Introduction: Photo Origami Crane

Easily create your own customized origami cranes that have your photos and messages on them. Origami cranes are cool all by themselves, but now you can take them to the next level with my simple web app.

I recently used these cranes as gift enclosure cards for Christmas gifts I shipped to family members. You can also use these cranes as decoration/ornaments, greeting cards, or even name/place cards (using the "Print Name Cards" feature at the bottom of the web app page).

The required tools and materials are obvious: an internet-connected computer, digital pictures on your computer, letter-sized paper, scissors or a paper cutter, and a printer.

Step 1: Select Pictures and Write Messages

First connect your web browser to:

On that page, you'll see that you can type messages for each side of the neck and tail. Note that if you want to print guest names on the neck for use as name/place cards, do not enter a message for the neck at this time.

Next, in the 2 sets of buttons, select the picture you want for each wing. You can move, rotate, and resize the image to the way you want them to appear on the wings.

When you are done, click on the "Create Crane Printout" button. A new browser tab will open up with the crane template on it. Since nothing is uploaded to my server, the template will appear quickly.

Step 2: Review and Print

Review the template, and when you're ready, print it from your browser. Be sure to "Print Preview" the printout to make sure it fits on your page. If it appears cut off, then specify the "Shrink to Fit" option in the browser's print window. This ensures that the entire template gets printed intact. (Note that the exact option in your browser may differ, but it will be worded similarly.)

Step 3: Optionally Print Guest Names

If you want to print guest names on the neck (assuming you didn't already print out a message on the neck, per my previous suggestion in step 1), place your crane printouts back into your printer in the same direction as you originally printed them.

Go back to the web page page and scroll to the bottom. There you can type/paste a list of names, one per line, in the text box.

Click on the "Print Name Cards" button to open a new browser tab that gives you a printable template for the guest names. If you had to specify "Shrink to Fit" when printing the crane template, then do so again here. Print the names onto your crane printouts. Now you'll have a set of crane printouts in which each is customized with a guest name.

Step 4: Cut and Fold

Now cut along the square gray box on each of your printouts, and begin folding. Watch my quick video on this page to learn how to fold the crane, but just be prepared to hit the pause button, as I go through the steps quickly.

If you want step-by-step, picture-based instructions on how to fold an origami crane, there are several good ones on

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