Don’t just take photos and forget about them. Turn them into exciting collages for fun or for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Use Canva’s online collage maker for free.
Collages, collections of photos in an attractive design, are a great way to show off your photos. to remember a special event or to celebrate something like a wedding, anniversary or birthday. Photos look OK on their own, but look even better in a collage.
There are apps for phones and software for computers, but do you really need them when there are free online tools that work in a web browser? There is nothing to install and you just go to the website and create your designs.
I am a big fan of online tools and use them more and more these days. Software running on the computer is becoming less important as online tools grow in sophistication.
Choose a collage template
Canva Photo Collages website is an excellent example of a great online tool and it can be used with a free Canva account. Just scroll down the page a little and click either Browse templates or See all templates to get started. You can also browse these templates from within the online editor too.
Use the menu near the top to select a category of collage templates or scroll down the page. You can start with a blank collage if you prefer, but there are so many great templates to choose from that you are sure to find one you like and it is then much less work creating your collage.
Click a template to view a larger version of it and then click Use this template. You might need to sign in to your Canva account at this point. I used a free account.
Upload your photos
There is a toolbar down the left hand side. Select Uploads and then click Upload media to add your own photos to your image library (5 GB of online storage space is provided with a free account).
Thumbnails of your photos appear in a panel on the left and the collage template is on the right.
Add photos and text
Click and drag your photos to the photos in the template to replace them. Double click a photo and handles (small circles) appear at the corners of the image. Drag them to resize it and click and drag in the middle of a photo to move it. The photo is cropped to the size of the image in the template. The elements in the design can also be clicked and resized.
There is dummy text in the collage template, click it delete it and replace it with your own words. You are not limited to the text in the template. Click the Text tool in the sidebar to add or replace text in the template. There is a wide range of ready made text types, like heading, subheading and body text.
There is also a collection of special fancy text items, like Party, Fun, Cheers, Thank You, Happy Birthday and many more. They are bright and colourful and very cheerful and eye-catching. They brighten up an ordinary photo collage. They can be dragged from the side panel and dropped on the image, then resized and moved into position very easily.
Add extra elements
There are too many extra items to list and when Elements is selected in the sidebar, the adjacent panel fills with items like lines, shapes, frames, stickers, charts, camping, flowers, animals and more – whole categories of objects. There are many to list here and they are simply dragged to the collage to add them. You can keep the collage plain and simple or add lots of fun things. It is up to you.
Export and share collages
When the collage is finished and you are happy with it, click the three dots in the top right corner to open the menu. There are options to download it, share a link, save it to an online drive, email it, print it and so on.
It can be downloaded as a .jpg file and saved to disk, but a limitation of a free account is that you cannot choose the compression/quality setting or the size. They are fixed with reasonable values though.
The collage can be saved as a .png file, which is maximum quality, and a size width of 2,000 pixels. That is good enough for online use and the collage could be shared on social media for example.
Canva Photo Collages is a great online tool and it is easy to use, yet packed with features. You can start with a blank canvas or with a template, of which there are many. There is so much more than I have covered here and
it is worth spending an hour or two exploring its features. You can even collaborate with friends or family on collages by sending them a link.