PicMonkey – Make the Most of Your Pictures

If you’re looking for a fun, easy way to edit your photos and give them some personality, you should check out PicMonkey. PicMonkey is a free*  web-based photo editing web site that’s simple to use and full of fun features. The site was launched earlier this year and has been adding features ever since. If you’re looking to edit photos for holiday cards, school projects, websites or Facebook, PicMonkey can be a very useful resource for you.


PicMonkey has so many tools to spruce up your photos, you’ll have tons of fun altering your images to get them just right.

Basic Edits

PicMonkey lets you perform basic edits, such as resizing, cropping, and rotating images. You can adjust the color, light and exposure as well. If you’re looking to make an image the perfect size for your Facebook Timeline photo, PicMonkey can make that task easy and quick.


PicMonkey makes it easy to add text to images with lots of font options as well as color choices. You can manipulate the text to make it darker or lighter and adjust the size and angle.


As of this writing, PicMonkey has 38 different effects you can add, from the plain and simple, Black & White, to the sophisticated, Warhol. Each effect has a slider so you can control the intensity of the effect.

Here is an example of before and after pictures with PicMonkey effects. These puppies are cute:

But who knew they had a sense of humor?


Overlays are like adding stickers to your photos. PicMonkey has choices such as geometric, stars, comic bubbles, arrows and symbols. Overlays can also be creative, such as beach, butterflies and stars. You can even add accessories, such as sunglasses, hats and moustaches.

Overlays become even more useful when you layer your own images. You can add picture upon picture to make a montage of your favorite images. On the chalkboard image above, I layered the PicMonkey logo over the chalkboard photo.


If there is any part of an overlay that you want to remove, you can edit it with the eraser tool. Click on the overlay and choose Eraser from the pop-up menu.


PicMonkey recently introduced collages so you can combine images and arrange them in different shapes and sizes. If you’re trying to arrange your best photos for a holiday card, let PicMonkey make it easy for you. The site offers card-sized collages so you can customize your photo arrangements to the size of your card.

I used a collage layout for the feature image in Which Tablet Is Right for You?

Touch Up

If you weren’t looking quite at your best when a picture was taken, PicMonkey can help fix any imperfections that the camera revealed. The Touch Up section can cover up blemishes, scars, wrinkles and shine from your visage. You can edit to add a spray tan, lip color, teeth whitening, lip color, blush, mascara and highlights. If you haven’t been successful on your diet yet, PicMonkey can help you shed pounds in a picture with its weight loss feature. You can also use the Nip Tuck edit if you haven’t had a chance to visit your plastic surgeon yet this week.

No need for a makeover or invasive cosmetic surgery to look stunning. Let PicMonkey be your personal stylist! Tech tip: Don’t go overboard with the editing or else the mirror might be a disappointment each day.

Seasonal Effects

PicMonkey is less than a year old, but has made the most of its rookie year by adding effects and fonts for holidays. PicMonkey added Halloween features such as Zombies, Vampires, Witches and Trick or Treat. These features are still available even though Halloween is long gone this year.

Recently PicMonkey added a Winterland section, filled with fun frames, effects and overlays. Here is an example of a snowman edited with Winterland effects:

Before –

After –


Once you’ve finished your edits, you can add a frame to your image. PicMonkey has ten different frames for you to use, from Museum Matte to Sketchedy.

If you want your image to seem to pop off the page, add the Drop Shadow frame, as I did in the chalkboard and snowman images above. You can change the color of the shadow frame from white to any other color. I used this effect on the header image of The Wonder of Tech, matching the teal color in the water image for a shadow frame. If you are using an image with a lot of white on a white background, drop shadow can give the image dimension.


PicMonkey has buttons to help you easily share your creations with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email.

Easy to Use Controls

PicMonkey is intuitive to use. You can upload a picture from your computer by choosing a file or dragging and dropping it onto the site. Then you can choose from dozens of features on the menu bar on the left of the screen. The features are divided by categories and you have control over each one with slider bars, color choices and other controls.

Right clicking on an image gives you additional options such as duplicating an overlay, bringing it forward or backward, and straightening it. You can also flip an overlay vertically or horizontally.

