Tutorial: Make Your Own Gift Tags

You’re no schmoe! You’re not even a semi-schmoe.  So don’t use those off-the-shelf gift tags with the  impersonal, same-same images and uggers  fonts. You’ve got good taste, a boatload of awesome photos, and your ole pal PicMonkey… Let’s do this thing!

This is a 45 minute to one hour project, depending on how much you edit the images before bringing them into Collage.

screen shot of dog photo getting cropped in the Editor

1. Edit your photos in the Editor

We recommend using images that aren’t too dark and have simple compositions of one or two elements. Try adding an effect or crop your image to get it just right. Save images to a special folder on your computer so they’re easy to find.


screen shot of choosing Square Deal layout

2. Set up a sheet of tags in Collage

In the Layouts tab, choose the Square Deal layout. We recommend the second (3 x 3 grid) or third (4 x 4 grid) options. Now change the dimensions of your layout to fit the size of paper you’ll be printing on. In the toolbar below your layout, click the lock icon so it turns from blue to gray (unlocks the proportions) and then change the dimensions to 2000 x 2500, which should print onto an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet. You can find other pixel-to-inch conversions listed here.


Screen shot of adding a row in Collage

3. Add a row if you want tags to be square

Changing the layout dimensions made your squares into rectangles. If you want to make ‘em a bit more square, you’ll need to add another row. Open the Photos tab and drag a photo to the bottom of the first column. You’ll see a thin grey bar appear under the individual cell showing you where to drop the photo. Drop your photo to create an additional cell. Repeat this for your other columns until you have a new row.


Screen shot of adding photos to your collage

4. Add photos and adjust borders

Open your photos in the Photos tab and drag and drop to your layout. You can fill each cell with a different photo or repeat a set of photos. To make cutting your tags easy, set your border in the Background tab to zero.


Screen shot of adding a rectangular overlay over top of collage

5. Add white wash in the Editor if you need better readability

Save your collage and open it in the Editor. If you’re concerned about readability of text or want to create a more uniform look across a variety of images, place a rectangle from the Overlays tab (Geometric set) and resize to fit over your entire collage. Change the color to white in the Overlays palette and adjust the Fade to 50-80% so your images are visible but text will read clearly. Click the merge button on the top toolbar to merge the rectangle onto your collage.


Screen shot of adding text

6. Add text in the Editor

If you skipped step 5, save your collage and open it in the Editor. Choose a fun font from our Winterland theme or go to the Text tab to choose from our bounty of cool fonts. In our example, we used Tall, Dark and Handsome. Type your to’s and from’s and adjust your size and color to what you like. Be sure to give yourself enough room for hand writing names. Once you’re happy with how it looks for one tag, copy and paste your text to each tag.


7. Print

Save your tags and print from your computer. If your printer settings have a check box for fitting to print size, uncheck this so that the image won’t stretch.


8. Cut

Get a pair of sharp scissors or an X-ACTO blade and ruler and cut your tags. Don’t let them languish in a drawer somewhere; your presents can’t wait to wear them!