Rock it Smart with School U

Our School U theme is gorgeous as all getout. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop playing beach volleyball, barbecuing in the back yard, or catching fireflies to buckle down and get serious about back-to-school! These features will rock your summer pics and kick off great graphics and non-school projects year-round.

We’re incredibly proud to offer a slew of exclusive, custom overlays, by illustrator Jordan Kay. These hand-drawn lovelies show off Jordan’s unique linework style and a nostalgic nod to education through the ages. For a peek at what inspired our designers for this theme, check out our School Inspiration board on Pinterest, and get ready to smile.

Check out all the different looks you can create with School U content and effects in our photo editor…


Chalk Board

Make your subway art, Pinterest quote pins, and blog graphics insanely on-trend with this popular look. You can add some of your own custom doodles using the Draw tool (Effects tab). If you want a more sophisticated look, drop titles into Engraved Banners (main Overlays tab), and add lots of Garnishes and Flourishes.

graphic showing chalkboard-look from School U theme in our photo editor

  • Chalkboard backgrounds: Boards texture
  • Pencil Pete, Eraser Dust, and Sketch Block fonts
  • School bus, apple, pencil: School Supplies overlays
  • Dashed line: Dashed & Lined overlay

Editing tips: To make a chalkboard background, apply the Boards texture across any photograph; set the blend mode to “Normal” and the fade to zero (notice we also have chalkboard as a Shape-it overlay, too). If you’re using two-color overlays, be sure to make one color white and the other transparent.


Paper

This look evokes the kind of doodly, scribbly notes that we would, um, never have passed in class when we were in school.  *cough* *morning detention*  You can use it  for scrapbook pages, classroom signs, and texture-rich, touchable blog graphics.

graphic showing paper look from School U theme

  • Paper background: Paper texture (also available as a Shape-It overlay)
  • Paper airplane and Sharpie pen: School Supplies overlay
  • Graph paper: Paper texture
  • Stroke Dimension, Sketch Block fonts
  • Washi tape: Tape overlay
  • Hipster guy in a tie: Jordan’s boyfriend, not available in all stores

Editing tips: You can use the color palette to choose the exact color you want, for all the Tape overlays. Use “Open your own overlay” button, in the Overlay tab, to add photos on top of your background. To move an overlay on top or behind another overlay, right-click on the overlay to see options for layering.


Elementary School

Nothing says grade school as well as flat-color primary graphics! Those of you who are homeschoolers and teachers can make your own curricular materials, with several options for school-lined paper. You can make cutting instructions with the dashed line overlay (Dashed & Lined) and place the scissors overlay (School Supplies) next to it. Bunting flags would make great greeting card graphics, spelling out words with a different letter in every shape.

graphic showing grade school look from School U theme

  • Lined paper background: a swatch in Collage (also available as an Dashed & Lined overlay)
  • Flag border: Bunting overlay
  • Learning Curve font
  • Apple and crayon: School Supplies overlays
  • Super!: Up-Notes overlay

Editing tips: School-lined paper is available as both a swatch in Collage and an overlay (Dashed and Lined). If you’re creating a worksheet with a photo or drawing and just a few lines for journaling, you’ll want to use the overlay.


Awards and Boards

Achievement certificates? Sports booster flyers? Oh heck, yes. We can imagine this up-age, retro look for high school and college level communications and greetings. And a virtual corkboard like this would make an awesome Facebook cover photo or Twitter header image.

graphic showing awards and boards look from School U theme

  • Corkboard and wood desk background: Boards textures
  • Trophy graphic and laurel leaves: Awards overlays
  • Freshman font
  • Label: Notebook label overlay
  • Cellophane tape: Tape overlay

Editing tip: Combine the Awards overlays together to create different certificate emblems (laurels with a trophy, ringed seal with wings, stars bracketing a snazzy title).


Yearbook

Check out our Class Cutups frames, for making class tally graphics; cute primary shapes will frame up cherubic faces, including apples and stars.

graphic showing yearbook look from School U theme

  • Paper background: Paper texture
  • Oval frame: Class Cutups frame
  • Star arches: Awards overlays
  • BFF and #1 notes: Up Notes overlays
  • Graph paper and crinkled paper: Paper overlays
  • Pencil Pete font

Editing tip: The effects we’ve pulled together for the School U theme add a touch of yesteryear to your photos. Class Pix, Yearbook, and Polaroid will adjust the color and add a bit of vignette to the edges; Newspaper and Archives switch out color for black and white and sepia (respectively).

Read More:

Great Learning Projects with School U Theme

Tutorial: Photo Editing for Cool Newbies

62 Responses to “Rock it Smart with School U”

  • Wow! Truly amazing what you guys come up with! I am addicted! Thanks! Viv from South Africa

  • I love your sassy style of writing. I love your look. I love what you’ve created so I can continue to make MY own look — you people deserve an award!