Free…For Now

PicMonkey is totally free*, but is giving signals that it may impose charges for premium features in the future. “Royal” features such as certain fonts and effects have a crown and you must click to enable them. The site has never charged anything to use these Royal features, but it doesn’t take much imagination to contemplate that someday you’ll have to pay money for your Royal status.

PicMonkey was developed by the same people who brought us Picnik, a photo editing website that was shut down by Google in April. If and when PicMonkey starts charging for Royal features, I hope it adds some premium features that were available with Picnik. For example, the ability to save images to the Picnik site would be very handy for when you wanted to re-edit your pictures from a different computer.

Bottom Line

Use PicMonkey for photo editing to spend more time on editing and less time on figuring out how to edit.

Do you like editing your photos? Have you been looking for an easy way to edit your photos? Have you ever used PicMonkey? Let us know in the Comments section below!

* Update: PicMonkey now charges $4.99/month for the use of Royale effects

*Snowman image by Melinda Shelton

*Cute Puppies image by Mike Hendren

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  1. says

    When I’m helping a client, they almost never have Photoshop – some have never used a photo editor. This one might be a useful way to get a quick crop! Thanks for the review.

    Ah, I had heard of Picnik. I’ve used Pixlr several times.
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    • says

      Hi Leora, Yes, the fact that PicMonkey is a website means that you can use it from any computer connected to the Internet. You don’t need to download any software which makes it very handy. It’s also completely free for now so there’s no investment in giving it a try.

      I had an article planned about Picnik when it was shut by Google. I used Picnik a lot so I tried all of the alternatives to find the one that was the best replacement. In my mind, PicMonkey fits the bill, probably because it’s from the same guys who brought us Picnik.

      I hope you enjoy using PicMonkey, Leora!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Which Tablet is Right for You?My Profile

  2. Sapna says

    Hi Carolyn

    That is really great information shared.I have used online photo editing websites many times before, everytime I finished editing, they will ask for the some dollars to download the edited image from the website.
    I saw the site, they have great textures as well for collage.I am going to use this now.

    Thanks for the post, have a great week.


    • says

      Hi Sapna, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Wow, that would be really frustrating that you took the time to edit your picture and then you couldn’t even use the finished result without paying.

      PicMonkey isn’t like that at all. Everything is free so far. You’re right they have textures and other effects I didn’t cover. There are so many ways to edit your photos with PicMonkey that you could spend all day trying the different features.

      Enjoy your editing, Sapna! :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Which Tablet is Right for You?My Profile

  3. Brian Meeks says

    This is great. Most of the time I use Photoshop CS 3 to do my editing, but if I’m visiting my parents I am out of luck. My parents are awesome and I like to visit them, so being able to still do some level of editing through this service is wonderful.

    I had to travel to Chicago a couple of times this year and both times I wished I could do some editing. I wish I knew about PicMonkey then, but better late than never. Plus, anything with Monkey in the name is awesome.

    • says

      Hi Brian, You’re right, with “monkey” in its name, PicMonkey had to be great.

      Yes, being able to edit images from any computer without a software download is very useful. You can upload images from wherever you are and have the same editing capabilities as if you were at your own computer. Plus the less we have to load software on our own computers, the better.

      Happy editing, Brian!
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  4. says

    Hi Carolyn,

    It looks like a good app to try out. It will also get people into editing, so many photographs can be made better with editing. Once people have used a relatively simple program, they are tempted by the more complex ones. I’ve just been taking photos of the full moon, they take some editing. The other day, I was stuck in traffic in the rain and still took a couple of shots!

    • says

      Hi Mike, I just saw your photos on Facebook, very cool.

      Every time I try to take a picture of the moon, it just looks like a white circle in a black background. Perhaps some day you could write a post offering us tips on taking photographs of the moon (from Earth ;-) )
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Which Tablet is Right for You?My Profile

  5. says

    Hi Carolyn,

    This has improved so much :) When it first goes public, I heard of it and used once too. May be I couldn’t find all these features or they weren’t there at that time, I wasn’t impressed much. But now I just went there and super cool yet simple.

    It’s sad that Picnik has retired and now using on Google+.

