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How to Make a Paper Chatterbox

Updated February 21, 2017

Paper chatterboxes are also known as cootie catchers or fortune tellers. This simple folded paper object makes a fun paper puppet or toy that kids can make and play with. You can add eyes and a tongue to the chatterbox using markers or crayons, or you can even use plastic google eyes for extra motion.

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Make a square of paper by folding the bottom edge of a standard rectangular sheet of paper over diagonally to meet the side edge. Cut off the strip of paper above the upper edge of the folded area, then unfold the paper to complete the square.

Fold the paper in half from side to side. Crease the fold well, then unfold the paper.

Fold the paper in half from top to bottom. Crease the fold well, then unfold the paper.

Fold each corner of the square toward the centre, so that the points meet in the centre and the edges of each folded corner line up with the creases in the paper. Crease the paper well.

Turn the paper over. Fold each corner toward the centre again, so that the points meet in the centre. The paper may be more difficult to fold this time, since it’s twice as thick, so make sure to crease the paper firmly.

Fold the paper in half to make a rectangle. (It doesn’t matter if you fold from top to bottom or side to side.) Fold the paper in half again to make a square. Crease the paper, then unfold these two folds.

Insert your finger one of the folded corners of the paper and gently pull up to fluff the paper out. Do the same for the other three corners.

Insert one finger or thumb in each of the corners. Bring your fingers and thumb together so that the paper chatterbox becomes three dimensional. Use your other hand to push the centre of the paper inward on the other side, if needed.

Draw eyes on the upper parts of the chatterbox, or glue on plastic google eyes. Draw a tongue on the inside of the mouth, and decorate the rest of the chatterbox as desired.


To use the chatterbox, insert your fingers and thumb in the back of the chatterbox. Pinch your upper fingers together and your lower fingers together. Move your upper fingers up and down to make the chatterbox talk.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 sheet of paper
  • Scissors
  • Flat work surface
  • Markers or crayons
  • Plastic google eyes and glue (optional)

About the Author

Jeff Farris has focused on instructional communication since 1980. His work includes instruction manuals, promotional materials, video scripts and web content on a variety of hands-on topics. His work has been published in "Scuba Diving" magazine as well as several websites. He holds a Bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Missouri.

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