How to Make Paper Fortune Cookies with Template (Video Tutorial)

perfect paper rainbow fortune cookies - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple!

Rainbow paper fortune cookies have been a fun family tradition for years. Since my daughter loves rainbows, my sister loves origami, and I’m obsessed with learning Chinese, we are the dream fortune-cooking-crafting team!  If you’re wondering how to make fortune cookies, we made a handy template with special bilingual messages you can print. Then, I will guide you step-by-step on how to make perfect paper fortune cookies.

paper fortune cookies messages template - Chalk Academy

Our fortune cookie template includes famous Chinese proverbs and bilingual positive affirmations. If you’re a visual learner, watch our video tutorial, too. It helps to see the folding process in action.

Chalk Academy is reader-supported. Some of the links are affiliate links. When you buy something through an affiliate link, we may earn a very small commission at no additional cost to you. More details here.

Where did fortune cookies come from?

When making these paper fortune cookies, my daughter asked, “Who invented fortune cookies?” And I thought that was a great question!

Although most people think fortune cookies are a dessert in Chinese restaurants, they are not traditional food from China! Instead, fortune cookies are thought to have originated from Japanese American immigrants who first made fortune crackers.

Fortune crackers were larger and darker, made of sesame and miso, rather than the vanilla and butter you would see at Chinese restaurants today.

paper fortune cookies messages template - Chalk Academy

The first known fortune cookie in America is thought to originate from the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, although a few other places also claim credit! Eventually, they became popularized by Californian Chinese immigrants who began to serve them after dinner since Americans often want dessert!

Currently, fortune cookies are popular at Chinese take-out restaurants and fine-dining establishments. They are known for their crisp, sweet vanilla flavor and a surprise message with “lucky” numbers inside.

And the paper fortune cookies you see here? Especially with the positive bilingual messages from our template, this activity has become a bonding and learning opportunity for my kids. However, feel free to add your own personal messages inside the fortune cookies.

Explore this: Positive Affirmations Kids Need to Hear

DIY fortune cookie circle template

To save time, you can download and print my fortune cookie template. Inside the printable, you’ll find:

  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Printable circle template
  • Bilingual English and Chinese messages with famous proverbs plus positive affirmations

When you’re ready to begin crafting, print out the template and messages to put inside your origami fortune cookies.

Other supplies for making paper origami fortune cookies

Paper trimmer for cutting bilingual messages from template
Paper trimmer for cutting bilingual fortune cookie messages

As this is a relatively simple craft, you probably have most of the supplies on hand. Colorful paper makes it extra fun. Kids love to choose their favorite colored paper.

  1. 8.5″ x11″ colored printer paper
  2. 8.5″ x 11″ white printer paper
  3. Fortune cookie circle and messages template
  4. Permanent double-sided tape or hot glue (regular tape and glue do not hold well)
  5. Paper trimmer

How to make paper fortune cookies

How to make paper fortune cookies with a printable template - step by step tutorial with video

While paper fortune cookies might seem easier than baking the real treat, this craft took us a bit of trial and error to perfect. But once you know how to fold them, each one takes seconds to make.

Therefore, we’re glad we can share our tips so that you’ll have an easier time making these compared to our first attempts.

  1. Cut circle and message templates.
  2. With the first circle, make a half-inch crease at the center with your fingertip or nail.
  3. Unfold the circle.
  4. Flip the paper around and gently bring the edges of the circle together perpendicular to the crease.
  5. Press in the crease with your index finger.
  6. Use your thumb and middle finger to press the cookie edges together. You now have the fortune cookie shape.
  7. Place one message inside a circle; the length of the paper should be perpendicular to the crease.
  8. Repeat steps 4 to 7.
  9. Place double-sided tape (or glue) in the middle of the cookie to maintain shape.
  10. Repeat the above steps to make more fortune cookies.
  11. Give the fortune cookies to your friends and family! 🙂

I know that reading instructions can sometimes make the brain spin. So, if you’re more of a visual person, watch my video tutorial and make paper fortune cookies along with me!

See our tips in action. Scoring and folding the paper is important before inserting the fortune message, making folding and shaping the cookie easier.

Ways to play and learn with paper fortune cookies

Play pretend restaurant

After we finished folding the cookies, my kids had their own plans in mind. They set up a pretend restaurant with cute wooden plates, cups, and our rainbow paper fortune cookies!

rainbow fortune cookies with divided bamboo plates and colorful cups

For big kids who can read, you can also surprise your child with a fortune cookie message in their lunchbox! It’s a fun way to send a little message that they can look forward to.

Party favors

Hosting a party? Make paper fortune cookies and print our bilingual messages for the goodie bag!

Celebrate Lunar New Year

Whenever I teach kids about Lunar New Year at school, fortune cookies are the most popular craft to make and take home.


If you want something different for Valentine’s Day, you can make these origami fortune cookies and replace the messages inside with heartfelt sentiments and wishes.


Have you tried making rainbow paper fortune cookies?

If your family has fun making these rainbow paper fortune cookies, please let us know in the comments below. I’d also love to see how your cookies turn out! Please share a picture of your origami fortune cookies in your review.

More ways to have fun learning about Chinese culture


  1. Kelly Canaan says:

    I would LOVE to make these with my boys, but I don’t see the video you referred to…? I can’t follow the written directions without more visuals! LOL

    1. Hi Kelly! Sorry for the inconvenience. I just fixed the link in the post, but here it is just in case: Please let me know if I can help with anything else! Happy crafting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *