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

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

Last year when my sister was visiting, we had fun making rainbow paper fortune cookies to share special bilingual messages.  Since my daughter loves rainbows, my sister loves origami, and I’m obsessed with learning Chinese, we were the dream team! To help you save time, we made a handy template that you can simply print!

I’m going to guide you step-by-step on how to make perfect paper fortune cookies!  Our fortune cookie template also comes with famous Chinese proverbs and bilingual positive affirmations. If you’re a visual learner, be sure to watch our video tutorial, too.

Paper fortune cookies craft template and bilingual messages
Template for paper fortune cookies craft

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Where did fortune cookies come from?

When making these paper fortune cookies, my daughter asked, “Who invented fortune cookies?”

Although most people think of fortune cookies as a dessert in Chinese restaurants, they are actually traditional Chinese food!  Fortune cookies are thought to have originated from Japanese American immigrants and then popularized by Californian Chinese immigrants.

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

Related: Happy Birthday Song Lyrics in Chinese + Pinyin (Printable + VIDEO)

How to make the perfect rainbow paper fortune cookie

Download paper fortune cookie template and messages

Other supplies for making paper fortune cookies

  1. 8.5″ x11″ colored printer paper
  2. 8.5″ x 11″ white printer paper
  3. Fortune cookie circle template
  4. Bilingual messages template
  5. Permanent double-sided tape or hot glue (regular tape and glue does not hold well)
How to make the perfect rainbow paper fortune cookie

How to make paper fortune cookies

While paper fortune cookies might seem easier than baking the real treat, this craft took us a bit of trial and error to perfect. Therefore, we’re glad that we can share our tips so 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 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 crease in with thumb.
  6. Use your other thumb and index finger to press cookie edges together. You now have the fortune cookie shape.
  7. Place 1 message inside circle; length of paper should be perpendicular to the crease.
  8. Repeat steps 4-8.
  9. Place double-sided tape (or glue) in the middle of the cookie to maintain shape.
  10. Repeat above steps to make more fortune cookies.
  11. Give the fortune cookies to your friends and family! 🙂

Video tutorial for rainbow paper fortune cookies

If you’re more of a visual person, watch my video tutorial and make paper fortune cookies along with me!

See our tip in action: scoring and folding the paper is important before inserting the fortune message. 

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

Paper fortune cookie lunchbox message

For big kids who are able to read, you can also surprise your child with a fortune cookie message in their lunchbox!

Party favors

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

Get the fortune cookie template and bilingual messages here

Have you tried making rainbow paper fortune cookies?

Please let us know in the comment section below. We’d love to hear what you thought about the paper fortune cookie craft!


More ways have fun learning about Chinese culture

Happy crafting, friends!


  1. 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

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