Saturday, August 31, 2013

Easy Facebook Covers for Grandparents: A PicMonkey Tutorial

Everyone and their mother is on facebook these days which means that some of those moms are grandmas. With Grandparents Day coming up fast,  why not spruce up their facebook page with a custom cover photo collage of their little darlings. You can use PicMonkey, a FREE online photo editor. It is pretty easy and did I mention it is free. Here's how...

Go to and click on "Create a collage." welcome page.

This brings you to a screen that looks like the one below. Click on "Open Photos."

Choose "From my computer" to select some adorable pictures of your kids. (Good thing grandmas think all photos of their grandkids are adorable.) I would choose at least three.

You can upload one at a time (if you have them in different folders) or you can hold ctrl and upload several at a time like I did because all of the photos I want to use are in one folder. 

After uploading all your photos, click the collage button. It looks like a square made of a rectangle and two small squares. 

This brings you to a lot of fun choices. (Keep this in mind for future gifts.) But since we are making a Facebook cover, choose "FB Cover."

There are four options for Facebook covers. Click on the template you like but don't stress. You can always delete or add cells later.

I chose the third option. Next, click on the photo icon (mountains and sun) to get back to your photos. You can click on the "Autofill" link (up top) to automatically fill your collage or you can drag them one at time into the cell of your choice.

Photo options.

After you drag a photo into a cell, you can play with the position and size. Use your mouse to drag the picture into position. For example, I wanted my image to be centered so I had to pull it towards the center. You can also zoom in to make the picture fit in the cell better. Hover your mouse over the photo and click on the "Edit" button. This will bring up another dialogue box. 

Basic editing options.

You will notice two tabs: "Basic" and "Effects." Basic editing lets you play with the size, position and exposure. Effects is a Royale feature (see the crown). In order to access the Royale features, you will need to upgrade to a fee-based membership account. You do not need any Royale features for this project. 

As you continue to add pictures, you may have extra cells. No worries. You can easily delete them. Hover your mouse over the unwanted cell and click to X to remove it. This will automatically resize any photos in the same column. 

Bye-bye extra cell.

While designing a facebook cover, you need to keep the profile picture in mind. Remember it will hide part of your cover photo. I made this mistake when designing my first collage for my own personal page.

Here was my first experimental collage:

Cute, right? But look what happened to my girl's face when I published it on facebook. It was totally covered. I tried to save it by cropping her cute little face in my profile pic. Lesson learned.

Back to grandma's cover photo. I chose the photo on the left because I don't care if the dress gets covered by the profile picture. I also like how the yellow flower pops against the ruffle details of the dress. 

Also consider where you want to place text (if any.) I wanted to place some text above the profile picture. In order to do this I first had to create a cell. I wish there was an "add a cell" button on Picmonkey-maybe soon. In the meantime I created my own by dragging a picture right on top of the dress picture. 

Which created another cell with a photo inside it. Remember, I want a blank cell. By clicking on the x  I was able to remove the photo but keep the cell. See the second picture below. 

Blank cell for future text box.

Once you have all of your photos in place you can resize them to your liking. Hover your mouse over the edge of the photo. Once your cursor changes, hold it and drag your photo as far as you would like. You will have to play around a bit. 


Now you can add a background color to make your photos pop. Click on the background icon (paint palette) to bring up the background menu. The background menu lets you change the spacing in between photos, round the corners and add a colored or transparent background.

Background options.

There are two options for choosing a background color. 1) You can choose a color from the color graph by clicking on the graph itself. Or 2) you can use the dropper tool to pick a color from the photo. I wish I could show you but the print screen function on my computer doesn't pick the dropper tool up. Here is my collage when I tried to pick up the flower color:

Yellow background.

And here is the collage when I tried to pick up the dress color: 

Teal background.

Ignore the "Transparent Background" box.  Transparency doesn't apply here because we are making a facebook cover.

The background menu also allows you to adjust the spacing between the photos. As you play with the spacing notice how your photos are automatically resized.

Here is spacing of 20:

Here is spacing of 10:

If you like rounded corners you can adjust just how rounded your corners are. Here is my collage with rounded corners: 

When you are finished uploading your photos and playing with the background, click "Edit" at the top of your screen.

You need to make sure you are happy with your layout. Once you bring your collage to the editor you can not come back and change it. When you are sure, click the green "Open in Editor" button. 

Once you are in editor your screen will look like this:

Editor homepage.

Now you can add text and fun overlays. Start with the overlays. Click on the overlay icon (heart, speech bubble and starburst grouped together). As you can see there are a ton of options. Notice the crown icons again? You can only use those overlays if you are a Royale member. Not to worry. You really don't need a lot of overlays. The grandkids should be the star of this show.

Because I wanted to include a quote about grandmothers, I chose paper scrap overlay. 

Drag your overlay choice onto your collage. Then pull the corners to adjust the size. 

Now for text. First click on the text icon (capital P) and then click on "Add Text." A text box will appear in the middle of your screen. Click on the text box to add your quote, title, message (etc.). Once you type in your text, use your mouse to drag it in place. You may need to drag the corners to change the size.

PicMonkey allows you to customize your text in many ways including choosing a font.  First highlight your text. To choose a font, simply click on the name of the font from the list on the left. You will need to choose a font that does not have a crown next to it. (Unless of course you choose to upgrade to Royale.)

You may want to title your collage like I did.  Simply, add a text box like you did above. Write your text and highlight it. Head over to the "Text" dialogue box to play with the color, size and position. 

For my title (see below), I found gray on the color graph, clicked on the center icon to center the text and used the sliding scale to make the text fit just right in the space.

Just about ready to send to grandma!

Now that your masterpiece is complete, you need to save it to your computer. Click "Save" at the top of your screen. 

First enter your file name. Then choose the "Quality" of your pic. Your options are "Roger", "Pierce" and "Sean." Get it? Took me a second. (Hint: James Bond.) Pierce is fine for this project. Click "Save to my computer." 

Now that your masterpiece is finished and saved, send it to grandma and watch all the "likes" pile up.

Here is a live shot of my mother-in-law's facebook page. (I've covered her name for privacy.)

I have not added my mom's collage to her facebook page yet but here it is:

If you have found this tutorial helpful, feel free to share. If you want to learn more about PicMonkey, follow my PicMonkey board on Pinterest. I've been collecting tutorials from around the web. If you have any additional tips or tricks, leave it in the comments below. I'd love to see them.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! Your instructions made this so easy!