Multimedia collages are a festive, fun way to share memories with a friend, celebrate a special event, and reminisce on social media. If you place photos side by side, a picture collage is also the ideal way to compare two images, events, moments, or people.

Once you have a creative vision, it can be hard to choose a collage. You need to find a good product with a large enough digital space for collaboration. I recommend Kapwing's free Collage Maker tool because it's free, works on every device, and doesn't require you to download any software. It has features for adding text, searching for images, and positioning the layers where you want them. Also, it supports GIF and video collage layers too.

In this article, I'll show you how to make a collage with pictures on desktop and mobile using a free online collage maker called Kapwing. With this website, you can start with a collage template or design a custom collage format.

How to Use a Free Online Collage Maker on Desktop

I usually prefer working on a desktop to assemble creative projects like collages. I have a larger screen to work with, quick access to each tool, and more storage if I want to download my work. If you can relate, follow the steps below to get started or scroll down to the next section.

Step 1: Set the collage background

The first step is to open your digital collage canvas. Head to Kapwing to "Get Started" and click to open a blank canvas. The default background is a white 1:1 square.

Use the tools in the editing panel to change the color and size of the background. For example, creators can change to 9:16 to make a picture collage for their Instagram Story or 16:9 to make a collage thumbnail for YouTube.

A square collage with a blue background

Next, design the background of the collage. You can select a background color, either by choosing a preset option or entering a custom hex code. In my example, I selected a bright blue for the background. Alternatively, you can upload a photo or image to act as the backdrop for all of your pictures in the collage.

Step 2: Upload all of the pictures

There are a few ways you can import pictures for your collage. Drag and drop the picture files onto the Kapwing Studio canvas, click upload or paste an image URL.

In Kapwing, you can also search for images using the "Images" tool. Type in what photo you want to find and browse through the results to find the best picture for your collage. Find transparent GIFs by adding "GIF" to your search query. To find freely usable images, click "Plugins" and browse pictures from Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash.

Kapwing supports collages with videos and GIFs also. Upload video clips, type animated text, overlay a quote, or import moving stickers with the GIPHY plugin to bring your picture collage to life.

As you upload, you may need more canvas space. Add more area around your pictures with the "Add padding" buttons. Or, if you want to remove the extra padding, click the "Remove Padding" button to bring the area tight around your layers.

Step 3: Arrange the pictures in a collage

After you have all the picture layers visible on the Kapwing canvas, size and position each picture in the correct layout.

  • Size: Use the corner handlers to shrink or expand the image to take up less or more of the screen.
  • Position: Drag the picture around to place it in the right position. Flip or rotate layers to change the orientation.
  • Ordering: Move each layer forwards or backwards to arrange layers relative to each other.

Kapwing dynamically resizes each picture to fit within the bounding box, but you can lock the aspect ratio by clicking "Lock Ratio" in the options menu. Creators can always crop a picture layer, if they want to cut out a part of it, or add rounded corners.

After the pictures look good next to each other, consider if you want to add any other visual elements to your picture collage. Kapwing allows you to put stickers, watermarks, lines, and text on top of the photo arrangement. Your design can be crazy, with overlapping layers and lots of visual elements, or structured as a clean grid.

Step 4: Save and share

Once the collage preview looks correct, click "Export" to save the collage. Now you can download the final collage! Kapwing will immediately process the PNG so that you can save it and share with friends. If the project contains a video layer, it be an MP4 collage. If you're using Kapwing for the first time, you can sign in to remove the Kapwing watermark and save the collage to a Workspace.

Here are a few great examples of collages made on Kapwing.

How to Make a Photo Collage on iPhone or Android

Sometimes, the gallery on a mobile device holds the best images for a collage. In this section, I'll show you how to make a photo collage on an iPhone or Android with Kapwing.

Step 1: Open Kapwing and Change the Canvas Size

Head over to Kapwing in your browser, tap "start editing" and "start with a blank canvas." To change the size, tap "edit background" and choose a preset aspect ratio or tap "custom size" to use your preferred dimensions. In the same menu you can change the background color.

Step 2: Upload Photos

To import your photos, tap "upload" at the top of the screen and select the images that you want to include in your collage. You also have the option to paste an image URL. Arrange your pictures onto the canvas however you prefer. You can overlap images, place them side by side or make something up as you go! Tap "edit image" to move a picture forward or backward.

Step 3: Edit the Collage

There a few several things you can do to spruce up your collage. You can add tap menu to add text, use the image search feature to find overlays, and add animated stickers. If you want to create an abstract border, try layering shapes with varying sizes, colors, and opacity levels.

Step 4: Export and Download

When you're finished, tap "export image" (or export video) at the top of the Studio to begin processing your collage. Afterwards, click "download" to save it to your phone. If there's a watermark, you can sign in for free with Google or Facebook to remove it before saving the collage.

Creators can use Kapwing to make collages for social media, for work, or for any personal passion. Making collages lets you show many pictures at once with decorations around each layer. We've strived to design a tool that's as simple as it should be, so let me know if you have ideas for improvement or ways we can make it every better for you!