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4 Ways You’re Messing Up Your Collage — And How To Fix It

By Karmen Fox | Inspiration

Posting pictures of the same event can get, well, a little boring. That's where making collages comes to save the day. Whether it's adventures from your spring break or products from your new Etsy shop, here are some tips to try (and mistakes to avoid) when making a collage.

Problem 1: Too Many Similar Pictures

Spring is here at last (well, let's just pretend it is for this entry). You celebrate by taking dozens of pictures of the explosion of blossoms. What better way to share them on social media than with curated collage? That is, unless, all the pictures look exactly the same. Whomp whomp.

DC Cherry Blossoms

The key to a great collage is using contrasting images to make your eyes move throughout the image. Even if you’re using pictures of the same subject, each should look different enough, so that they’re not repetitive. Like this.


Cherry blossoms - DC

Take pictures of the item from different angles and perspectives. Zoom in, zoom out, take one from the side, underneath and directly head on. Then, put them all together for a striking collage.

Pro Tip: If you have two pictures that are similar, place them diagonally from each other to keep the collage balanced. Also, try with different templates to see which one would fit your collage and tell your story.

Problem 2: Too Many Similar Colors


Like the first problem, too many similar colors will make all the pictures blend into each other. Take this Facebook cover image for your brand new café. Sadly, it looks somewhat bland, since the cookies are too similar in color to the coffee to the left of it.



Arrange images of contrasting colors next to each other to make your focus shift from object to object. I swapped the cookies out (even though they look delicious) for an image of a cheery yellow mug with a bright blue sky.

Pro Tip: You can use similar colors in the same collage — just make sure that they’re not next to each other when there are several other colors present.

Problem 3: Too much negative space


No, negative space isn’t what you’re feeling on jam-packed elevator. It’s the empty space surrounding your subject. While the right amount of space conveys a certain message or emotion, too much can overwhelm the focus of the image. This is especially true in Etsy collages, where pictures can be shrunk down significantly. Which is a shame, because that handmade earthenware is adorable.



Crop the excess space with the photo editor, play around with the image size until it gives enough detail to the image. In this case, since there were two small images of pottery with a lot of negative space right next to each other, I chose to crop one of them to make it more noticeable.

Pro Tip: If some of your products don’t have color, add some! No one’s going to complain about looking at an image of tasty food when you’re selling pottery. #omnom

Problem 4: Adding Too Many Other Components

Look, we know seeing all the Goodies and other BeFunky photo-editing components makes you feel like a kid in a candy store. (Or is that just us?) But too much of a good thing really can be too much. In fact, when you add a texture on top of text with a textured boarder and doodle cherry on top, it can ruin the collage.



Take it down a notch. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three components, including the collage. So, pick your effects wisely. You don't want your pictures of the City of Lights to be overshadowed by component overkill.


Pro Tip: Similar effects for different images in the same collage. Don't pair a Watercolor image next to a Cartoonizer next to an Inkify. Oouf, what an eyesore.

And remember...

Didn't use that photo of you and your crew making a human pyramid for your beach collage? You can save it to the BeFunky Gallery and edit it later.

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