PicMonkey Mondays: Using Overlays

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Edit: This is an old post with outdated instructions. The good news is that PicMonkey is much more user-friendly than it was way back in 2013. Have fun playing with your pictures!

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com
Okay so you know how to use PicMonkey to insert text onto photos, and you are are creating custom collages from standard templates. Moving right along this week we’re going to talk about how to use Overlays to enhance your design. In this tutorial we will also cover how to use your own Overlay as a custom watermark.  First you will want to open up PicMonkey and select “Edit a Photo.”


PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


Along the left sidebar you want to click the 5th tab down (it looks like a cluster of 3 stickers/badges).

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


This brings up the Overlay menu options.

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


There are many Overlays available so be sure to go take a peek for yourself. You will find everything from basic shapes and symbols to arrows, labels, and comic bubbles. Scroll further down for fun Overlays like facial hair, pushpins, emoticons, lips, and more. Just remember that when you see the crown symbol that means the effect is not included in the free service. If you see something that you absolutely need to have you can purchase a 1 month membership for $4.99. Here are just a few of the Overlays to get you started.

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


Each Overlay can be manipulated; you can change the color and size, rotate it, fade it, flip it, duplicate it, layer it, etc. Today I’m showing you how I used Overlays to add a background to my text on these Nutella Oat Breakfast Cookies. I selected the Banner Overlay menu and added the first banner:

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


Move your Overlay into place.

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


Stretch the overlay to enlarge.

INSIDER TIP: Think outside the box (or picture) literally! As you can see I enlarged this banner and half of it hung outside the picture frame. I liked the final look so I kept it that way.

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


Adjust the color and fade.

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


I won’t take you through step-by-step for the rest of the photo. You can see how I then added text and another Overlay + text to the bottom of the photo. Here I want to point out the “Your Own” option at the very top of the Overlay menu. Use this to grab any image previously saved to your computer. This option is very helpful when creating your own graphics (which we’ll discuss in depth next week).

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


If you have a PNG file of your header or your blog name saved to your computer you can insert your own custom watermark. Adjust the color and fade and you’re all set. As an alternative you can of course just type your blog name and insert your watermark as text like we talked about in week 1.

PicMonkey Tutorial Using Overlays | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


Here you can see the final image. I actually put all three weeks of tutorials into play here: Inserting Text, Creating a Custom Collage, and Using Overlays.

Nutella Breakfast Cookies Recipe | www.inkatrinaskitchen.com


There are so many things you can do with Overlays. I thought it might be fun to see some Overlays in action! These images are being used with permission as examples. Please follow the links if you get hungry and want to grab these fabulous recipes!

Karly from Buns In My Oven used an Overlay to offset her recipe title and make it really stand out. {Grab her recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches}

Buns In My Oven | Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches


Shelly from Cookies and Cups created this Overlay to show that each post was part of a larger theme: Caramel Apple Week. Notice how she has multiple layers, clipart, and text going on.  {Grab her recipe for Caramel Apple Popcorn}

Cookies and Cups | Caramel Apple Popcorn


Dorothy from Crazy for Crust uses 2 Overlays in this picture- first you can see she inserted her header as a watermark Overlay. Second, she used a faded white rectangle to put her recipe title into. {Grab her recipe for Peanut Butter Cookie Cheesecake Bars}

Crazy for Crust | Peanut Butter Cookie Bars


Jocelyn from Inside Bru Crew Life used this black rectangle that falls off the sides of the photo to make a banner to place her recipe title in. There’e no guessing what this fudge is all about! Also note how she inserted her watermark as text on the top right. {Grab her recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Fudge}

Inside Bru Crew Life | Strawberry Shortcake Fudge


Jenny of Picky Palate used a large, faded rectangle here to place her recipe title into. She also added a second Overlay (the dotted line) to separate her recipe title and her blog name. This is helpful because the reader not only immediately sees what is inside this delicious cookie but also who created it! {Grab her recipe for Red Velvet Milky Way Cookies}

Picky Palate | Red Velvet Milky Way Cake Cookies


As always I welcome and encourage your feedback in the comments. Please let me know if I can clarify anything for you. And come back next week for the final installment of this 4 part series. We’ll be covering how to use PicMonkey to create your own custom graphics.

Don’t forget to check out all of the tutorials in this 4 Part series.

PicMonkey Tutorial | 4 part series

Inserting Text    |    Creating a Collage    |    Using Overlays    |    Creating Graphics

Disclosure: I told the awesome people at PicMonkey.com that I was putting this series together and they gave me a free Royale membership and said good luck. ;) All opinions are 100% my own (and I had actually already bought and paid for my own membership because I heart PicMonkey so much). Everything I’m showing you in this 4 week series can be done for free without access to any Royale effects.


- Katrina

65 Responses to “PicMonkey Mondays: Using Overlays”

  1. #
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life — February 25, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Oh, I love that you created your picture as a fun collage of prints, and then put the banner overlay on that. So cute and very creative! Thanks for sharing my fudge in your tutorial.