  • Loooove the new School U. I’ve been trying to find frames with tape on them, this is even better! Keep up the great work, can’t wait to see what you come up with next :D

  • Thank you so much for this terrific update. I noticed the Shapeit’s – is there a way that a circle could be available as a collage then we could add your lovely fonts and features to it?

    • Krishna, tell us more about what you mean by circles being “available as a collage.” If you mean a bunch of circle shaped photos lined up as a collage, that’s possible right now. Click the Backgrounds tab, and adjust the “Corner rounding” to 100%.

      • Thanks for replying – that is great – I was wanting to create a single round image for my watermark and now i have a way to do so – previously I was adding one of your Overlays to a square image. So happy – now off to be creative!

  • Please bring back hand tint!!!

    • Hear ya! Sorry we had to take that one out when Adobe made changes to Flash that caused crashes with this particular effect. We’re hoping Adobe will fix the bug, and will see if we can develop a workaround.

  • Okay, I’m a new PicMonkey user, but I absolutely love editing here! It’s fun, easy, and all these effects, overlays, textures, and more has got me hooked! Loving it. Keep up the amazing work:)

  • Im in love with it ♥♥♥

  • You guys are doing a fantastic job. I pay on a monthly basis because I really really love what you have to offer. I make use of PM on almost a daily basis!
    The only thing that would make this just the cherry ontop is, if you could (like in paintshop or photoshop) adjust brightness, contrast etc on one specific part of the photo. i.e to fix one over exposed area instead of affecting the whole photo.
    But regardless of that, please keep up the great work! Much love from South Africa <3

  • All I can say is thank you so very much for this feature, worked out perfectly for so many projects I had with our blog and Pinterest Boards for Back to School. So thrilled to see that you are partnering with the ‘we teach’ Local Workshops, can’t wait to see what you share!

  • Deanna Tipton

    I do art for church activities. On Picnik I could get some Christian themes worked out with your Easter crosses, etc. I don’t find them on Picmonkey. Everything else is super.

  • Love the new features!

    One thing that would be SUPER amazing is if there could be the option of a square eraser.A flat edge would really be appreciated!

  • I am addicted to PicMonkey as well and I often think I have to use the website more than anybody out there! Thank you so much for the services yall provide and the great ideas! You rock!

  • I LOVE EVERYTHING YOU DO to improve our creativity…..I’m an aging Grandma with a blog and a busy camera who ‘plays with PicMonkey’ almost every day! This new set by Jordan is fantastic, please thank him profusely. I see more photo editing fun ahead with school looming up and my high school grandkids getting ready for another big year – one a senior, another a junior.

    OK a request, please. Would love a little group of more vintage-looking frames – such as seen on old sepia photos, kind of stained and a bit wrinkled, and a deckle edge too – all authentic-looking not cartoonish. Your Polaroid frame is the closest but still not quite what I’m looking for – needs to be more tea-stained in appearance and have a little more aging here and there on outer edges perhaps. I know they have them in PhotoShop, but who needs to buy/learn something so complicated when we have fabulous PicMonkey!

    Many thanks again – you are the best!
    Mary in North Carolina

  • Is there a way to upload more than one pic at a time? Love the new additions!

  • Hi PM: I’m really enjoying using the wonderful tools you provide and appreciate how you’re constantly developing new ones. Can you help me though…I’m sure it’s simple, but I don’t understand how you get, for example, a paper background (as in the effect above labelled Paper) to open BEFORE you import a photo. Can you explain? Also, where do I find the Overlay tab so that I can import a photo on top of a background…I see only the Overlays column but no option that allows me to import my own overlay. Thanks!

    • Hi Elena. If you want that paper texture you see to be 100% opaque behind a smaller image or photo, here’s how I’d do it: open any photo, click the Themes tab (currently an apple icon on the bottom of the left-most column). Click “School U”, click “Paper” and choose which one you want. Make sure the blend mode is set to “normal” and adjust the Saturation and Fade sliders. Click “apply” at the bottom of that dialog. NOW… click the Overlays tab (the heart and star stickers icon in the leftmost column), and see that the “Your Own” button is atop the menu of overlays. You can use that button to open your own photo as an overlay; just plop that sucker on top of the paper background and Voila!

      • Okay, I get just tried it and voila, it works! So the idea is to open any old photo to start with (because otherwise PicMonkey can’t get to work) and then add the paper on top of it, obscuring the photo, then from there you add the photo of choice on top! Great tip! Thanks a lot!

  • Thanks so much Picmonkey! Here’s what we created for our PTA Facebook cover >> https://www.facebook.com/blazierpta

    • So nice, Michelle! You’re a really awesome FB page administrator — great graphics and collages, and I love that you’re really keeping your community alive and active! That’s what it’s all about, right?

  • Loving my picmonkey…. thanks for making it easy and user friendly!!! I may have gotten a bit carried away with the School U but who doesn’t love school supplies?!? (my work FB page is looking snazy at https://www.facebook.com/YIAHpassporttoauthenticflavours)

    Only thing I haven’t figured out is….how do I arch words/text for titles etc?

    THANKS!!!!

