Creating a Photo Collage

Creating a Photo Collage

By Discovery Center Team

Creating a fun summer holiday collage is not just easy and fun to do, but it also teaches you the basics of working with layers in the photo editing process. In this PaintShop Pro tutorial, you will learn how to create a photo collage using photos, picture frames and text.

You will learn how to:

  • Size photos for your collage projects.
  • Choose a background pattern for your collage.
  • Add picture frames to your photos.
  • Add and place text.

Take a look at some of the beautiful summer photo memories that were used to create this collage!

Welcome to this tutorial on how to create a photo collage in Corel PaintShop Pro.


In this tutorial we will show you how to create a fun summer holiday collage using photos and picture frames.

1.  First, launch PaintShop Pro and in the Manage workspace, choose the images that you want to work with.


In this example, I’ve used a tray to collect all the images in one place. The tray is a like a virtual folder, so the images aren’t duplicated on my computer.


2.  Next, go to the Edit workspace.


If you don’t see the tray in the Organizer palette, click the Show/Hide Toolbar Buttons arrow and enable Tray.


3.  Since a collage uses multiple layers for images, picture frames and text, you need to have the Layers palette open for the remainder of this tutorial.  To open the Layers palette, press the F8 key on your keyboard.


4.  Create a new image that will be used as the background. In this example we will set the size to 17 inches wide by 11 inches in height and a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.


5.  To select a Background, click the swatch beside Color.


6.  In the Material Properties window, select Pattern. In this example we have selected the Paper background and set the Scale to 200.

7.  In the Organizer palette, select the images that you want to use and drag them to the Layers palette. Each image is added as a separate layer.


Next, we’ll add picture frames to the images.

8.  Select the layer for the first photo, and then from the Image menu, choose Picture Frame.


9.  In the Picture Frame dialog box, select Frame current layer as well as Frame outside of the image. In this example we have used the Platinum frame with a black Transparency color.

10.  After you click OK, the frame is added as a layer, above the image layer it was applied to.


11.  When you’re happy with the frames, you can combine the frame layer with the image layer to simplify the project.  To do this, right-click the frame in the Layers palette and then select Merge, and Merge Down. Repeat these steps for the other frame layers.


12.  Rotating some images and having them overlap is a matter of artistic preference.To move an image, select the Pick tool from the Tools toolbar and click the image.


In the Image window, you can drag the image that is on that layer to a new position by clicking on it and holding down the left mouse button.

13.  By clicking a second time, nodes appear at the corners and center of the image; you can resize by dragging any of the corner nodes and rotate by dragging the rotation handle that is connected to the center node.


In this example we will leave some room in the middle for the title.


14.  Click the Text tool in the Tools toolbar and then click where you want to place the text .


When you type text, Paintshop Pro creates a vector layer for the text and this will show up in the Layers palette.


14.  To fine-tune the position, click the Pick tool to move the text.


15.  When the collage is complete, it is important to save a version as a PaintShop Pro Image file, this way, your layers remain intact. From the File menu click Save As and select the PSPImage file type.

16.  Next, save a version that can be printed or shared online by going to File > Save As and selecting JPEG.


Note:  When saving a multi-layer project as a JPEG file, you will get a warning message and this is because JPEGs can contain only a single layer.  Click YES to continue.


Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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Comments (4)

  • Iain Heron Reply

    I’m trying to create a photo collage in Painter Essentials 5. All the tutorials I can find on this are for Photoshop or one of your other products, which appear to have differnt functions to Painter Essentials. Can you please point me at something that helps?

    March 11, 2018 at 11:05 am
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Iain,

      Of course! Here is our Introduction to Painter Essentials 5 video to help get you started.

      Discovery Center Team

      March 11, 2018 at 11:10 pm
      • Iain Heron Reply

        Thanks Adam. The video you pointed me at does not contain anything on creating photo montages in Painter Essentials 5. Neither do any of the other videos in that section. Can you help?

        March 25, 2018 at 7:57 am
        • Adam Reply

          Hello Iain,

          Unfortunately we do not currently have a tutorial handling this exact project in Painter Essentials 5. We have passed the suggestion on to our tutorial team for their consideration! In the meantime, the most important tool to look into would be the Layers function. A collage can be broken down into just a few layers. In our opinion, the most important is the top layer, which would contain your framing. We suggest using thicker lines to start and make the different collage elements distinct, then thinning or removing them later on. Having the frame on top means you will always see those separating lines, which helps to arrange the overall composition.

          Once you have that, simply add a new layer for each image you want to add to your collage. An easy workflow is to add an image, position it, and then either immediately erase the extra portions (using that top layer’s separating lines as your guide), or hide that layer and add and position your next image, saving all the erasing for later. Repeat as necessary until your images are all positioned as you like.

          This approach also lets you apply effects and brush strokes to individual layers, without worrying about accidentally spreading paint or a colour effect over the wrong image.

          If you do want two or more images to have the same effect, it is easy to reorganize and merge layers after the initial position and erase steps.

          Hope this helps!
          Discovery Center Team

          March 26, 2018 at 9:48 pm

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