  2. #
    Karly — February 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Hey! That’s my photo! I feel so famous now! 🙂

  3. #
    Cookin Canuck — February 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Dang, you’re good! You’re seriously a magician with PicMonkey.

  4. #
    Shea @ Dixie Chik Cooks — February 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Wow – I’m impressed! xoxo

  5. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — February 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    You’ve done SO much work for this. Great job. And seriously you make it all seem so freaking easy lol.

  6. #
    Georganne — February 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    You are so smart with picmonkey!! I had no idea you could do all these things! (PS — Have I told you lately how much I love your new blog design?!)

  7. #
    Melissa @ Bless this Mess — February 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Love this! I have PS and use picmonkey all of the time… it’s just so easy and I love the neutral picker under the color setting. Magic I tell you. Magic!

  8. #
    [email protected] — February 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    This is a very helpful post! I really need to get up to speed on picmonkey, and this will give me a headstart. Thanks!

  9. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — February 26, 2013 at 8:51 am

    What a great tutorial!

  10. #
    Mike @ Semi Sweet — February 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks so much for this helpful tutorial! I’ve used PicMonkey in the past but had no idea you could make these awesome banners and overlays. Now I’m off to explore its full potential.

  11. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — February 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I have never done the overlay thing, thanks for the tips!

  12. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — February 26, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you for yet another great tutorial on PicMonkey techniques, Katrina! I always wondered how those nifty overlays were done. Have not yet done one myself (using any program). I’m really thinking that I need to subscribe to PicMonkey! You’re such a cheeky-pixel-monkey and wise-geek, girlie! Looking forward to next week’s lesson, K. Thanks so much! xo

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — February 27, 2013 at 9:06 am

      I’ve never been called a “cheeky-pixel-monkey and wise-geek, girlie” but I kind of like it 😉

  13. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — February 26, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    I don’t know why I never think to do this! Pic Monkey is so great!

  14. #
    Katie — February 27, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Love PicMonkey and all the features it has!!!

  15. #
    [email protected] — February 27, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Pic Monkey really is a great tool–so easy!

  16. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — February 27, 2013 at 9:41 am

    This is SO helpful! I just recently discovered the magic that is PicMonkey but I was a little scurred to use it… this changes things!

  17. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — February 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    [I’ve never been called a “cheeky-pixel-monkey and wise-geek, girlie” but I kind of like it :)] Yay…I got a reply out of you! Seriously, meant it as the highest form of praise. You wield a magical pixel wand, K! That’s always a good thing. Once again, looking forward to next week’s lesson! xo

  18. #
    Sue {munchkin munchies} — February 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks so much for all the information on Pic Monkey, which I use and love! This will help me make the most of it:)

  19. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — March 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you for the GREAT tutorial! I need to play around a little bit now. 🙂

  20. #
    Donna Allgaier-Lamberti — March 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Thank you so much or the tutorial!! I’m a 62 year old non-techie that has I’ve been teaching myself PicMonkey basics this winter. So far I’ve figured out how to edit my photographs, make a banner for my blog, and add words to my photographs. Next is to create a logo and add layers to my photographs. Your help will make this possible!!
    Thanks again!

  21. #
    Amy | Amy's Cooking Adventures — March 2, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Thank yoU! I’ve been bumbling through the overlays – I can’t wait to edit a new batch of photos!

  22. #
    Kim Beaulieu — March 4, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Okay I need to start using picmonkey. You are a genius. I saved this to study up and get my photos up to snuff. Freaking weird word, isn’t it….

  23. #
    cakewhiz — March 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    i haven’t used picmonkey but my god! it looks addicting coz there are so many creative possibilities… i can’t wait to check it out and use your tutorials to guide me 😀

    ps: stupid facebook doesn’t show you in my feeds any more…i miss seeing your lovely creations on my facebook page 🙁

  24. #
    Sandra's Easy Cooking — March 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Nicely Explained! I am suing picmonkey for more than 7 months and I wouldn’t be able to cover it all…but you did such a nice job!!!!! WELL DONE!!!!

  25. #
    Sandra's Easy Cooking — March 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    misspelled before…I am using* picmonkey! 😀

  26. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I adore the banners and overlays from PicMonkey – use them All the time. Great tutorials Katrina!

  27. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — March 7, 2013 at 6:32 am

    You do a great job in your tutorials Katrina!!

  28. #
    Robin @ Simply Southern Baking — April 15, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Saw this pin last week and made my first banner on PicMonkey for my latest recipe. Thanks for posting this great info!

  29. #
    Melissa — April 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Is there a way to duplicate an overlay you create for multiple photos without having to re-do it every time? I am using this feature to put a copyright on my personal photography and would like to use the overlay I created for all of my photos so it will be identical on all of them.

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — April 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Can you save your overlay as a png file with a transparent background? Then you could insert it as your own overlay. That’s what I did.

  30. #
    Kristin Barclay — June 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you X infinity, I so needed some help in sprucing up my photos!

