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PicMonkey Tutorial


November 16, 2012 by Katie


Anyone else?!? This was a LOOOOOONG week for me, most of it just stress I put on myself, but nevertheless I am so excited that it’s over. I’ve still got a ton of work to do this weekend, but I’m less anxious. And I have 2 classes between me and my freakishly early flight on Wednesday morning! Well, it was going to be freakishly early but my mom would have still been in bed when my plane landed in KC…

Anyhoo, I did have one highlight in the middle of my week: A blogger meet-up at Bountiful Eatery! I went here once before with Chelsey and Tina, and then another time with Lindsay!

The owner offered to host a blogger meet-up, giving us a discount, so of course I said yes! I was so excited when 10 girls RSVP’d yes to the event, it was so nice to see everyone! Haha I was a bit out of it mentally (thinking about my presentation and how I was going to fit in everything yesterday morning) but they cheered me right up!

photo 1 (2)

For dinner I ordered their bison pita, which came with two sides. I chose the quinoa side salad and then a greens side salad with Chipotle lime dressing.

photo 2 (2)

I still can’t get over how amazing this pita bread is. Seriously. Try it if you live in Chicago. The burger was a little well-done for my taste (and a little big for the bun!) but then again I didn’t specify when I ordered, I’ll have to remember that next time.

The owner also brought out a few desserts on the house, which was so nice of him! Tofutti Raspberry Bars and Loaded Brownies. While I was snapping my picture I managed to catch Kelsey, the ninja photographer, in the act! I call her this now (as of right now) because whenever I go on her blog I find new candids that I never knew she took… you’re welcome Kelsey, I know you wanted a nickname.

photo 3 (1)

I was editing my photos for the meet-up and realized this was a great opportunity to talk about what I do to some of my pictures. I actually rarely edit, although I really should, because I’m kind of lazy. But it really does help. What do I use?

PicMonkey. I love picmonkey. If you’ve seen my weekly workout posts, that’s how I make them, with PicMonkey!

workouts 11-5


I wanted to do this because I think some people are intimidated by the site. I remember Annette saying she just didn’t get it! I’m sure many people feel the same, or don’t have the free time like I do to mess around with it…

So, you saw the first picture in my post right? Well I edited that with PicMonkey as a demonstration. Here’s the before:




So how do I do it?

Well first, there are several sections in PicMonkey, along the left side. Each icon you click on gives you different ways to edit your image:


Well just go to PicMonkey and upload a picture from your computer. Then the first thing I always try is the Auto Adjust. Just click it.

picmonkey auto and exposure

Sometimes it’s perfect and I’m done! Sometimes it’s too bright and white. Like with this picture. So then I clicked exposure and adjusted it so it wasn’t as bright.

Then, I clicked on the beaker icon, which is effects, and I choose boost. You might click this and go: WOAH! Too much! You can then adjust the amount of the affect on the left:

picmonkey boost

These affects can be pretty artsy, it’s fun to play around with them.

Then I felt like the image was a bit blurry, so I went back to basic edits and chose sharpen, which I also hand-adjusted.

picmonkey sharpen

Finally, I didn’t like how bright the lights were at the top, they were distracting once I’d boosted the image. So I cropped them out, also under basic edits:

picmonkey crop

And there you go! Here’s my food before and after as well:

PicMonkey Collage

To add the text and the arrow on the picture of Ninja Photo Hands, I clicked the overlay icon and chose arrows, and then the text icon and chose my text. So simple!

Just play around with it and once you get the hang of it you can make tons of fun images, even just for no reason. Like this picture I sent to my friend last night confirming that we were going to make glitter tumbler glasses over the holiday:



Do you use picmonkey, or another photo editor?


Any other tips or Q&As that you want to know? Ask away!


  1. Abby Ecker says:

    I’ve used PicMonkey before, but also love Pixlr! It’s free and super easy to use. I love the borders and effects it offers!

  2. That looks like a fun meet up! How awesome that the owner gave you a discount. :D

    I like to use Pic Monkey to make collages, but I actually didn’t know you could use it to edit photos. Thanks for the tips girl!

  3. thanks! i am def intimidated by picmonkey, but now i’ll give it a try!!

  4. Thanks for the info on picmonkey! I am going to check that out this weekend…I am such a computer dummy…I make all my stuff in powerpoint and then do a screen shot of it and then crop out stuff I dont want and save that as a picture…the quality is HORRIBLE when I do it but I was too lazy to figure out a better way.

