How to Create a Collage Template in Photoshop

You can create a collage for anything from photos and stamps to leaves and seashells. Your collage doesn’t even have to feature the same types of objects. You can use it to tell a story about yourself and include important objects you picked up along the way.Create a photo collage template in Photoshop to save time.

If you make photo collages often, a template will save you time. Your template may vary depending on your layout. For example, you may want objects to overlap each other or sit side-by-side.

This tutorial shows you how to create and use photo collage templates in Photoshop.You can use the photo collage on a web page, add it to a document or email it to friends.

Creating the Template

Step 1. Click “File” and “New” from the Photoshop menu to create a new document. The New dialog box opens. Enter the dimensions of the template and click “OK.”

Step 2. Click “Edit” and “Fill” from the menu to open the Fill dialog box. Select “Pattern” from the “Use” drop-down list. Click the arrow beside “Custom Pattern.” Pick a pattern and click “OK.”

Step 3. Press “F7″ to reveal the Layers palette if it’s hidden. Otherwise, click the “Create a new layer” button at the bottom of the Layers palette to insert a new layer above the Background layer.
Select Ellipse tool or shape for photos in collage.

Step 4. Go to the Tools palette.

Click and hold the “Shapes” tool to reveal additional shapes, then select the shape you want to use for your photos.

Step 5. Go to the Shape options bar and click the “Shape Layers” button.

Step 6. Click, hold and drag your mouse across the canvas to draw the shape.

Step 7. Go to the Layers palette. The layer containing the shape you just added should be selected. Select it if it isn’t.

Step 8. Click the “Create a layer shape” button in the Layer palette select “Stroke” from the pop-up. The Layer Style dialog box opens to the Stroke tab.

Step 9. Enter a border size into the “Size” box. To change the border’s color, click the “Color” box. This opens the Color Picker dialog box. Select a color and click “OK.”

By the way, you can go crazy with the border by changing the “Fill Type” to a pattern or gradient. You can also change the “Blend Mode” option, modify the “Opacity” level and change the position of the border.

Click “OK” when you’re done.

Change border of photo collage in the stroke's Layer Style.

Step 10. Press “V” to activate the “Move” tool. Go to the Move options bar and checkmark “Auto Select Layer.” Select layers automatically for photo collage template.

This allows you to select objects automatically on your canvas without selecting them manually in the Layers palette.

Step 11. Drag the first shape where you want it to go.

Step 12. Return to the Layers palette. Drag the layer containing the shape into the “Create a new layer” button or press “Ctrl” and “J” to duplicate it. Continue duplicating the shape until you have enough shapes for the collage. The shapes are placed over the original shape on the canvas, so you can’t tell they are there unless you view them in the Layers palette.

Step 13. Go to the canvas and drag each shape where you’d like it.

Step 14. Repeat Steps 11 and 12 to add additional shapes and move them.

Step 15. Click “File” and “Save” to open the Save As dialog box. Name the file “collage” and accept the default PSD file extension. Click “Save.”

Using the Collage Template for Your Photos

Step 1. Select “File” and “Open” in the Photoshop menu. Open one or several images you want to add to the canvas. Select “Window” and “Tile” to rearrange the windows in Photoshop.

Step 2. Drag the newly opened image from its current window into the window containing the template.

Show bounding box to resize photo for collage in Photoshop.To resize the newly added image, press “V” to activate the Move tool and checkmark “Show Bounding Box.” Select and hold any corner of the bounding box (surrounding the image) and pull it in to shrink it. Press “Enter” to apply the new size.

Step 3. Move the photo over the shape you want it to appear on the canvas. Then go to the Layers palette and drag the photo’s layer directly above the layer containing the shape it goes with.

Step 4. Select “Layer” and “Create Clipping Mask” from the menu. Repeat Steps 2-4 to add additional images.

Add photos to collage template to save time in Photoshop.

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2 Responses to How to Create a Collage Template in Photoshop

  1. Adrienne says:

    That’s really cool Allyson.

    Does this work also in Photoshop Elements 6.0? I use that program and sometimes when I get instructions to create things in Photoshop I find that what they are explaining is not located in the same place in this version. You can tell how much I know about this program which is NOT much. But I love to learn and would really like to know how to use it better. I have found it to be way over my head.

    I’m going to try this over the weekend and see if I can follow your instructions. Will try to report back to you!

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..The Loss of A LegendMy Profile

    • allyson says:

      Hello, Adrienne. It’s great to hear you’ll give this a try over the weekend. I’m so sorry… I don’t have Photoshop Elements, but I believe some of the steps are similar. I’ll love to hear how it works out for you in that application. Take care and thanks for your kind words. Hope you have an enjoyable few days off.

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