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Design 101: Learn Photo Masking & Create a Gorgeous Instagram Post

We'll show you how to make this Instagram post in this tutorial

Ever wonder how to put your pics inside text? Or make your photos peek out of a shape? That’s called “masking”—e.g. you’re putting a photo mask on your text or a shape and it’s super-duper easy to do. You can even apply a mask across multiple shapes to get a fractured design vibe. We’ll show you how.

Watch the video and follow along, then reference the steps below to create your own!


Steps to add a mask to text or graphics:

  1. Click the Create new button on the PicMonkey homepage. 

  2. Select “Templates” from the drop down menu.

  3. Choose an Instagram Post template or start from a blank.

  4. Add graphics to your canvas from the Graphics tab at the left. Select them.

  5. Go to the Textures tab, then "Add your own texture."

  6. Choose a photo that you'll apply as a texture to your graphic(s).

  7. Adjust your texture within your graphic to your liking.

  8. Click Apply.

To create a text mask, do the exact same steps from 5-8 above after you've added text to your canvas.


Pro tip: Note that you can preview templates on your canvas by clicking the small versions. Once you make a change to the template on the canvas, though, you’ll be prompted to overwrite or save your current file. 


To apply a photo mask over multiple shapes or text boxes, just multi-select the layers you want to mask using the Layers palette. Use CMD+click (Mac) or CTRL+click (PC) to select multiple layers.


Pro tip: Wanna learn all the PicMonkey keyboard shortcuts? Check out: PicMonkey Keyboard Shortcuts You Wanna Know for all the handy macros.


Learn more about masking:

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Sarah Gonzales is the content marketing manager at PicMonkey. Before this she worked at Intiut, and before that started a non-profit, and before that had a radio show, and before that worked at Ms. magazine, and before that went to UC Berkeley, and before ALL of that grew up in Alaska.