for Fortune Tellers/ Cootie Catchers?

Print paper or origami paper are perfect! But any rectangular piece of paper will do. I have made these out of a receipt from the store before (a great little boredom buster that you can pop in your pocket when traveling back from doing your shopping in town)! You just need to turn whatever shaped paper you have into a square first. Most people do this by grabbing a marker pen and some scissors and tracing out the perfect square. But you can in fact, simply fold a corner of the paper up. Make some creases and tear along the crease. Just do it as neatly as you can. No printables needed! Though we do have a great set of cootie catcher printables that you may love.

What Cootie Catcher themes are there?

Our collection of printable cootie catcher template ideas (though you can browse these and write your own cootie catcher fortune ideas or quiz questions)

So, how do you make a fortune teller out of paper step by step?

Here are our Step By Step Instructions!

You can watch this simple video (borrowed from our FLOWER Fortune Tellers) or read the photo step by step instructions below!).

Music Credit: Epidemic Sound

More on this video here: Printable Flower Fortune Tellers (perfect for Mother’s Day or a BFF!)

Cootie catchers make such fun paper toy that MUST feature in any childhood!

Cootie Catcher/ Fortune Teller photo step by step instructions

To make your Cootie Catcher, you will need a square piece of paper. We generally cut it from an A4 sheet of paper, so measures approximately 20 x 20 cm.

How to make a Cootie Catcher Step by Step Instructions - Learn how to make a Fortune Teller and how to play with them!! Easy Origami for Kids #cootiecatcher #fortuneteller #chatterbox #origami #forkids #papercrafts #paper

Begin by folding the paper across the diagonal in both directions – so you get a cross shape (bottom left photo)

Bring each corner towards the middle/ inside and make a neat fold (picture 4 shows the first fold).

How to make a Cootie Catcher Step by Step Instructions - Learn how to make a Fortune Teller and how to play with them!! Easy Origami for Kids #cootiecatcher #fortuneteller #chatterbox #origami #forkids #papercrafts #paper

Once you have all four folds (top right) – use your thumbs to make neat creases. Flip your paper over.

You will see another “cross” running across you paper, marking out four small squares.

Again, fold in the corner tabs in towards the middle (as per bottom right photo).

How to make a Cootie Catcher Step by Step Instructions - Learn how to make a Fortune Teller and how to play with them!! Easy Origami for Kids #cootiecatcher #fortuneteller #chatterbox #origami #forkids #papercrafts #paper

Final stages of making your paper fortune teller

Once you have all for folds, fold in half (as per top right), open and fold in half again in the other direction. Just to create some creases.

Now comes the “only” tricky bit.. you need to squeeze all four sides in towards each other as per the bottom left images.

Then lift each outside flap to make your Cootie Catcher! ENJOY!!!

So if you have ever wondered how do you make an origami fortune teller, I do hope you now have your answer!

What is another name for a cootie catcher?

So as mentioned above there are LOTS of different names used all over the world.. here are some of our favourites – Fortune Tellers, Chatterbox,  salt cellar, whirlybird, Buffalo Shakers, tipi tipi tap and paku-paku!!

Do you know any more names for Cootie Catchers? What did YOU used to call them?

How to Play with a Fortune Teller? What is the Cootie Catcher Game?

Many many moons ago, I created a video showing you the basic way to play with a Fortune Teller. It is a VERY  old video of mine (probably 8 years ago now?), so pleased excuse the quality!!

But it does explain three ways to of how to play with your paper fortune tellers or cootie catchers!!!

Basically, you write messages inside the flaps of the cootie catcher and the player chooses a side/ flap to either read their fortune or answer a quiz question. The top flaps hold the question or a number and the inside flap holds the answer or the fortune or random sayings. A person picks a number of flap and there is a corresponding movement of the catcher.

Want more Paper Fortune Teller Ideas? Looking for Cootie Catcher Templates?

We have more great Cootie Catchers here on Red Ted Art (some with printable template):

Hope you will have much fun with your Fortune Tellers!! And now to your next question:

How to make an Origami Bookmark?

Again.. yes, thank you for asking!!! We adore Origami Bookmarks and have two posts for you to explore – the first shows you how to make the very basic Origami Corner Bookmark shape. The second is a collection of over 100 Corner Bookmark Designs – inspiring you to get creative with the BASIC shape and make whatever your heart desires! You will find everything from Emoji Corner Bookmarks to Mermaid Bookmarks!!! Enjoy.

Lots more wonderful Origami for Kids: