Remember as a kid how fun it was to make collages from cut out magazines pictures? How long has it been since you made one? Well, buckle your seat belts because I’m going to show you how simple it is to design a collage in Photoshop. It may seem complicated at first, but just make one, and see if you aren’t addicted. Collages are an amazing exercise in creativity and have a wide variety of uses. Keep reading to learn how to make a collage in Photoshop.
What Is A Collage?
“Collage” in French means “to glue.” Traditionally, collages were created by gluing a variety of items onto a mounting board to make an integrated work of art. Magazine pictures, fabric, photographs, paintings, drawings, or any other media were all fair game. Collages are a great way to take individual items, combining them together in a finished project.
Creating Collages in Photoshop
A stunning photo collage can now be made online with the incredible digital tools we have at our disposal. If you’re a photographer or graphic designer, you’ll most likely have access to Photoshop, but if you’re like me, you probably haven’t tapped into a tenth of what this incredible software can do. I just recently learned how to make collages, and I’ve been using Photoshop for over a decade. I must be behind the times.
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How To Make A Collage In Photoshop Step-By-Step
Let’s get started designing your first collage:
1. Launch Photoshop and go to “File,” then “New.” The width and height should be 1920 x 1080 pixels. Click “Create.”
2. Go back to your menu, and select “View,” then “New Guide Layout.” You’ll see a box where you can choose the number of columns and rows you want. I just want two columns and two rows for this tutorial, but you can select how many you want, depending on your project. This is what it looks like:
3. Add a “New Layer.”
Select the “Rectangular Marquee Tool.“
4. Choose a color from the color picker. I chose red. Now press “Ok.”
5. With the marquee tool, select the first square. Right click with your mouse, and select “Fill.”
This is what the “Fill” box looks like. Make sure the “Contents” section says “Foreground Color.” Press “OK.”
The square should now be filled with the foreground color you chose in step 4.
6. Adding a new layer for each box, repeat this sequence for the other three squares, choosing a different color for each square. Make sure only one square is selected at a time. Here’s what mine looks like:
7. Add “New Layer” and select the “Elliptical Marquee” tool:
8. Select another color that you like and press “OK.”
9. While holding the shift key, make a perfect circle with the elliptical marquee tool. Align the circle in the center of the squares. Right click, and select “Fill.” You can move the circle if it isn’t centered:
This is what it looks like now:
10. Keeping the circle selected, add a new layer. Select white, right click, and select “Stroke.”
When this box pops up, the stroke width should be 15 px. Select the “Center” option under “Location.”
Moving right along. This is what mine looks like:
11. Add a new layer, and select the “Single Row Marquee Tool.”
With your the “Single Row Marquee Tool”, select the center line. Right click and select “Stroke.” The settings should be the same as in step 10. See how the middle line is white?
12. Select the “Single Column Marquee Tool.”
With this tool, select the center again, but vertically this time. Right click, selecting “Stroke,” and keeping the settings the same. Here’s what it should look like:
13. Right click on the icon of the circle layer, and press “Select Pixels.”
Now select the top layer, which is layer 7.
Go to “Edit” and “Cut.”
14. Select the entire document with the “Rectangular Marquee Tool,” right click, and select “Stroke.” Leave the pixels at 15, but this time change the setting to “Inside” under “Location:
15. Go to “Edit,” then “Deselect.” Select the circle layer, clicking the little eye icon to the left to see its location. See how it eliminated the blue circle when I clicked on the eye? This is a handy trick to see what layer you’re working on.
16. Now drag and drop a photo of your choice onto the circle. Click the checkmark.
Right click on the photo layer, and select “Create Clipping Mask:”
17. Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool, right click on the picture, and select “Free Transform.”
Resize the photo by holding the Shift key. Align it to where you want it.
Time to click the checkmark again. It’s right above the blueberries.
18. Click on the next colored box layer and choose the photo you want to place on it. Click on the eye on the left side of the layer again to see exactly where the layer is located. Now drag and drop your photo onto the box, aligning it where you want it. Be sure and click the checkmark again.
Right click on the photo layer where you just placed your picture – not the picture, but the layer. Select “Create Clipping Mask.” Right click on the picture, and select “Free Transform. Adjust the scale of the picture to the size you want it. Once it’s positioned, click the trusty checkmark again. It’s like magic. See how good it’s looking?!
19. Repeat this process three more times to complete your collage:
- Click on the layer where you want to place your picture.
- Drag your photo onto the box, aligning it where you want it.
- Press the checkmark.
- Right click on the photo layer where you placed your picture.
- Create a clipping mask.
- Now free transform the picture to the size you want it, positioning it within the box.
- Click the checkmark again.
20. Lastly, go to “View,” “Show,” and “Guides.” The guides should now be gone. Save your file as a psd so you have the option to make changes later. You can also flatten the file, and save it as a JPEG.
This is what my finished collage looks like. I’m pretty pleased!
Collages are a ton of fun to create. You can use them to design wedding or birthday invitations, brochures, flyers, cards or posters. Use them in your personal life or to market your business. They look professional, and once you’ve chosen your pictures, you can whip them up in no time.
Did you know you could create a collage in Photoshop? Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments:)