    Thank you for calling for action with PicMonkey :) I need to play more with it…

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    • says

      Hi Mayura, Yes, when PicMonkey debuted it didn’t have nearly the number of features that it does now. But, like a restaurant, app or blog, PicMonkey has developed over time and blossomed into a full-featured site. You should definitely give PicMonkey another try, Mayura. I am certain you will like what you see!
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  6. Aasma says

    That’s certainly an amazing tool, I’m sure people who don’t know how to use Photoshop would love to try it. I’m too not good on Photoshop so I would try it for my pics.

  7. says

    I have thought about testing PicMonkey for a long time, but I have still just been using my regular tools (on my Mac) for editing pictures. But, I don’t have tools to add that kind of effects and that comes handy especially during Christmas :)

    Great review Carolyn. I’m testing Acorn for my Mac at the moment, it’s close to how Photoshop works, but a lot cheaper :)
    Jens P. Berget recently published this awesome post..Want attention? Add zombies and make kids watch themMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Jens, Yes, there are so many features on PicMonkey that I find incredibly useful. The layering feature is especially helpful when I’m trying to explain a concept. And I use the arrow feature a lot, which isn’t unique to PicMonkey, but I like all of the choices of arrows they offer.

      I haven’t tried Acorn, but since PicMonkey is still free, I will be sticking with them. I’m glad you found a photo editing tool that works for you, Jens!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Which Tablet is Right for You?My Profile

  8. says

    I remember when Sonia had first introduced me to PicMonkey Carolyn and I played around a little in there but not that much. The photo I have on my Thanksgiving post I created in PicMonkey.

    Now I never thought about doing the overlays and stuff. That’s really fun and would make some cute photos for the holidays. Thanks for sharing this and letting me know that I can do so much more with that program. I just never tried.

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    • says

      Hi Adrienne, Yes, using PicMonkey for holiday photos is a great idea. The Winterland effects could be a lot of fun and they have some new fonts for the winter (who knew there were winter fonts?)

      I find PicMonkey very handy for images for the blog too. At least once a week I am creating images on PicMonkey for The Wonder of Tech. For my header image, I edited the image so much on PicMonkey that you would never recognize the original as being the source of my header image.
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  9. says

    Thank you for the great article! Our daughter is into photography and anytime we come across anything that can be of help to her when editing pictures we like to let her know. Sounds like a great place for novices as well!

  10. Smith says

    I am photo edit maniac. I have used many photos editing software’s like Photoshop, Picasa and many more. The problem with good software’s is they are too complicated and problem with simple software’s they have very less features to edit. My experience with PicMonkey is amazing. It has both the perks of having plenty of features to edit along with being simple. PicMonkey is, hands down, the best web-based image editing app I’ve come across. The best part is – it is very well built and presently free to use. J

    • says

      Hi Smith, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Wow, you really like photo editing. That’s great that you too are a fan of PicMonkey. It’s always helpful to hear from a fellow fan of tech that I review. You’re right, PicMonkey is full of features but easy to use. I don’t know how long it will be free, but I hope it’s for a while so that people can freely discover and explore this great site!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us at The Wonder of Tech, Smith!
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  11. says

    I am a mischievious by nature and so I am going to make some good use of PicMonkey and add weird moustaches, caps, and other funny features to the pictures of my friends and enjoy a lot. It would be easily shared to social networking sites directly aftre the editing is done. This means it is going to be fun.

  12. says

    I am glad I turned-up to your post. I was looking out for a good and simple photo editing site. I am tired of using Picasa for the effects and Photoshop and Pixlr is quite complicated. I am definitely going to try this one out. Thanks for sharing.

  13. says

    Carolyn – Nice tool am sure after reading your post. The effects that we can add to our pics are quite interesting, nowadays we see so many such tools that there is really a stiff competition to the age old photoshop I think.

    Fenix recently submitted an article to my site where he listed top 10 such tools, do take a look – http://www.techivy.com/top-10-websites-to-edit-digital-pictures-online/
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  14. says

    I’d never heard of PicMonkey before – and you’re right it could be a genuinely useful suggestion for clients who want to play around with digital photos.

    It’ll never take the place of a dedicated (and expensive slash resource hungry) image manipulation software such as Photoshop – but if money is an issue and someone is relatively tech savvy I’d recommend the fabulous and free Gimp as a very able PS substitute.