3 Tips to Help You Create Photo Collages the Easy Way

Jessica Cam Wong 13-06-2011

Creating collages can be a bit time-consuming if you do it yourself in MS Paint or Photoshop. If you don’t feel exactly creative, your work may not even bring you the results you want. I know I’ve been there. I might spend a few hours trying to create collages, without any fancy effects, just lining up images in rows and columns, and the whole thing just doesn’t look as glorious as I imagine it to be.


There are many solutions that will save you the headache, and will instead, produce aesthetically pleasing results with just a few clicks. Read on to see more about these very-easy-to-use tools!

Creating Collages Online

creating a photo collage

Online picture collage makers 5 Free Online Photo Collage Makers to Turn Pictures Into Memories Putting photos together in a collage is a fun way to put together your pictures. These free online photo collage makers make the process easy! Read More  are the best and easiest way to create simple but effective photo collages. Here are some nifty ones you may want to check out.


ShapeCollage is a great cross-platform application that helps you create beautiful collages in the shapes that you choose with only a few clicks. ShapeCollage even provides a simplified, web-based version that can produce collages shaped in different forms. All you have to do is paste the URLs of the images you’re interested in (though you can use URLs of Flickr tagged search, Youtube, Google Image Search, and more), choose a shape, type in some text to adorn the whole collage (or leave it blank if you don’t need text), and press the Create button.


Fotonea is a relatively simple-looking web app that creates eye-catching collages. You can upload up to 6 pictures of 2 MB or smaller, select a background, a frame, and then create a beautiful collage.


photo collage ideas

The cool thing about Fotonea is that you can manually rearrange the size and layout of each photo, and you can also add extra items on your collage, such as text, sticky notes, speech bubbles, etc.


Big Huge Labs’ Hockneyizer is another interesting collage maker of sorts that creates a cool polaroid effect out of a single image that you upload, or get from your Facebook or Flickr account. You can choose how many polaroids will show up on your collage (you can have anywhere from 1 to 20). The resulting effect adds a refreshing twist to regular photos. Here’s one I made with 10 polaroids.

If you like this kind of effect, you should also check out iPiccy, which is surprisingly powerful and offers a lot more options in effects after you complete this look.


photo collage ideas

Creating Collages With Desktop Software

Instead of loading up Photoshop, GIMP, Picasa How To Use Facial Recognition in Picasa Web Albums Read More to spend a while creating a collage, you can use the open-source and cross-platform Fotowall to easily create photo collections.

photo collage ideas

It hasn’t been updated for about a year, but it still allows you to create nice collages with a few clicks, and customize effects for individual pictures, as well as manipulate sizes, layouts and frames. What’s cool is that you can pull graphics from online image searches (Flickr and Google Image Search). With Fotowall, you don’t have to be enormously creative to come up with nice-looking collages!


Creating Collages With Software You Already Have

You can use a variety of specific collage-making software like ShapeCollage How To Make A Creative Collage On Your Computer With Shape Collage (Windows) Read More and AndreaMosaic Create Stunning Photo Mosaics In Minutes Read More (which creates those stunning photo mosaics you see in commercials with hundreds of tiny pictures that make up a larger photograph), or you can also use programs you already may have like Microsoft Word and Windows Live Writer to make cool image galleries. In Windows Live Writer, for example, you can create galleries of many forms when you add several pictures to a blog post.

make a photo collage

After you select at least 3 images and choose photo album instead of inline pictures, you’ll be presented with a few collage-friendly layouts.

make a photo collage


I’ve personally made at least a couple of introductory images from Windows Live Writer for the No Photoshop: 15 Open-Source Generated Logos & Portraits article and the 15 Dual-Monitor Wallpapers 15 Awesome Dual-Monitor Wallpapers You Should See Read More post.

creating a photo collage

Let’s hear from you now. What do you use to create collages? Let us know in the comments!

Image credit: Shutterstock – Zurijeta

Related topics: Image Editor, Photo Collage, Photography.

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  1. Santay5036
    June 14, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Microsoft Research Autocollage is superb and is free

    • Chris2fm
      June 14, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Free yes - but with 30 day usage limit and HUGE watermark :(

  2. Stewarthart
    June 14, 2011 at 2:38 am

    So which simple, easy to use software was used for the 1st collage that is made up of faces?

    • Jessica Cam W.
      June 14, 2011 at 2:44 am

      That's actually a stock image from Shutterstock, but if I gathered pieces of portraits, I could probably achieve a similar result to the introductory image with Fotonea or Fotowall since those two allow me to arrange the layout.

      • Stewarthart
        June 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

        Thank you