Birthday Fortunes In a Jar Tutorial

First birthdays are special, even though Elle will never remember it. I took ample pictures then made her a fortune cookie jar full of birthday fortunes, or wishes, from her loved ones. The fortunes are to be kept unopened until a later moment in time, like her 16th birthday party. Similar to the concept of a time capsule. And fortune cookies because her birthday party was based on a Chinese theme.

The intention was to set up a table where guests would write birthday fortunes to Elle as they entered the party. Great idea, but it didn’t go as planned. Majority of the guests arrive an hour before party time, while we were still in the process of setting up decorations and cooking the meal. Oh well. Plan B. I had everyone email me their fortunes to Elle, including all of Nathan’s family who lives everywhere but here. If you make something using this tutorial, please upload pictures of it in our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.


  • cardstock paper
  • glue
  • something circular as a template (3″ diameter)
  • scissors
  • rubber band (optional)
  • jar

1. Gather your paper. Use something circular and at least 3″ in diameter (depending on how big you want your cookies to turn out) to trace circles on the back of your paper. I used a coaster.

2. Cut out the circles and the fortunes. I printed the fortunes then cut them into strips.

3. Make a crease at the center of your circle about 1 1/2″ with the wrong side out (the paper patterns are on the inside touching each other when you fold to make the crease. Don’t fold the entire circle in half, just make a crease at the center.

4. With the crease pointing at you vertically, put glue at the edge of the circle going only about 1/3 of the circle. Make sure your crease is at the center point of where your gluing.

5. Place your fortune paper, folded, in the middle of the circle.

6. Fold circle in half touching the no-glue side to the side with glue. But don’t press down at the fold. Use laundry pins to hold the sides down.

7. This is where the crease comes in handy. Puff up your paper by pushing down on the crease and it should bend in the middle at the crease line. And it will open the holes at the two corners (see second picture below). Continuing to bend the crease until the paper takes shape of a fortune cookie.

8. If your cookie doesn’t hold it shape, put a little bit of glue at the middle of the crease line then use a rubber band to hold the cookie at the bend together. Allow for the glue to dry then remove rubber band.

9. Put it all in a jar then you can label or decorate the jar.

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