How to create a simple baby photo collage with Paint Shop Pro

In this tutorial we will learn how to quickly create a very sleek and cute looking baby photo collage.

After completing this tutorial you should gain a better understanding of how to apply multiple images, background decorations, and text decorations using multiple layers. Hopefully, this tutorial is thorough enough that you will be able to take the techniques and apply them to your future designs. I am going to do a few other collage tutorials with more advanced techniques a little later on. This basic collage tutorial should help users new to Paint Shop Pro better understand layer manipulation. For this tutorial I used a photo of the newest addition to our family, my niece Kylee Grace. Isn’t she just adorable. I also used a couple of free stock photos that can be found at the following links. (The 1077433 photo is no longer available at SXC). You can use as a replacement, or just do a search for “purple flowers” or “flower gardens.”

I won’t be sharing Kylee’s photos for this tutorial. However, you will be able to easily follow along using photos of your friends or family. Lets get started!

Youtube Video

Feel Free to use the video as further reference to help you complete this tutorial. Note: I didn’t use the exact steps in the video as I do here in this tutorial. I am trying to teach beginners the basic fundamentals that will help them develop their own techniques and styles. As you become more familiar with PSP you will learn shortcuts, little tricks, and develop different strategies for completing projects. However, those things come with time and practice.

Step 1

Create a 8×10 inch white Raster Background. Go to File > New and use settings as seen in the photo below. Optionally, you can create a different size collage. I chose 8×10 inch so my brother and his wife could have it printed and framed.

Step 2

Create a New Raster Layer by right clicking on the background layer and selecting New Raster Layer. Double click on this newly created Raster Layer and name it Left_Large_photo_background or something similar to help you keep track of the many layers we will be creating during this tutorial.

Step 3

With the Left_Large_photo_background selected, select your Rectangle Selection tool and draw a selection similar to what you see in the photo below and then Flood Fill it with Black, or a color of your choice. Once you have Flood Filled the selection press Ctrl + D on your keyboard to deselect/deactivate the selection.

Tip: To Flood Fill simply select the color on the foreground materials palette and Press ‘F’ on your keyboard to access the Flood Fill tool.

Step 4

Create another New Raster Layer, and name it Right_Background.  Next, draw another selection with the Rectangle Selection Tool and Flood Fill it with Black, or the color of your choice.

Tip: After you draw a selection with the selection tool you can move the active selection around by holding the right mouse button while dragging.

Step 5

Create another New Raster Layer, and name this layer Bottom_Background.  Like in the previous steps draw the selection and Flood Fill it using Black, or the color of your choice.

Step 6

Create a New Raster Layer and name this layer Large_Left_Photo. Now, open the photo you want to use for this layer in Paint Shop Pro. Once you have the photo open in Paint Shop, copy the image by going to Edit > Copy.  Next, go back to your collage project,  and select the Large_Left_Photo layer. Then go Edit > Paste as new selection. Now, Press “D” on your keyboard to pull up the deform tool. Set the deform mode to scale and use the handles to scale your photo to fit.

Step 7

Keep repeating step 6 for each photo you add to your collage. Remember you will need to create a new Raster Layer and rename that layer to something that will help you keep track of the photos you are adding. Below you will see a photo of my layer palette and the naming conventions I used.

Note: I added some head shots to my collage. To do this I simply cropped them using the Rectangle Selection Tool before pasting them into my collage project.

Step 8

Now that you have all your photos in place lets go ahead and add some text. Again, create a New Raster Layer and name it Text_First_Name. Set your Foreground and Background to #bbbbbb or the color of your choice in the Materials Palette.  Click on the text tool (press “T” on your keyboard to access). Set the Font Type, Size, and stroke width to whatever you desire. For the First_Name text I used a 72 font size, Arial Font Type, with a stroke width of 3 pixels. I also added a drop shadow to my First_Name Layer to make it stand out a little more. To add a drop shadow go to Effects > 3D Effects > Drop Shadow.

Tip: Look at the preview window inside the drop shadow tool as you adjust the various settings.

Step 9

Keep repeating the process in Step 8 until you have all the text placed on your collage. Remember every new link should have a new layer so you can make adjustments such as lining it up, changing colors, adding drop shadows, etc.

Step 10

Now, we will add some background decorations. I used a hand print, flower, picture of Kylee’s head, and some heart brushes to decorate the background. Note: Here is the download link for the pspimages of the graphics I used. After I added each decoration to their own layer I lowered their opacity to around 40 to 50 percent. To decorate the background we need to create New Raster Layers directly above our original white background layer. That way our decorations appear to be part of the background and are under all other layers such as our text photo layers.

Tip: If you create a certain color scheme for your collage, then you can use the colorize tool (Adjust > Hue Saturation > Colorize) to change the color of your decorations to match your color scheme. For example, I used a purple color scheme for this collage, and I changed the handprint from black to purple.

Final Results

Note: I had to significantly reduce the quality because the uncompressed jpg was over 2mb. Still looks pretty good though. Thanks for checking out another one of my tutorials. I look forward to your comments and feedback. Thank you!