Intro to Collage

Are you ready to make photomontage-ing magic? PicMonkey’s collage maker makes it easy to create beautiful folders of photos in a matter of minutes. Whether you’re collaging vacation pics, wedding memories, or just random photos of your dog, we have all the tools you need to get your pics together. Today we’re gonna cover the basic steps:

  1. Gather your photos

  2. Pick a layout

  3. Add a swatch

  4. Adjust the background

  5. Edit photos right in their cells

Fire up PicMonkey’s collage maker and play along at home!

Gather your photos

To get started with Collage, you’ll want to get your pictures together. Hover your mouse over the Collage button in the top menu to open your photos from your computer, Hub, Facebook, and any other account you have connected to PicMonkey. When you’ve selected the photos you want to include, click Open (or Collage, if you’re opening from Hub) and all the photos you’ve chosen will appear in the photo tray. There are two options for adding them to your collage: drag and drop your images into the cells, or click the AutoFill button under the Add images button.

If you want your photos to swap cells, just drag one over the other, and they’ll switch.

Note that when you use AutoFill, if a layout has three cells and you have more than three photos, some will be missing from the collage. Don’t worry, though, it’s easy to add new cells. Just drag an image over a collage border until a thin blue bar appears. The length of the bar indicates exactly how the collage layout will adapt. So if you drop the image over the longer thin blue bar, its cell takes up an entire row (or column) of the collage.

If you want to scrap everything, click the Clear All button.

Pick a layout

The Layouts tab has dozens of design options for your collage, organized by projects like cards (with perfectly-sized printing presets), Facebook covers, or more of a photo album look. They are also infinitely adjustable and responsive, so if you don’t see one that speaks to you, you can adjust any of them to your liking.

Add a swatch

Swatches are beautiful graphic patterns that you can drop into a collage cell instead of a photo—they look great behind a title, quote, or label in your collage. They’re grouped by theme, such as Winterland, Comic Heroes, and Sweethearts. Again, if you don’t see something that speaks to you, you can always add your own graphic pattern. To add a swatch, just drag and drop into over the collage to make a new cell.

Decide you don’t want it? Click the X in the upper right corner of the cell to remove the swatch, and click the X again to remove the cell.

Adjust the background

The background settings offer some more subtle ways to tweak your collage. The Spacing slider controls the space between your collage’s cells. (Or lack of space. It’s up to you.) And you can change the color of the background with the color picker. There’s even an eyedropper for picking an exact color from an image.

If squares seem too square, hit up that Corner rounding slider and go full circle. You can also do a transparent background, which is a really neat option for web images.

If you want a cell to be a solid color, click the Cell tab above the color picker. Select your color and click the cell to fill it in. If your images are filling the cells, you won’t be able to see the background color unless you either remove the photo from the cell, or click Fit to cell in the Edit Image palette. To remove a photo from a cell, click the X in the upper right corner of the cell.

Edit your collage photos

Some folks like to edit all their photos in the Editor before bringing them into Collage, but you can also get down to editin’ business after you’ve placed images into a collage. Hover over your image and click the Edit button (the pencil icon). This opens the Edit Image palette, which lets you adjust the size, orientation, and exposure of the image, as well as how it fits in the cell.

Click Fit to cell to get your entire image in the cell; Fill cell does just that, and may cut off part of your image, but you can move the image around in its cell to decide what shows.

The neato-est part of the Edit Image palette is in the Effects. It gives you immediate access to our most popular effects, plus a portal directly into the Editor. Click Open image in editor at the bottom of the palette and you get full access to basic and advanced edits, effects, touch up tools, text effects, graphic graphics, frames, textures, and themes! When you’re done, click Back to Collage at the top of the menu and you’re dropped right back in your collage.

Adding effects, text, and graphics to your whole collage

If you want to edit the entire collage as one image instead of individual cells, click the Send to Editor button in the top toolbar. Be aware that sending your collage to the Editor flattens your entire image and you won’t be able to make changes to individual cells.

Voilà! That covers just about everything in Collage. Try making your own Collage to discover what you like and, you know, just make cool images.

Turn inspiration into action. Join now, and treat yourself to the PicMonkey creative toolkit.

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.