How to Create a Photo Collage Without Downloading Any Software

This tutorial will show you how to create an amazing looking photo collage without having to download any software, all you need are the photos and a web browser.

  1. To get started, head over to the Canva home page. Create an account by clicking the Sign Up button in the upper-right corner. You can create a new account by using your email address, or just sign in using your Google or Facebook profile.
  2. Once you’ve created an account, head over to the collage template section of Canva.
  3. You can sort all of the templates by Free, Pro or Free & Pro. Choose Free
  4. selecting Free from a dropdown menu

  5. Something you’ll notice that might cause a bit of confusion – each of the templates has a small icon in the bottom right corner of its thumbnail. The FREE icon means that the template and all of the images and graphics used inside of it are free. The “crown” icon indicates that the template is for PRO (a paid account) users only. The $ (dollar sign) icon means that some part of that template costs money. Most often, it’s the images that are used inside of the template – which is great – since you don’t want to use those images and will be using your own. If you remove the images from the template (something we’ll go over a little bit further down in this guide) you’ll see the cost go to $0.00.
  6. canva template icon indicators

  7. Once you’ve selected a template to work with it will open in the design editor in a new browser tab.
  8. the main canva create window with a collage loaded into the editor
    click to enlarge

  9. Now it’s time to update the photos you want to use in your collage. To do so, select the Uploads tab from the vertical toolbar on the left side of the photo editor and then click the Upload media button.
  10. an arrow pointing to a button titled Upload media

  11. Select Device from the list of options.
  12. an arrow pointing to a Device button

  13. Choose all of the photos that you want to use in your collage and then click the Open or OK button.
  14. selecting photo image files to use to create a collage

  15. As the photos upload you’ll see thumbnails of each one appear in your Uploads section.
  16. a group of photo thumbnails

  17. Now that you’ve uploaded the photos you want to use in your collage, let’s remove any existing photos from the template. Select an image by clicking on it once, and then remove it from the template one of two ways – tap the delete button on your keyboard or click the Trash icon and select Delete image from the menu.
  18. an arrow pointing at a Trash button

  19. Repeat that until all of the images in your template are gone. If you opted to use a template that had the $ icon indicating it wasn’t free, make sure that the cost has gone down to $0.00.
  20. removing images from a collage template

  21. To add your own photos to the collage simply drag them from the panel on the left side of the editor onto the collage itself.
  22. adding a photo to a collage in the canva create panel

  23. Click on one of the images you’ve added to the collage and notice that you can resize it by clicking one of the circles and dragging it. Experiment with moving and resizing photos for a minute or two.
  24. create a custom collage by editing a photo size and location

  25. Click somewhere in the background of your collage. You’ll notice a color swatch button appears in the toolbar (see screenshot below). Click it.
  26. an arrow pointing at a color swatch in Canva

  27. One of the really neat features of Canva is that it scans the photos you’ve uploaded and notes the main colors in those images. That’s super helpful when you want to choose a background for the collage itself. To view the generated colors, click the See all link in the Photo Colors section.
  28. an arrow pointing at a link titled See all

  29. From here you can see each of the colors that are found in the photos that you’ve uploaded. Of course you can choose any color you want as a background (or none at all).
  30. a color swatch based on the colors found in photos

  31. Select any text in the template you don’t want to use and delete it the same way you would an image (with the delete key on your keyboard or the Trash button in the Canva editor toolbar). You can also edit it by selecting it and using the text editor elements in the toolbar. You can even add cool effects to the text by selecting it and then clicking the Effects button.
  32. an arrow pointing to the Effects button in the Canva toolbar

  33. As illustrated in the screenshot below, I’ve added a red ‘drop shadow’ to my text by using the Shadow effect.
  34. a drop-shadow on text used to create a photo collage

  35. When you’re happy with your collage, click the Download button in the toolbar.
  36. create a photo collage to download

  37. There are quite a few file types to choose from. PNG is a good choice if you’re going to use it for the web, PDF is a good choice if you’re going to print it. Regardless, your design is automatically saved so you can always come back and download it in another format.
  38. selecting a format to download a photo collage

  39. Here’s a little collage I made in about 5 minutes using Canva.
  40. an example photo collage with images from a vacation
    click to enlarge

Obviously there’s a whole lot you can do with Canva templates – fortunately they have some pretty good guides and tutorials to help.

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