How to Make a Collage

How to Make a Collage
November 12, 2018 PicMonkey

When you really sit and think about it, making a collage is the answer to most questions in life. Or, at the very least, these questions:

  • How can I show the individual pieces of this poppin’ outfit?
  • How can I show before-and-after usage of my product?
  • How can I show how easy it is to make this thing?

You better believe it’s collage time! In this tutorial we’ll walk you through two different approaches to make a collage masterpiece. The first involves creating a gridded collage, and the second shows how you can make something a little more free-form. Watch this video or skim below to get the details:

I. Make a collage (gridded-style)

make a photo collage

A gridded collage gives your pics a neat, orderly look and feel. This style of collage is especially good for recipes, instructions, steps — anything that’s ordered. Or to display a variety of related images that, together, convey a stylistic feel. 

Choose a collage template

make a collage from a template in picmonkey

Choose a pre-designed collage template and click and replace with your own images

To see your collage template options, open templates and search “collage”. All the collage templates, pre-designed and blank, will appear. Scroll until you find one that you like. At the bottom of the collage list, you’ll find a number of blank templates, too, if you’d prefer to start with one of these.

blank collage template picmonkey

You can also start with a blank collage template. Just scroll all the way to the bottom of the category. 


Replace images with your own

click and replace collage pictures

Once you’ve got your collage template open, click the gray “Replace image” boxes and the Graphics palette will open. Click Replace and open your desired image from your computer or Hub. Or right click on the image and select a new one. 

collage templates

Open the Layers palette to keep track of your photos and/or other elements you add to your collage such as graphics.

Add effects, textures, and your own text

customize your collage with text and textures and effects

When you’ve filled in all the images in your collage, you can add text on top, apply an effect to one or all of the images, and you can even apply a texture over the whole design. We’ll show you how.

Select text from the left menu and type inside the text box to add your words. From the Layers palette, you can multi-select layers that you want to apply the same effect or texture to. Just hold down shift + click the layers you want.

apply effects and filters to your collage

Select all the layers and apply an effect, like Tucson, to the whole collage.

apply textures to your photo collage

You can apply a texture to your whole collage when all of the layers are selected. 


As you design, your work is being saved, automatically, to your Hub cloud storage but you can also download it (Download option in top toolbar) to your computer, or share it directly (Share button in top toolbar) to social media, via email, or through a shared space. 


Browse PicMonkey’s stock photos and add some to your collage >

Animal stock photos at picmonkeyAnimal
beach photos freeBeach
moon photos picmonkeyMoon
rose stock photos picturesRoses
Butterfly Stock Photos PicMOnkeyButterfly


II. Make a picture collage ~free-form styles~

Make a collage like this free-form one by starting with a blank canvas.

If you feel boxed-in by gridded collages, step out into the sunshine and breathe: you can also overlap your photos and add graphics or non-rectangular photos (like ones with the background removed, or photos in a shape mask) in any non-linear placement you like. The basic trick is to start with a blank canvas instead of a template.

Click Create New to make a collage with a blank template.

Click Create new at the top of the PicMonkey homepage, then click Blank canvas and choose one from the gallery. Add your photos by clicking the Graphics tab (geometric shapes icon), then Add your own button at the top-left.

Make a collage and apply effects and text to your collage elements.

Once you’ve added your photos to the background, add effects to them, any text you like, possibly some graphics, and all the creative experimentation your timeline allows for. Here’s one idea…

Add an image in a shape mask

Mask an image into a shape to make a collage.

To make an image poke through a shape in your collage, add a graphic from the Graphics tab—check out the Basic group, for starters. Once it’s placed in your design, click the graphic, then head to the Textures tab. Click Add your own and choose the place where your image is stored, then click your image. It will show up within the boundaries of the shape graphic: super magico!

You can also add several shapes and apply one image across all of the shapes. Just hold shift while you click each image, then head to textures and add your own image from there.

Check out some of the gorgeous textures you can add to your collage >

light trails streaks textures for photos
space galaxy stars texture background
exploding light burst effect background texture
bokeh light dots background texture
film warp light leaks effect background texture
add clouds to your pictures


Let your creativity run free with PicMonkey.

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This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make powerful images that level up your business.