    • Nice FB cover! Sorry, ya can’t arch text. Wish we could enable everything right away, but that one’s somewhere on our list of to-do’s.

  • Any plans on adding grass to the options? I’m using this site so much for our schools – check out the posts on FB – https://www.facebook.com/polkcountypublicschools (Royale Member)

  • I LOVE EVERYTHING YOU DO to improve our creativity…..I’m an aging Grandma with a blog and a busy camera who ‘plays with PicMonkey’ almost every day! This new set by Jordan is fantastic, please thank him profusely. I see more photo editing fun ahead with school looming up and my high school grandkids getting ready for another big year – one a senior, another a junior.

    OK a request, please. Would love a little group of more vintage-looking frames – such as seen on old sepia photos, kind of stained and a bit wrinkled, and a deckle edge too – all authentic-looking not cartoonish. Your Polaroid frame is the closest but still not quite what I’m looking for – needs to be more tea-stained in appearance and have a little more aging here and there on outer edges perhaps. I know they have them in PhotoShop, but who needs to buy/learn something so complicated when we have fabulous PicMonkey!

    Many thanks again – you are the best!
    Mary in North Carolina
    iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  • *-* love this site

  • Can I use my account from another device/computer?

  • I love picmonkey! I use this in the office for our bulletin board. So nice that it’s free and is always updating. Keep up the good work!

    Mischa
    Philippines

    • If you have something like ‘paint’ on your computer, just go there and make a white box in the size you want (I have some that I use to make sigs for people). Save it to your pictures then open up in PM and apply the chalkboard to that. Just make sure you use them in the ‘normal’ mode then adjust them according to how you want them to look.

      Hope that helps :)

  • So if I want to make an image that is a chalkboard background with the bunting, writing, etc. on it but no photos, how would I do that? It seems like the only option is to start with a photo and put it all on top of it, but when I do that, I can still see the photo shape underneath the chalkboard. Can you help?

    • Ooops, Michelle I posted your reply above you -lol I clicked on the wrong reply arrow. Anyway I hope that helps you out.

    • When you click on the Boards texture, be sure that the texture is set to “Normal” and the fader is at zero. The photo underneath is completely obscured by the chalkboard, and doesn’t show at all. Go ahead and add your bunting, etc., now.

  • Frustrated with School U. It opens onto the pencil holder Effect. I don’t want to have an image background. How do I get rid of that? I’ve been in and out of the theme for 20 minutes this morning. I like all the other effects. (I don’t have an initial image. I want to build a text-only graphic using your tools.) Thank you.

    • Jennifer, click the “Edit a photo” button up top, instead of clicking the promo cells in the middle of the page. “Edit a photo” lets you open your own photos, whereas the cells that describe features and tools give you a sample photo to work with, if you just want to go there and play with the photo.

  • I love everything BUT only being able to load one pic at a time is HORRIABLE. Is there a way to load more than one at a time that I don’t know about like it was on Picnik. I use a port to store my photos on and it is a big process to go thru to load one photo at a time… please help!

  • Hi! How do I insert a picture into the elementary school overlay?

    • Martine, sounds like you want to start by opening your photo using “Edit a photo” button at the very top of the home page. Then you can add an overlay on top of that by clicking the Overlays tab.

  • Lovee picmonkey!

  • I am having trouble using the draw tool, holding shift as a drag my pointer. How do I fix this? :(

  • Awesome sauce! I can’t believe how cool this online tool is for pics! Thanks for an amazing product.

  • More chalkboard text pretty please….. :) I’m making my pregnancy journal and this is just a lovely easy to use editing tool.What did you say? I don’t have to be a photoshop wiz? AWESOME!! I hope you can had more chalkboard feature, that would be lovely. -From New Zealand

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  • Can I take half an image from one photo and merge it with another photo? How do I do it? thanks!

    • You would upload your second image as an overlay. When your first image is opened in the Editor, click the Overlays tab. Click “Your Own” and point PicMonkey to your second image. Then click the “Erase” tab in the overlay palette that pops up, to remove whatever parts of the second image you don’t want. Pretty nifty.

  • Woot !!! Finally found something I can really play with. LOVE editing and creating with my photos. One request…with Veteran’s Day coming up… have any good Veteran’s Day theme Facebook covers in mind we might be able to use? Where we could add some photos or collage into the cover… ? Would love to see this. Thanx so much. I’m going to LOVVVVVE this place. :)

    • HI Jeanette. You can make a collage, using our Facebook cover layout and add any photos you like that celebrate Veteran’s Day, your style. Have fun!

  • How can we get the text to look like chalk? I am trying to create a birthday invitation with the chalk look.

  • Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share
    views. Great blog, keep it up!

  • megallaghergirl

    Hi PicMonkey :)

    Im new here and well ive heard from a lot of YouTubers that they use this site to edit their VIDEOS on. But i dont understand how you can edit Videos on here? Can someone please explain???

    Thanks x

  • Sorfina HanNa

    I love picMonkey

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