Creating Custom Backgrounds in PicCollage

By Ann Kozma

Back in May, I guest moderated #PicCollage Chat. One of my questions was about creating custom backgrounds in PicCollage. Some folks responded saying they had not thought of creating custom backgrounds in PicCollage and from then on I knew this would be one of my blog topics! It’s finally time to share with you some ideas regarding how to create your own custom backgrounds in this amazing creation app.

I started making my own custom backgrounds for PicCollage projects by accident! I was playing in the app one day and started layering a few pictures of just backgrounds. As I kept playing, I realized that I could design any background that I wanted.  I often use the patterned backgrounds in PicCollage Kids and decided that if I layered a few pictures of different backgrounds, the custom background stood out a bit more. Notice the graphic for Question 5 from the #PicCollageChat. To create that, I used a solid yellow background, layered a picture of the black and white background, layered a solid purple background, then added a picture of the black and white polkadot background. I finished it off with a picture of the solid white background on the very top layer. So, all that really is is 5 pictures layered on top of each other, rotated slightly and finished off with some text boxes and another picture on top! I promise, it was quick and easy to make.

May 2017 #PicCollageChat Q5
Pro-tip: Add PNG to your Web Search for images with transparent background

One of my other favorite tricks to do when making a PicCollage project is to use the Web Search tool. When I search for pictures, I often add “PNG” to the search. PNG describes a way that an image file is formatted, but to me it just means an image with a transparent background. These types of images are game changers when it comes to creating in PicCollage! If you have never used the Web Search tool before, remember this is an option that you can toggle ON/OFF in the app settings. Adding pictures to your background design is just one more way to make them stand out. You can even use the Clip/Scissors tool to crop pictures and augment how they are used in your project.

How to Enable the Web Search Tool

One thing that was helpful for me was to create a photo album of just backgrounds. I did this by rotating through one background after another and saving them to my camera roll. In about 5 minutes I had a bunch of pictures of different backgrounds that I could easily choose to layer as I created new backgrounds. You might notice a few real photographs in this screenshot of my Backgrounds Album. Consider using your own photographs as backgrounds or let students take and use their own pictures too. Artwork, math work, writing projects and more… just imagine the possibilities for your PicCollage projects when students use their own photos as the background image!  Any combination of photos, stickers, text boxes and backgrounds will get you on your way. Be creative!  Think outside the box! There is no limit to what you can create in your own custom background in PicCollage. Have fun!

Create an Backgrounds Album in your Camera Roll and you will always have a photo collection of background pictures that are ready to layer in custom designs.


Ann Kozma is an Innovation and Instructional Support TOSA in Fullerton, CA. She is passionate about education technology and enjoys helping others learn how to integrate tech to transform teaching and learning. Ann is an Apple Distinguished Educator, PicCollage Ambassador, SeeSaw Ambassador, Flipgrid Ambassador and Leading Edge Certified as a Professional Learning Leader. She is a #CUERockstar Lead Learner and believes that we are all #bettertogether. She has 14+ years teaching experience and has spent the past 8 years teaching in and supporting a 1:1 iPad initiative. Ann occasionally blogs at and shares #FSDtechtips on Instagram. Connect with her on Twitter, Insta, or catch her #SnapchatEDU stories at @annkozma723. She loves to share ideas and best practices with educators around the world.

5 thoughts

  1. How come you do not put the backgrounds where they are.
    Love Pic Collage. I can not afford the backgrounds. I make collage all the times. I so love making them for others. I don’t have the money to buy a gift so I will make them for a gift. I love my background Thank you

    P/s I tell people about y’all all the time.

  2. I want to know why the backgrounds are not free?
    I make collage for everyone. When I do not have money. I will make them for gifts. I am very poor but I try.

    1. Hi there, we do offer a number of free backgrounds in PicCollage, but one option to find additional backgrounds is to use our “Set as Background” tool. You can search online for a pattern or image that you like. Add it to your collage and double tap and choose “Set as Background.” This should give you lots of interesting background options!

  3. Hello…… question.
    I can manage piccollage pretty well. However, I ran into a problem for the first time. I chose my background color, added the picture(s) and then was ready to type a message after choosing the font and color. Problem was a “ box” appeared in which the text message went into. How can I get rid of that box? Secondly, if that’s not possible, how do I change the color of the box?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.