As designers and artists, we are all looking for ways to present our photos in style. Photo collages are a great way to show off and share a selection of images, so it's no surprise to find that collage makers are hugely popular creative tools right now.
Many popular mobile and web applications are now including built-in collage maker tools to simplify the process, and there are several dedicated collage makers out there in app and browser format. The quality of these varies wildly, so we've tried some out to see if they're up to scratch. Scroll down for our pick of the best free online collage makers, or jump to page 2 for the best collage maker apps.
Of course, it's perfectly possible to use general design software, such as Adobe's Creative Cloud suite as a collage maker tool. However, unless you already know what you're doing, you're going to need to set aside some time and probably hunt out some Photoshop tutorials in order to be successful. What's more, as technological innovations mean many smartphones can now take great quality photos, opting for a collage maker app means you can create eye-catching collages directly from your camera phone.
Free online collage makers
01. Photo Joiner
- Price: Free
Photo Joiner offers a range of different collage maker options. The one we're most interested in here is Collage; a classic collage maker tool. The process is easy to follow: upload images, choose a template, drag your images into the slots (you can zoom in and out, mirror or rotate to suit the layout), then save and share. You can narrow templates by number of photos included, and set custom image sizes and borders.
If that's not what you're after, take a look at one of the other Photo Joiner tools. Stitch is a simpler tool designed for joining together photos vertically or horizontally, using one of Photo Joiner's preset layouts. Meme lets you add text and decorations to images. FB Cover offers a range of templates to fit Facebook's cover image dimensions, to take the effort out of creating an impressive cover collage.
- Price: Free (Basic); from $2.49/mo (Premium)
Free online collage maker Ribbet has a smart interface, which is a delight to use. There are plenty of handy features to help you create a custom collage: pick a template, upload images, adjust sizing, round corners, edit lighting, exposure and so on. If you change your mind, you can easily adjust your template by adding extra rows or columns. The basic version is free, but to access the majority of the more complex templates you'll need to upgrade to the Premium version.
03. Adobe Spark
- Price: Free
Spark is a free photo collage maker from Adobe. Its simple interface means it doesn't require the same learning curve demanded by most Adobe applications: simply name your project and use the various design options available to arrange your photos into an eye-catching collage. You need a Creative Cloud account for full CC benefits (sign up here), but it is perfectly useable without.
- Price: Free (paid plans available)
Canva offers one of the best free online collage makers around. This is an all-round design package you can use in the browser or as an app for iOS and Android. The basic package is completely free, but there are paid plans available if you want something more advanced.
Amongst Canva's tools is a big selection of collage templates, which look great and are easy to use. You can also spice up your collages with Canva's enormous selection of effects, filters, fonts, shapes and more.
- Price: Free (Basic); from $4.99/mo (Plus)
BeFunky is one of the best free online collage makers around. It offers tons of templates, a simple interface and seamless integration with the BeFunky Photo Editor. The free version works well, but if you're after more photo effects, higher-resolution downloads and the ability to use your collages commercially, you'll need the BeFunky Plus account. As well as an online tool, BeFunky is available as an app for iOS or Android.
- Price: Free (Basic); $5.99/mo (Pro)
Ad-funded online collage maker piZap has the option of a Flash interface or a new HTML interface. The latter is currently in beta, and to be honest there are more intuitive free collage maker tools on this list. However, there are plenty of templates, stock images and fonts to choose from, and you can add text and stickers to liven things up. A nice feature is the inclusion of Facebook banner templates, to help you upgrade your social media branding with ease.
The Pro version offers ad-free designing, a much bigger selection of fonts, stock images and templates, the ability to download your collage in super high resolution, and more. You can suss it out via the free trial before you commit. There are app versions for iOS and Android, so you can piZap on the move too.
- Price: Free
PhotoCollage has a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin name, and the web-based collage maker is no less straightforward. It works on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS platforms including touchscreens, and you can choose from collage templates or use your skills to create freeform collages.
You work with low-resolution images, then once you're happy with the arrangement you can choose to 'order' a high-resolution version of your design. One frustrating feature is that the editing tools aren't sticky, so you'll probably need to scroll up and down to find the ones you want. The interface also isn't as nicely designed as other tools on this list.
- Price: Free (Basic); from $3.33/mo (Pro)
Fotor is a professional-level online collage maker. You can import a load of images, which are displayed on the right-hand bar, then choose when and where to place them in your collage. This simple feature makes it easy to put together attractive collages. The only glitch we ran into is that large images failed to load, with no error message to indicate the problem.
You can only get part of the way with the free version – you can design collages, but they'll feature the Fotor watermark, which isn't ideal. For advanced features, an ad-free interface, watermark-free collages and cloud-based storage, you'll need to shell out for the Pro version.
- Developer: Photovisi
- Price: Free (Basic); $4.99/mo (Premium)
Photovisi is a stand-alone collage maker with no fripperies and no photo editing tools to distract and confuse. You simply select a collage design, add your photos and drag them around till you're satisfied, then download it. What could be easier? If you want to download a watermark-free collage, you'll need to pay up on the Premium plan. Some of the templates are a little on the cheesy side, and overall this collage maker tool is looking a little dated.
10. Google Photos
- Price: Free
Google Photos, once known as Picasa, is an image organiser and photo editor – but did you know it comes with a built-in collage maker? You can experiment with six different collage types in the hands-on collage creation screen, and they will be saved in your 'Collages' folder. It's pretty basic, but as you'd expect from Google, the interface is nice and clear and what it does do, it does well.
- Price: Free (Basic); lifetime Premium memberships
The web-based Kizoa Collage Maker is one of the most difficult collage maker tools to navigate, but it does offer dozens of ready-made templates (both static and animated) for all kinds of occasions. You can customise the templates or create your own from scratch, then add photos, GIFs, videos and even stickers to your designs, and finish the whole thing off with some text.
Kinoa membership also includes access to a movie maker and photo editor, so you can accomplish any number of creative tasks from inside the browser.
- Price: Free (Basic); $6.99/mo (Plus)
Pearlmountain's FotoJet is a free online collage maker that enables you to create collages, photo cards, posters, Facebook covers, Twitter headers, YouTube banners, fun photos and more. There are hundreds of templates for you to work with, including some of the most creative designs we've seen so far – such as this one, where you can add images into coconuts. The paid Plus option offers a much wider range of resources to work with.
- Price: From $7.99/£9 per month (free trial available)
Part of the PicMonkey suite – a web app that also offers image editing, touch-up and design tools – PicMonkey collage is a fast and powerful way to organise your images into attractive shapes. Import images from your computer or connect to online services such as Facebook, OneDrive, Dropbox and Flickr. You can fine-tune your collage by adjusting the zoom and placement of your images, and add filters. 'Supremium' users also have access to advanced touch-up tools.
Once a free online collage maker, you now need to subscribe to PicMonkey to download your design. There are three different plans available, depending on your needs. However, you can design your collage for free, and there is a week-long free trial available, which is worth exploring before you shell out.
Next page: The best collage maker apps