Monday, January 9, 2012

Photo Collages and Mosaics

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine said "Thanks for that awesome tip on the Craft Cart.  I had never though of it and it was a great idea!"  My response was "Oh!  Great!"  However, in my head, I was thinking, "Really?  I was just excited to clean up their stuff and wanted to share.  But, really?  That was a great idea?"

But I forget!  Not everyone that stops by the blog is a crafter or uber-organizer by trade.  Many aren't even bloggers.  It reminded me that I really take some of the things that I have learned, seen, know and love as second nature.  What a brat I am, right?  

So my goal?  To share the things every so often that I just, frankly, take for granted on this blog.

And just this past week, I have had inquiries in real life and online about the collages I have been using in my posts recently, like this one from Country Christmas.

*And YES, a tutorial is coming for the snowflake table runner!*

The past few months, I realized that I am a bonafide photo-bombadier.  You know, I like to post a lot of pictures.  Or better known in my online community, photo bombs.  In order to curb this tendency, I have found that collages do the trick!  What better way to get three favorite photos in one!!  I find it fun to add to Facebook and the like that way too!

  And recently, for the Blogger's Choice Bundle challenge, I needed to do a Mosaic.

Fun, right?  Want to try?

NOTE:  I use Adobe Photoshop Elements, however, the tools I am using are basic to most Adobe Photoshop products.  I also have a iMac, but it is VERY similar to PCs!  The major difference is the appearance of my files!


 Open your Adobe photoshop and take a good look around if you aren't familiar.  At the bottom, there is a Project Bin.  You will see that is empty to start with.

To fill it up, you go to File, Open, and a screen like below will open.  I found my Blogger's Choice Bundle file and had them open in thumbnail view.  I then selected them all, by clicking the first thumbnail, and then holding down shift, moved my mouse and clicked the last one.  When they were all highlighted, I clicked Open.

All of your selections should fill up in the Project Bin and one will be in the main screen.

Next, go to File, then New,  there is a selection next to the arrow (cut off in this picture) that is called Blank File.  Click it.

A window like below will open.  Choose the size photo you would like.  For the purpose of today, I chose the Landscape, 4x6.  I usually don't title my New File until I am ready to save, because sometimes I just trash them.

After choosing, and clicking OK, an image like below will appear in the main portion of your screen.

I then, Click, Hold and Drag an image from the Project Bin with my mouse.  It usually just lands in the middle like below.

I then make sure that I click the Move Tool.

It enables me to move and/or resize the image.  For the mosaic, I put the first image in the upper right corner, but did not change the size. I then Click, Hold, and Drag the next image that I wanted and it appears just like below

I continue this until I have ALL the images I want.  For the purpose of the bundle, I wanted them stacked 4x4.
Easy so far, right?

Except it is not quite ready for me to Save.  I then make sure I move my cursor to the Crop Tool and select with a simple Click of my mouse.

I selected just the portion of the mosaic I want in my final image.

Time to save.  Go to File, Save As.

A window like below will appear.  I make sure I name my image AND I make sure that I select it as a .jpg NOT a .psd like Adobe likes to automatically choose (because you have edited your image). Again, on a PC, this looks slightly different, but the selections are the same!

I also make sure that I pay attention to the location that I save my images in.  For this one, it is in the Quilter's Choice Bundle Folder, inside a 2012 folder, inside a Blog folder on my desktop.  Yes, I am a bit of an over-organizer!


Open your Photoshop like above and go to File, Open.  You will again, find your thumbnails/files you want to use in your project to fill your Project Bin.
I grabbed all of the above, again, by Click+Shift+Click (the first and last image).

I also opened up a New Blank File (File, New, Blank File) like above.

Click and Drag your first image up to the blank file.

My images usually are VERY large, like above, so I have to use my Move Tool, to resize and move to the placement I want.

Again, like above, Click and Drag your second image.  Also, resize and move with your Move Tool.

If you notice, I didn't fill the background with the second image.  I just don't always know how I will be arranging my photos.

I then Click and Drag a third image.

This is when you re-size and move  around your three images as you'd like with your Move Tool.  I actually deleted the second image and replaced it with an entirely different one

When you finally have your photos just the way you like them, you may notice that you would like more definition.  This is where I get a bit more "fancier".  To define a photo from the others, I go to the Line Tool

If you can't find it, it may be because one of the images below might be in its place. Often the rectangle! Scroll down and choose the Line Tool.

Check your color choice.  In the image below, it shows that Black is my current choice.  If you don't want that color, move your cursor to the color swatches and click on it.  You will know you have the color you selected when you see the square over in the color choice corner change color. 

I then just Click on the image and Drag the my mouse to get the length I am looking for.  I made four lines for this collage.

I then use my Move Tool to make sure that my lines look cleaner. 

When you are happy...DON'T forget to Save.  Go to File, Save As. Identify with a name, and AGAIN, make sure you have it set as a .jpeg not a .psd.  Why?  If you plan to upload to your blog? Hosts, such as Blogger, will not accept .psd.

You are ALL set.  Of course, there are a lot of other ways to enhance your photos, but I just shared the most simple ones.  
And if you don't have an Adobe editing software, no worries.  There are some other ones that I am not so familiar with.  Just use the principals of what I shared.  I have been working with Adobe since we bought our first digital camera in 2002, and it is where I am most comfortable!  

Other online mosaic/collage sites are: 

 Picasa, it's one of the best free downloadable applications for working with photos. They do have a collage tool. You can choose your photos and arrange and rearrange them into a collage.  

Mosaic maker is a free online tool. You have to have your photos uploaded somewhere first (i.e. Flickr) for it to generate the mosaic for you. 

I hope this was helpful...if not, I am so sorry I bored ya! 


  1. Oh my goodness thank you for posting the photo shop! I have been fighting adobe for 2 nights trying to figure it out. :)

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