How To Make Quick, Easy & Free Photo Collages
Love ’em or hate ’em, it’s no secret that photo collages seem to be all the rage lately.
And even though I’m not the biggest fan of the mega-long collages, I understand why they are so successful, especially on Pinterest. If you think about it, every single photo on Pinterest is formatted to have the same width. So it is the photos with the proportionally longer height that get to take up more “real estate” on Pinterest, as they say. Or more accurately, more space. Which often results in more eyes being drawn to that particular image/pin, which often results in more pins.
Still, it’s totally up to you what size of collage you would like to do. I tend towards shorter 2-photo collages. Or for my weekly recipe roundup posts, I have started squeezing 15 mini thumbnails on a single image. And for both collages, I use an easy, quick and free program online called PicMonkey.
I’m sure that many of you have used this program before. But if you’re new to it, or would love a few tips, let me show you how versatile it can be! And, I also have a few tips on why you should never, ever pay for some of their extra services, since I have figured out ways to make almost anything happen on there for free.
Let’s get collage-ing!
1. Begin by going to www.picmonkey.com. Then click on the button for “Collage”.
2. It will open up your computer files. Select all of the photos you want to have in the collage, then click “Choose”.
3. Now all of your photos should show up as little thumbnails on the left sidebar. Click the “Layouts” button on the far left (2nd button from the top).
4. Then you get to choose your layout. As you may notice, some of the layouts have the little orange crown icon by them, which means that PicMonkey wants to charge you for them. Not necessary. You can create basically any of these layouts for free if you’re willing to spend an extra minute or so to lay them out on your own.
5. My favorite layout is called “Ducks In A Row”. I use the 2-image collage for my basic 2-image collages. And I use the 5-image collage for the 15-image collages that I make. Here’s how I make the 15-image version (which will also show you how to make the 2-image, or any other size you’d like.)
First, click on the 5-image button as highlighted above.
6. Then the blank collage will open. I like vertical collages, so I rotate it 90 degrees.
7. Then drag your photos over into the template in whatever order you’d like.
But here’s the thing: you’re not limited to just the squares they give you. If you’d like to add some extra photos to a line, just drag them over to the template and hover over where you would like the photo to go, and a little blue line will pop up with an extra option. The short blue line means that it will fit just in that single row. A long blue line means that it will stretch the entire height (or width, if it’s a horizontal line) of the image.
8. I added 3 images on each row, as you can see. (If you change your mind and want to move an image, just click and drag it and hover it over the space you want, wait a second for the space to turn grey with a blue outline, and then drop it. If another image was already in that space, they will trade places.)
9. Now of course, who wants a collage with a bunch of images squished together like that? To change the shape of your collage, just click and drag any of the borders that you’d like. I just scooched the border on the left over until the images all became perfect squares. (But you can also move line inside of the actual image.)
10. For this particular collage, I wanted each of the photos to be circles. So I went over to the far left and clicked on the “Background” button, which has that little paint icon. Then I adjusted the “Corner Rounding” to 100% to form the images into circles. And I also slighly upped the “Spacing” button so that the circles were not touching and had a bit of space between them.
Also, if you want to resize the image, just click the little blue padlock icon at the bottom of the page so that it keeps your dimensions, and then adjust the actual pixel numbers to your desired size.
11. And voila! Collage is done! Be sure to save the collage, and be sure to save it as “Sean” so that it is high quality and you do not lose any of the color vibrancy.
You can then pair this image into a second collage if you’d like to add some text on top or bottom. Or you can also do that in Photoshop. (Below is my finished collage.)
As far as creating other collage layouts, again, you can create almost anything yourself by just adding and moving photos around in an existing (free) template vs. paying for a specific one. Just start experimenting with it for a few minutes, and trust me, you’ll pick it up in a second. I mean, I love you PicMonkey, but not enough to pay you. ;)