Printable Origami Fortune Teller

printable template for fortune teller
Printable instructions to make your own fortune teller!

With printable origami fortune teller templates, all you need to do is: Print, fold, and play. If you need help downloading the templates, check out these helpful tips.

Ancient Origami

The art of origami is generally classified into two groups: ancient or contemporary. For ancient models like the crane, it's remarkable to think that the same folds are being used to this very day. For example, the oldest origami book still in existence, Hiden Senbazuru Orikata, includes instructions and diagrams for folding a paper crane. Anyone who has ever attempted the model would instantly recognize the steps and be able to follow along, despite the book being in Japanese.

The Fortune Teller

Like the crane, the origami fortune teller is another ancient model that hasn't changed with time. The same folds still produce the same construction. Though its history remains somewhat of a mystery, it's likely to have originated in Japan during the 17th century. From there, the design spread to Europe and beyond.

Think of the fortune teller as the paper version of the Magic 8 Ball. It's a childhood game that spans generations; and though its rules may vary depending on your region, the overall concept remains the same. Other names for the game (or device) include:

  • Cootie catcher
  • Scrunchie
  • Chatterbox
  • Flippers
  • Flexigons
  • Snapdragon
  • Salt celler
  • North, east, southwest

As for the fortune teller's original purpose, that remains unclear. All that is known is that the origami model dates back centuries and one can suspect, was made for amusement -- at the least, for decoration.

Printable Origami Fortune Teller Templates

Today, the fortune teller is recognized the world over as a pastime, a kid's game. For anyone wanting to create their own, instructions are readily available, as are diagrams and video tutorials. Printable origami fortune tellers make the process even easier. When ready, simply download the template, fold, and begin play. The game's various versions and possibilities mean hours of fun.

For the Kids

The origami model's simple design makes it an ideal starter project for paper-folding newcomers. The fact that it leads to a game makes it a fun project for kids, especially groups. For instance, PBS's Arthur has an online activity featuring Prunella, where you can create your own "cootie catcher". The interactive site invites youngsters to build their own or to use one of the random templates. It offers a comprehensive step-by-step for folding and playing the fortune-telling game.

For more printables, look no further than these sites, which offer templates, diagrams, and ideas on how to make the most out of your own folded device:

Templates:

  • MomsMinivan: Provides a step-by-step visual, instructions, and two templates to choose from -- a blank one and another with preselected fortunes. Print, copy and distribute to an entire class.
  • Funorama: Download the fortune-teller template, which has eight preselected answers, ranging from "Maybe?" to "Right on!" Adobe Acrobat needed.
  • Nick Jr.: Get a fortune teller from the show Ni Hao, Kai-lan. Includes a printable origami fortune teller, folding instructions, and how to play.

Instructions:

  • EnchantedLearning.com: A step-by-step KinderCraft with ideas on what to foretell.
  • Paper University: One of eight paper crafts featured.
  • Origami-Fun: Get clear and concise directions in seven steps. Print and take the diagram with you anywhere.
  • DLTK: Includes instructions, plus ideas on what fortunes to include on the inside.
  • Things to Make and Do: A detailed step-by-step tutorial, complete with over 40 photos.

How to Play

As evidenced from the sites above, the origami fortune teller is universal -- used for both fun and learning. Themes can be practically anything; whatever your imagination can conjure up. Indeed, kids of all ages and from all parts of the world, cannot help but be fascinated by the timeless magic of this ancient origami design.

Printable Origami Fortune Teller