Tutorial: DIY Gift Tags

You’re no schmoe! You’re not even a semi-schmoe. So don’t use those off-the-shelf gift tags with the impersonal, same-same images and uggers fonts. You’ve got good taste, a boatload of awesome photos, and your ole pal PicMonkey… Let’s do this thing!

This is a 45 minute to one-hour project, depending on how much you edit the images before bringing them into Collage.

screen shot of dog photo getting cropped in the Editor

1. Edit your photos in the Editor

We recommend using images that aren’t too dark and have simple compositions of one or two elements. Try adding an effect or crop your image to get it just right. Save images to a special folder on your computer so they’re easy to find.

screen shot of choosing Square Deal layout

2. Set up a sheet of tags in Collage

In the Layouts tab, choose the Square Deal layout. We recommend the second (3 x 3 grid) or third (4 x 4 grid) options. Now change the dimensions of your layout to fit the size of paper you’ll be printing on. In the toolbar below your layout, click the lock icon so it turns from blue to gray (unlocks the proportions) and then change the dimensions to 2000 x 2500, which should print onto an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet. You can find other pixel-to-inch conversions listed here.

Screen shot of adding a row in Collage

3. Add a row if you want tags to be square

Changing the layout dimensions made your squares into rectangles. If you want to make ‘em a bit more square, you’ll need to add another row. Open the Photos tab and drag a photo to the bottom of the first column. You’ll see a thin grey bar appear under the individual cell showing you where to drop the photo. Drop your photo to create an additional cell. Repeat this for your other columns until you have a new row.

Screen shot of adding photos to your collage

4. Add photos and adjust borders

Open your photos in the Photos tab and drag and drop to your layout. You can fill each cell with a different photo or repeat a set of photos. To make cutting your tags easy, set your border in the Background tab to zero.

Screen shot of adding a rectangular overlay over top of collage

5. Add white wash in the Editor if you need better readability

Save your collage and open it in the Editor. If you’re concerned about readability of text or want to create a more uniform look across a variety of images, place a rectangle from the Overlays tab (Geometric set) and resize to fit over your entire collage. Change the color to white in the Overlays palette and adjust the Fade to 50-80% so your images are visible but text will read clearly. Click the merge button on the top toolbar to merge the rectangle onto your collage.

Screen shot of adding text

6. Add text in the Editor

If you skipped step 5, save your pic collage and open it in the Editor. Choose a fun font from our Winterland theme or go to the Text tab to choose from our bounty of cool fonts. In our example, we used Tall, Dark and Handsome. Type your to’s and from’s and adjust your size and color to what you like. Be sure to give yourself enough room for hand writing names. Once you’re happy with how it looks for one tag, copy and paste your text to each tag.

7. Print

Save your tags and print from your computer. If your printer settings have a check box for fitting to print size, uncheck this so that the image won’t stretch.

8. Cut

Get a pair of sharp scissors or an X-ACTO blade and ruler and cut your tags. Don’t let them languish in a drawer somewhere; your presents can’t wait to wear them!

Want to learn more? Check out these articles:

Tutorial: Using New Photo Collage Features

Tutorial: Make a Photo Collage

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  • katie h.

    do you have the chevron that is behind the WINTERWONDERLAND ??? i would like that for an overlay or background or something! :) THANK YOU!! :)

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Hi Katie! That Chevron is one of the patterns we’ve got in the “Textures” tab on the far left column in Collage. We’re gonna rename that tab because it behaves a little different from Textures in the Editor, but it’ll remain in the same place.

      • katie h.

        AWESOME!!! THANK YOU!! :)

  • Lisa

    any suggestions for the type of paper to use?

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Card stock would be good. 80 lb. Set your printer for “thicker paper” if it’s got that setting.

  • Amy

    Loved the Christmas tags tutorial! Mine turned out perfect.

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey


  • http://www.errzzu.blogspot.com errzzu

    Thank you,thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,hank you,thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,hank you,thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,hank you,thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Showed your comment to designer Jen Shetterly, who wrote this one, and she nearly fell off her chair! We’re glad you liked it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MS.BIZZPRODUCTIONShttp://www.youtube.com/MS.BIZZPRODUCTIONS Elizabeth+msbizz

    Hi guys,
    I would really like to thank you for remaking this site after you-know-who bought picnik and destroyed it lol.
    Honestly i appreciate every single function on this website becuase it helps create my specific look for my photography and self portraits.
    If there is anyway possible i can purchase a take home edition of your site please notify me at ms.bizzproductions@yahoo.com.
    I cant thank you guys enough for sticking around.
    If you want to check out my photography, I am on facebook @MS.BIZZ PRODUCTIONS
    Please be in contact.
    Thank you so much,

  • ang

    why does my text print blurry???

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  • egle

    Hy! how can i use all effects for free?;/////

  • Beth

    This would also work to make cupcake toppers for my baby girls first birthday party! Love Picmonkey!

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  • https://www.facebook.com/djaustin53 Deborah J Austin

    How do I get my pic to duplicate

    • http://www.picmonkey.com PicMonkey

      Deborah, can you tell us more about what you’re trying to duplicate? If it’s the whole picture, you should be able to right-click the file name once you’ve saved it, and it should duplicate itself.

  • http://twitter.com/LoriannWitte Loriann Witte (@LoriannWitte)

    This is cool and looks like fun if you want to put another hour into your Christmas prep schedule. Plus going to bag the labels. Very personalized and you can show off your beloved photos.

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  • Margot Liebenthal

    Greetings! Is it possible to edit the size of the labels to be any size you wish and have them all be that size on the page? Please say yes, because this site has come SO far. In fact, I’ve never once considered not paying for it. Is there an Android app yet?? I need it badly.

  • Suzanne

    This is awesome, but how do you cut and paste the text from one cell into another. That wasn’t explained and I can’t figure it out.

  • Christine

    Picmonkey is simply THE BEST!!!

  • Christine

    Will picmonkey eventually be compatible with IPads?

  • Emily

    I’m trying to create gift tags with text on the top & a cutout photo that I already created. I managed to do it once, with the gift tag measuring 2210 x 2710 & it fit in the gift tag 4×4 collage perfectly, but when I printed it out the cutout pic was too small. However, I can’t seem to figure out how to edit a saved image & when I try to recreate the gift tag image to add to the 4×4 collage, the sizing is all wrong even when I manually change it to 2210 x 2710. PLEASE HELP ME! I’ve been at this for hours & I’m so frustrated! These tags are for baby shower favors for Sunday Nov. 2nd so I need help ASAP! Thank you!

    • http://www.picmonkey.com PicMonkey

      Hi Emily,

      You got a lotta steps going on here. Dimensions get weird when you move them to and from Collage, so you should hit up our support team and we’ll help you out: http://www.picmonkey.com/help/support/new

      Also, once an image is saved we cannot make retroactive edits.