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Everything You Gotta Know About Clipping Masks in New PicMonkey

A new dawn has risen, so be prepared to enter the Age of Clipping Masks! There are tons of new and awesome ways to use masking in New PicMonkey and this tutorial will get you all caught up.

What is PicMonkey masking? It’s like combining two images in a layer so that one image appears to peek through the outline of the other. It might sound complicated, but trust us, it looks great on text and graphic graphics alike. Get excited for gold foil, floral, sunkissed, picture-inside-of-an-object goodness that you’ve been dreaming of and never realized ’til now how easy it is to make. Take this chilled out summer Instagram post, for example. Masks were used to create nearly everything you see inside the triangles:

Watch the video or scroll through the steps below to learn all the masking know-how you need:

Quick steps for masking in New PicMonkey

  1. Click Create on the homepage to open a blank canvas or photo.

  2. Add a graphic (or several!) that has a shape you want another image to peek through.

  3. In the Layers palette select the layer (or layers) with the graphic shapes.

  4. In the Textures tab, click a texture you like (or add your own) to make it appear inside the shape.

If you’re ready to dive in deeper, follow our more in-depth steps below.

Apply a layer mask

  1. Head to and open up a blank canvas or a photo.

  2. Click the Graphics tab, choose one that has a shape—the outer perimeter—you want to see another image peek through. Click Apply to add it to your design.

To create the shapes for the mask, we applied a whole bunch of triangles from Geometric, in Graphics.

3.  Click the layers button in the bottom toolbar, and select the shape layer. Head over to the Textures tab and add one of our snazzy PicMonkey textures or click Add your own. If you click Add your own, you can open an image from your computer or Hub and it’ll appear within the confines of the graphic you selected.

4. Adjust the Fade slider to your liking. Boom! Mask achieved. You can click Apply, or keep workin’ it to explore more creative options. 

Customize your mask

You have a kajillion options for customizing your mask to reach design perfection.

Before you apply your mask, you can transform it by rotating it, flipping it, changing its size, and moving it around within the confines of the shape mask. Move the Saturation slider to make your mask more or less colorful.

The Blend Mode drop-down lets you choose how your mask and the bottom layer blend together together. Click Apply when you like the way it looks.

Edit your object post-mask

Once your mask layer is applied, you can continue to edit the text or graphic object just like you normally would, including cropping, resizing the thang, or erasing parts off.

Like we mentioned earlier, this works on all the objects in your image, including text.

Plus, thanks to our fancy new layering capabilities, you can also grab multiple objects and apply the same mask to all of them. To select multiple layers for masking, click the objects you want while holding the Shift key on your keyboard.

Thirsty for more masking? Check out these examples to expand your mind about what’s possible:

One image, masked across multiple shape graphics.

Text masking with PicMonkey’s own glitter texture.

Text masking plus erasing creates a nice multi-dimensional look. Learn more about text erasing in this tutorial.

What are you waiting for? Try clipping masks for yourself.

Tanya is a copywriter at PicMonkey, a company that has greatly improved her life by allowing her to Zombify her friends and Santa-ify her enemies. A native Seattleite, she dreams of one day being a contestant on The Price Is Right.