Paper Fortune Tellers: How to Make These Predicting Things

Paper fortune tellers
Here are some we made earlier (*ahem*)!

During last week, being such grownups, we got to thinking of the early 1990s and this paper fortune teller game we played at primary school. It bothered us as we couldn’t: A) Remember its name. B) Remember how to make one of the bloody things.

Thusly, we did a bit of research and found out it’s called a paper fortune teller! It’s also known as a chatterbox, cootie catcher, salt cellar, and whirlybird… yeah, we’re not calling it that.

Paper Fortune Teller

Now, this game is “for kids” apparently, but since when did that ever stop us? We spend most of our time screaming sweet bloody murder at Mario Kart 8 – with age, there comes maturity.

Unbeknownst to us, this thing is actually a type of origami. Huh. Obvious when we think about it, but it sort of slipped through our reasoning for 33 years until this week.

In case you’re a bit dumb, or have a phobia of YouTube videos, we’ve added a diagram of how to do these things below. Constructing them is straightforward, although you will need a piece of paper to do this.

Don’t go using a sheet of corrugated iron, or some such, as you won’t get the desired result.

Making a fortune teller

Once you get a knack for this, you can start making your paper fortune tellers as pretty as a flower. And… hang on, when did Professional Moron become a bloody crafts website? Yesterday it was worry dolls… what’s next? Flower arranging?!

Well, calm yourself down there. Whilst you’re doing all of this, you can listen to some funky music about fortune tellers – it’s an ancient practice of predicting a person’s life in the future, don’t forget, so when you make your paper version be sure to skip on items such as “you will suffer a bone-crunching incident).

With the paper fortune teller, you can stick your index fingers, and thumbs, into it and play a sort of finger version of hopscotch. You can include whatever notes you want on there, really – we remember making some typically childish varieties back circa 1992 with our mates. Proper LOL times.

As for a brief history of these things, they cropped up in England under the name of salt cellar in a 1928 book called Fun with Paper Folding. Well… people didn’t have video games consoles back then, you know?

So, they’ve been well documented in common usage since the 1950s. We’re trying to keep the dream alive and encourage you all to head out there and make your own varieties this summer.


  1. You have counted to the Four, and get: “TRY AGAIN”. You have chosen: Blue. Under Blue is: “What is your best friend’s name?” … Ralph… which is Five. 12345 = You get a punch. This is where I & ALL get to punch you as hard as we can! Hahaha! Ah! I remember just how much fun this game was. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

      • You have chosen “one”. Under one is- tell us your boyfriend’s name , or take 2!
        You have chosen two. Under 2 is: begin again on red! R…e ,… d… = one Under one is- tell us your boyfriend’s name , or take 2!
        Why did I EVER sop playing this fascinating game?


Dispense with some gibberish!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.