The BEST Valentine’s Day Gift: The Cootie Catcher

Capture Your Cutie’s Heart with our Cootie Catcher

cootie catcher

Valentine’s Day. Though it happens every year, I always seem to find myself asking the same questions time and again, “What should I do? What should I buy? Does anyone have any ideas??” No matter how many turns this holiday took around the dial it seems inevitable that I’d feel unprepared. That was of course, until I thought of what I consider to be one of the most brilliant Valentine’s Day gift ideas ever. What you ask, could that possibly be? You might be surprised by the answer:  a cootie catcher. Shameless self-promotion aside, I really do love this idea and want to share it with all of you!

Think back to your childhood and chances are, at some point or another, you created a cootie catcher. You may have called it a “fortune-teller” or given it some other name, but in the end it was basically a giant fortune cookie. Well, it turns out that these origami toys aren’t just child’s play. They make a fun game for adults too, particularly during gift-giving seasons. So cast away your doubt, pull out your crafting supplies, use your imagination, and get ready to make the greatest Valentine’s Day gift. Ever. <3

What You Need
  • 1 sheet of  8.5″ x 11″ paper
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 pen
  • Markers in your colors of choice
  • Your imagination!

cootie catcher


Steps 1 & 2: Prepping Your Paper

Start by folding your paper diagonally. Cut off the excess so you are left with a perfect square.


Steps 3 & 4: Making the Folds

Take each corner and fold into the center so that the tips of each triangle should meet. Flip your now smaller square over so that the folded side is down against the table. Take the corners and once again fold them into the center.


Steps 5 & 6: Time to Turn Artsy!

Flip your folded square back over so that there are four diamond shapes that meet and open up in the middle. This is the point where I like to start decorating my cootie catcher. Color each diamond with a different color or pattern (I chose hearts for Valentine’s Day) and number each 1-4.

Once you’ve finished adding your artistic touches, turn your square over so that you see the four triangles once again. Similarly to the diamonds, you will want to fill each triangle with a different color or pattern. You will notice that each triangle is split in the middle. creating two smaller triangles. Number 1-4 making sure that adjacent triangles have the same numbers.


Step 7: Let the Magic Come to Life

With the numbers face up, fold your cootie catcher in half. Slide your thumb and index fingers of each hand into the openings of the four diamonds to pop them out. Voila! You have created a cootie catcher, my friend!

cootie catcher


Step 8: Rules of the Game

Cootie catcher ranks up there with War and Eye Spy as one of the world’s easiest games to play. Start by asking your cutie to pick a number 1-4 from one of the outside diamonds. Then, open and close the catcher the number of times that was picked. Repeat with the inside numbers. Now, ask your cutie to select one of the colors/patterns that is revealed on the inside.

cootie catcher


Step 9: Revealing the dates!

Open the flap to whichever color/pattern was selected. Inside of each triangle right down a date or gift you’d like to give. You should have 4 different dates/gifts total. Each time you are ready to give another you can replay the game with your cutie. A few ideas in the past I’ve used have been:

  • Board Game for Two: Guess Who and Battleship are great picks
  • Picnic in the Park
  • Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Painting Class
  • Local Map Marked with Places to Explore

For even more inspiration check out our holiday date post!

cootie catcher

 Step 10: Get Creative!

Obviously this was a very simple cootie catcher that we’ve created. Once you get the hang of it, feel free to let your imagination loose! Decorate the outside with symbols that mean something to your relationship.  Add riddles to the inside instead of numbers. Cut the triangles in half and give out 8 dates. Do whatever makes it unique to you and the person you are gifting it to.

The other great thing is that these aren’t just fun to play with your significant other. They really make great gifts for anyone. Plan a series of dates for your girlfriends (mani/pedi, brunch, boutique hopping), helpful tasks you’ll treat your roommate to (cleaning the apt, picking up dinner) or treats for your mom (Sunday dinner, catching a movie).  The possibilities are endless.


Enjoy your cootie catching, and let us know what creative spin you put to yours.


Happy Valentine’s Day!



Jen is an amateur crafter, obvious artisan and founder of The Single Diaries.

Your biggest fan, brunch buddy, and online BFF. Consider me your wing woman for brand success.


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