  5. love the picmonkey tutorial – that’s definitely a goal of mine to do more editing in the future. i’m super jealous that you all got to meet up! i’ve been missing chicago like crazy lately so it’s a good thing i’m heading there tonight and then next week for thanksgiving!

  6. I love using picmonkey. It’s such a great tool and I love being able to play around with my pictures. It looks like you all had a great time at the meet-up!

  7. I like PicMonkey too! I used to use Picnik, so I was sad when it went away, but PicMonkey is great too!

  8. Emily says:

    I must say that I look MUCH better in the after pic. Because it is all about me. :)

  9. I love pic monkey! I actually just visited the website earlier this week and haven’t had a chance to use it for blog purposes yet, but I am so excited about the possibilities it offers! Photography is definitely an area I feel like I can improve, so any kind of editing tools (esp. free ones..) I am obsessed with! :)

  10. I just started using PicMonkey, but more for adding text. I haven’t explored the photo effects options, I must do that. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  11. Lia says:

    That’s cool, I’d never heard of picmonkey. I particularly like the adding text feature, as that was always something I saw on other’s blogs and had no idea how to go about it except in paint hahaha! The meetup sounds fun! I still need to check out that restaurant, when it is so close to me I have no excuse.

  12. I sometimes use picmonkey but generally I use picassa which is kind of like a free version of photoshop (or so I’ve heard?). I like that I can download it to my computer so when I transfer my pictures from my camera to my computer I don’t need to be online to edit them (and I don’t have to upload one by one)!

    • Katie says:

      I’ve tried using picassa but it doesn’t work well for me, I think there’s something wrong with it on my computer, it won’t save anything I do! I should probably take it off and re-download…

  13. thanks so much for those tips, I have bookmarked pic monkey but have yet to use it. I am so glad you get some kind of break at home even with an early flight!

  14. Kierston says:

    Looks like a super fun meet up!

    Love picmonkey! So easy to use!

  15. I agree with you about the pitas! SO YUMMY!

    I use Polyvore to create my outfit collages and such and Pixlr to edit photos and make photo collages out of picture I took. I’ve never used Picmonkey. Do you think you could do a tutorial on how you make your weekly workout boards or is that just as easy to figure out?

  16. kelsey says:


    seriously thought, that CRACKED me up.

    Loop looks looks SUPER fab in that picture. I want to be her.

  17. Since Picnik shut down, I loooove PicMonkey now – especially for creating funny pics – the overlays and themes are such fun!

  18. Love pic monkey! I don’t use it for my food images and need to spend more time playing with it for workouts! You’re great at it! Great post!

  19. I love PicMonkey and use it all the time! It’s so fun… I can waste so much time on it if I’m not careful! Great tutorial!

  20. Thanks for the tutorial! So helpful!

  21. Um, your bison pita looks AMAZING, I kind of drooled a bit on my computer.

  22. Next time you post a photo of me, I would like for you to use the teeth whitening effect. I thought we discussed this ? More touch ups please.

  23. PicMonkey question: What do you do to get the plain white background on PicMonkey that you put your weekly workouts on? Any help is much appreciated :)

  24. Those pics look great Katie! I’ll have to work on my photography skills and then start using something like that. I JUST started up a blog, so it’s still a baby. Hopefully it grows into something as good as what you’ve got going on here :) I would love your opinion on it if you want to check it out!

  25. […] glad you all enjoyed my picmonkey tutorial on Friday, I kind of threw that together at the last minute but now I’m glad I did! I also got […]

  26. […] Friday I have you all an introduction to how to use Picmonkey, but many of you asked more questions about it, specifically how I make my weekly workout pages. […]

  27. […] by Peace Love and Oats, all of my pictures today were edited using PicMonkey. Just for fun, I added some text as well. […]

  28. Hello!! What a great tutorial!! I just started using PicMonkey and I am in LOVE!! So simple and easy (although it took me awhile to get in the GROOVE! thanks for a FAB post on how to utilize it in day-to-day posts!

  29. hillary says:

    how do you make the blank background for workouts?

    • Katie says:

      It’s all on the other tutorial – Weekly Workouts Demystified! But I use paint and just save a blank white image.

  30. […] PicMonkey – PicMonkey is the best [free] photo editing site on the computer!  This is what I use to do all my graphics and add my to my pictures.  I first learned about it from Katie as she wrote an awesome beginner’s tutorial for PicMonkey. […]

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