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — June 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      I’m glad you found it helpful! I love PicMonkey!!

  31. #
    Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur — June 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Beautiful job on your tutorial, Katrina, and easy to follow — many thanks!! 🙂

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — June 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      I’m glad that you found it helpful! Thanks for stopping by.

  32. #
    Karen — July 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I ADORE PicMonkey. I am just learning how to use it. My blog is almost 2 months old, so I still have so much to learn. Your tutorials are SO helpful! I am going to share on my blog. And your blog is beautiful! Thank you for the inspiration!

  33. #
    Anne Jutras — August 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just find your blog, it’s beautiful! 🙂

  34. #
    Alison R (@SassyMomChicago) — August 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Great tips! I’ve been using pic monkey for awhile now and pay for the service however each time I use overlays in photos, it turns out distorted and blurry after saving. Do you have any suggestions as none of these photo examples are blurry. I see other blogs that have the same issue.

    I was starting to save the photo with overlay in the size I needed for my blog 600 pixels wide and I’ve tried saving in the full size, then reducing from iphoto. Still have the same results. The photos are not blurry, just the overlay with the added text.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

  35. #
    Alison R (@SassyMomChicago) — August 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I think I may have figured this out….It seems that using the merge feature is makes a difference. I just recreated the same photos from yesterday and it made a huge difference! Great tutorial!

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — August 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Oh great. Sorry I was out of town and couldn’t get back to you in time. Yeah I think the blank white image I start out with is 2000×2000.

  36. #
    Courtney — August 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    LOVE!! So straightforward and easy to follow. Thanks for the posts 🙂

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — August 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Glad you found them helpful!

  37. #
    Helen Newns — August 28, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I’ve just discovered your picmonkey tutorials and I’m loving them thank you.

    Where on the website did you find the striped and spotty patterns, I can’t seem to find them. Thanks

  38. #
    elaine sheff — September 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Thank you so very very much!
    Elaine Sheff

  39. #
    Rachel R. — October 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial series! I think it will really help me create more pin-worthy images for my blog.

  40. #
    Donna B. — October 26, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    So as it turns out…food bloggers are also excellent graphic designers!

    Very impressed with all these creations. It’s not easy to marry fonts, layout and beautiful photos.

    I’m just starting to learn Picmonkey. I like that it’s faster than Photoshop for the layouts.

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    I’m terrible at technology. This was very helpful. I will keep practicing. Thank you for sharing this.

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  48. #
    Faigie — June 8, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Hi, your stuff about pic monkey is very useful but, I have a question. When I use a number of overlays it is very hard for me to get into an overlay that I want to edit. If its under another one, I keep clicking all over the place to find it and I was wondering if you had any tips how to get to the overlay I need without having to move the other ones out of the way.
    thank you

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — June 26, 2014 at 6:44 am

      Great question! When I have things in place that I know I’m not going to move or ticker with I click the merge button on the top right. It looks like a stack of papers with a down arrow and the button is next to the setting gear. That will compress the current picture so that I don’t have to worry about it when I’m adding more stuff later. But you can’t go back and decompress the layers so be sure that it’s where you want it to be. I usually do this of I am adding am overlay and text. I get the overlay just how I want it (color, size, etc.) then I compress it before I add a text layer. Thanks for asking.

  49. #
    Aura — August 17, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Fantastic page. How do I stop photos from being compressed into smaller sizes please?

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — August 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

      I choose the largest save option in PicMonkey. Thanks for stopping by.

  50. #
    Marci Coombs — September 4, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    HI! Thanks for your great tutorials!!! Question: I want to create water bottle labels. SO…..I’m thinking I create like 4 or 5 rectangles of course…but then…I want to add my own graphic background to go inside of the rectangles. So for instance…I have a chevron background I want to use inside each rectangle. Does that make sense? How on earth would I do this? I’ve tried and tried to figure it out to no avail. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated 🙂 xoxo

    • #
      Katrina Bahl — September 17, 2014 at 10:58 am

      In PicMonkey you can have the option to “choose your own” overlay. So go to the Overlays (it is a butterfly on the left sidebar menu). Than all the way at the top it says “Your Own.” Click on that and you can pull from your own images on your computer.

  51. #
    Jennifer — November 18, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Exactly the tutorial I was looking for! Pinned it!

  52. #
    Claudia — January 22, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Wow, that’s so cool, you are all so talented and great advice for working with picmonkey.

  53. #
    Yolanda — February 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks for all these tutorials! So helpful for this little beginner blogger 🙂

  54. #
    Rebecca — April 24, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    This series was so incredibly helpful -thank you! It’s everything I wanted to know and more. Thank you!!!

  55. #
    Nurah Smith — June 19, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Thank you. I am new to blogging. So I am.finding this very helpful

  56. #
    Nabankita Chowdhury — December 27, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Thanks a lot Katrina!! You are an angel to me. I was searching regarding the overlays on pictures since last 2 days. But finally found your post. Thankewww so much. 🙂

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