Create your own collage

NWF Create your collage 2014-03-07

Have you wondered how to create your own collages – fabric palettes or inspiration boards? My fabric palettes are created from swatch pictures downloaded from the Pink Chalk Fabrics webshop. I have asked for their permission to use them in palettes shared online and you should find out the copyright status before making anything public. Now, on to the how-to part!

I use PicMonkey collages because they are very easy to use, from uploading pictures to editing the collage to downloading my creation. If I have a picture I want to edit somehow, crop for instance, I can do that in another part of the website; very nifty. The start page looks like this:

NWF PicMonkey 1

PicMonkey start page

When you click on Collage, a drop-down menu will open. At that point, to reach the Collage part of the website, you need to upload at least one picture. Let’s do that!

NWF PicMonkey 2


The red arrow shows the picture you just uploaded and the rest of them will appear in the same column. The orange arrow points to the basic collage offered, consisting of three pictures. You can change this amount and layout in the Layout section (left-hand column, second button from top).

NWF PicMonkey 3


When making my fabric palettes I use “Square Deal” and the 4×4 layout to create a sixteen-picture collage.

NWF PicMonkey 4

Square Deal layout

Let’s use four pictures now:

NWF PicMonkey 5

Square Deal with four pictures

Click on Images (left-hand column, uppermost button) to go back to the first section. Drag the fabric from the side column to the collage, hover above an empty square and drop the picture into it.

Upload the rest of your pictures (“Open photos”), if you didn’t batch upload at first (select all pictures you want to include and upload). Drag them into the collage one by one. In the image overview on the left, you’ll see small check symbols appear once an image has been successfully added to the collage; handy when there are many more images to include. Keep reading to learn how to fix this oops:

NWF PicMonkey 6

How to fix an oops – Do NOT click on the X in the white square!

If you happen to drop a picture outside of an empty square, you’ll create a new square (technically a rectangle). You might not want this, so you need to grab the light-green fabric and drag it into the empty square. (If you hover above the empty square and click the X up in the corner, where the arrow is pointing, you will remove this square and the floral fabric will extend all the way down to fill the space, so don’t click on the X unless that is what you want to create.) This is what it will look like once you’ve moved the light-green fabric:

NWF PicMonkey 7

How to fix an oops – Now you can click on the X

Now click the X of the empty rectangle where the light-green fabric used to be, to remove that cell. The middle-green fabric will expand back to a square; problem fixed.

You might want to shuffle images around. Grab one square, drag it above another and drop it. The two images will switch places.

If you want to enlarge an image, hover above it and click Edit:

NWF PicMonkey 8

Enlarge and rotate an image

Once you’re satisfied with your masterpiece, click Save:

NWF PicMonkey 9

I’m done and want to save!

A new window will open and you can choose a name and size for the file you download to your computer. The suggested name is “PicMonkey Collage” but if you make several, you will want to change it somehow to make it unique. Here’s my collage created in this tutorial:

NWF PicMonkey Collage 2014-03-07

You might have noticed that I add text to my fabric palettes. That’s another tutorial, because you can use PicMonkey to add overlays to an image and I’ll walk you through adding text in Edits next time.

Please ask questions in the comments, if there’s something you have troubles with and I’ll do my best to help you!


4 thoughts on “Create your own collage

  1. Christine

    Great tutorial! I just noticed PicMonkey had a collage feature in the past week or so. I’ll definitely play around with it after seeing this! I really like the idea of creating a palette of potential fabric pulls for projects, to see if I like how the fabrics look together. Thank you!

    1. Nina With Freckles Post author

      Glad you liked it! Comparing swatch pictures is the only way to decide whether fabrics go together or not, when you’re buying online only and putting them next to one another in a collage makes it even easier to get an idea regarding relative print sizes and so on. Once you’ve made a few of them it takes barely no time at all, in fact it’s the link list that is the most challenging to compile :)

  2. mag3

    Hi Nina, Many thanks for your really useful tutorial. I’ve been using picmonkey to make collages that I want to print out on A4 paper. When I save the image to my computer and try to print it out the edges are always cropped cutting off both sides of my collage. I’ve tried resizing it to as small as 800 x 800 but still having the same problem. Any tips?

    1. Nina With Freckles Post author

      Hi mag3, thanks and you’re welcome! Your printing issue most likely stems from the printer settings rather than the image size. The higher the pixel amount, the finer printing quality.

      As for getting the whole image/pdf to print (for instance if your paper size is A4 and you happen to use a pattern made in the US for letter-sized papers) you should find options to adjust the scaling.

      You might be able to scale to specific percentages (100% means you print the whole image and it may or may not fit the paper) or then something like “Scale to fit” (Mac); either “Print entire image” or “Fill entire paper”.

      If you have a larger-than-A4 sized image, choose “print entire image” or whatever you see in your printer settings. You might also be able to change from the usual portrait to landscape format, if your image is of the latter kind. Hope it helps!


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