Introduction: A Fortune Teller’s Guide to Folding a Cootie Catcher

Have you ever wanted to tell your friends’ fortunes? With limited materials and some creativity, you can make your very own cootie catcher and impress your friends! Our simple instructions will help even the least experienced folders become professionals in no time.

Required Materials: One piece of paper (construction works best)

Optional Materials: Scissors and markers

Now you’re ready to begin!

Step 1:

Start with a square piece of paper.

TIP: To turn your rectangular piece of paper into the perfect square, fold one of the corners inward until it lines up with the edge. Crease your fold, then cut or tear off the excess

Step 2:

Fold your paper in half.

Step 3:

Unfold your paper, rotate once, and fold it in half again.

Step 4:

Unfold your paper. At this point, you should have a square piece of paper with two clean creases.

Step 5:

Fold each corner of your paper into the center.

Step 6:

With all of the corners folded, flip your paper over.

Step 7:

Now that you’re on the other side, fold each corner of your paper into the center once again.

Step 8:

Fold your paper in half.

Step 9:

Undo the fold you just made, rotate your paper once, and fold it in half again.

TIP: It is easiest to decorate your Cootie Catcher now, while it is still flat! See below for our fun and easy decorating tips.

Step 10:

Slide your thumbs and index fingers into the four outside pockets and expand them.

Step 11:

Open and close your Cootie Catcher a few times to perfect the shape.

Step 12: You Did It!

Have fun telling fortunes to your friends and classmates!

Step 13: Optional

Decorating Your Cootie Catcher

Get creative with your Cootie Catcher! Whether it’s reading fortunes, answering questions, or even remembering what you learn in class, Cootie Catchers can be used in lots of ways. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your Cootie Catcher experience:

On the Outside

  1. Use different colored markers to create clever designs or bold numbers for your friends to choose when you read their fortune. Fun stickers or drawings are also great!
  2. However you choose to decorate the outside, make sure that it is easy to read and understand!

On the Inside

  1. You don’t have to use numbers to decorate the inside--you can use colors, stickers, or drawings as well!
  2. Under the paper flaps, you can create your own fortunes (“You will win the lottery” or “Your crush will sit with you at lunch soon” are good examples!), write “yes” or “no” to answer your friends’ pressing questions, or even fill it with lessons from class to quiz yourself or a friend with later!

How to Use Your Cootie Catcher

  1. Ask your friend to pick a color, number, or whatever else you chose to decorate the outside of your Cootie Catcher with.
  2. Spell or count out their choice, opening and closing your Cootie Catcher as you do so.

TIP: For example, if your friend chooses “blue,” spell B-L-U-E while opening and closing your Cootie Catcher horizontally and vertically.

3. Now, using the inside of the Cootie Catcher, have your friend select a new color, number, etc.

4. Repeat the second step with your friend’s new choice.

5. For the last time, have your friend select a color, number, etc.

6. Open the flap they chose and read their fortune, answer their question, or quiz them on an important lesson!