Do you remember those folded paper fortune-tellers from back in the old school yard? This romantic version of the origami toy is discontinued at Colloco Homeware & Gifts but consider the DIY craft fun to be had here!

The origami fortune teller is both a toy and an art object — and maybe, with the right messages inside, an imaginative 3-d greeting card for Valentine’s Day?

I’ve always loved these things. Do you remember how there was always one kid in the crowd who knew how to fold one? At our school, it was Judy (who grew up to make her living from an interesting balance of crafts and computers). She wouldn’t tell anyone else how to do it, and drove us all nuts — you know how 10-year-old girls can be! — but I picked up a fortune teller that she’d dropped, took it home, and dissected it carefully to figure out how it all worked.

You want to know how to make one? No keeping a secret here!

Here’s the “how to” diagram for folding the paper for an origami fortune-teller:

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Paper Fortune Teller Diagram by MichaelPhilip (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Decorate your own!

Or you can pick up a book of pre-printed fortune tellers, for the giggling girls around your place to enjoy on a rainy Saturday or on a sleepover.

Back when we were kids, at lunch hour or sometimes in a slow-moving math class, Judy would pull out a neat square of folded-up notebook paper from her back pocket and open its corners to slip in her index fingers and thumbs. The other girls in our group would gather around…

First one, then another of us would “pick a number” — the number of letters in the name of the boy we liked best, most often — and Judy would open and close the paper fortune teller, one direction and then the other, while counting down the numbers. Finally, the movement would stop and one flap of the paper would be lifted to reveal the secret message or fortune.

Remember the game now?

I’ve been thinking a lot about fun grown-up crafty versions of old schoolyard games and toys lately, so we can expect to take a few more little trips down memory lane in the next few weeks. What other cool homemade toys and impromptu games do you remember, from when you were a kid?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. charlie pOp

    lovely idea !
    you can also personnalize it, just great !

  2. Snowystar

    I totally made this for my boyfriend on Valentines day!! Mine was a xxx naughty version. He soo loved it ‘wink’ ! It helped me be the goddess I want to be in my true loves fantasy and he was impressed by my creative juices.

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