Using Shape Cutouts to Frame Your Photos

Back in the day, when our ancestors used to bring their film (a strip of cellulose nitrate coated with emulsion) into a drugstore (kind of like Amazon’s health and beauty section, but in real life), their photos would be spit out of a machine in neat rectangles and promptly inserted into albums (a book-like object with clear plastic sheets).

Nowadays, with digital photography, photos don’t need to be confined within a quadrangle. They can be shaped as a circle, star, heart, hexagon, and more. That’s what our Shape Cutouts frames are all about. Just select a shape from nine options, size it as you want, choose a transparent or colored background, and you’re on your way to a shapely photo that’ll stand out from the crowd. So go ahead, think outside the box!

How to make a shape cutout photo:

  1. Open a photo in PicMonkey. Make sure it's your background since Shapes only works on the background layer.

  2. Select Frames > Shape Cutouts.

  3. Choose a shape for your photo.

  4. Adjust the position by grabbing the shape and dragging around.

  5. Adjust the size of the shape using the Shape Size slider.

  6. Click Apply to finish.

To crop all that extra space outta your shaped image, go to Edits > Crop Canvas and cut away.


Make a circle photo cutout

Using a circle shape puts a spotlight on your photo, ensuring it gets all the attention it deserves. You can use the circle cutout to make extraneous background noise disappear and place added focus on the part of your photo you want to emphasize. The Circle Cutout is perfect for creating profile pics that end up as circles on social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook.

Pro tip: To keep the transparent background of your photo, be sure to download as a PNG.

Pair curved text with a circle cutout

You know what goes all-around great with a circle cutout photo? Curved text, of course! To add text to your design, go to the Text tab on the left, click Add text, and type your message. Under the effects tab on the Text palette, check the Curved Text box and adjust the curvature slider to fit. Learn more about using curved text in PicMonkey.


Use a star shape photo for Instagram, Facebook Stories

You don’t have to go all the way to Hollywood to become a star. Just choose the star cutout in the Frames tab and instantly transform yourself or your subject into a luminary. Did your child get a featured role in the school play? Use the star shape to frame a photo of them on stage. Are you creating an ad for a party or event with different performers? Frame their pictures with the star shape and produce an old school flier or poster.

Tip: Make sure the subject of the photo that will be inside the star has a lot of canvas space surrounding it. The star shape takes up lots of room with all its points.


Try the burst shape to announce or highlight info

If you have an online store, the burst cutout is perfect for highlighting products, promoting sales and offers, or letting customers know when a particular item is out of stock. Just create a blank canvas, change it to a bright color, and then add the Shape Cutouts frame. Add text such as “Special” or “Sale” and save it as a PNG to preserve its transparency. You can add your image to a photo via Add an image so you can use it again and again as needed.


Show a little love with a heart shape photo cutout

What would shape cutouts be without the good ol’ heart shape? It might seem cheesy, but if you want to show your affection for someone or something, frame a photo with a heart and you’re guaranteed to produce loads of lovin’ feelings. You can use the heart shape in a multitude of ways: for your parents’ anniversary, your child’s birthday, your sister’s wedding announcement, or just to share a favorite thought on your feed.


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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.