Customising free stock photos so that they look unique to your site is a great idea if you want to avoid cheesy blog images. A really simple way to do this is to add text overlay to images.

This is also really important for Pinterest marketing – the Pinterest algorithm can ‘read’ text overlays on images, so it’s a great place to add keywords to help you show up in the smart feed.

This tutorial shows you how to add text overlay to images using my all time favourite design software,

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With Picmonkey, it’s free to use, save and download your graphics for 7 days, after which you’ll need to sign up for a Premium account in order to continue being able to save and download your work. It’s one of the only paid subscriptions I have for my blog and I personally think it’s so worth it.

I’ve used Picmonkey for nearly 4 years for all my blog design needs – creating blog images, designing my homepage, editing my headshots, creating social media images etc. But if you’re on the fence, the 7 day free trial gives you an opportunity to find out if you love it too, so you have nothing to lose!

So go ahead and sign up for a 7 day free trial and let’s get going…


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How to add text overlay to images

Sometimes it’s easier to just watch a video, right? So here you go…

(For those of you who prefer to read, full screenshot instructions are below!)

1. Head to and open the image you want to edit

Hover over the ‘Edit’ option in the top menu and you will see the option to open an image from a range of sources. 

Click the source you want to use (probably your computer), choose the image in question and it will open in the Picmonkey Editor, like so:

2. Add a shape to the image

Head to the ‘Overlays’ menu (the butterfly icon on the left hand menu).

You can choose whatever shape you’d like your text overlay to be. I’ve gone for a rectangle. Simply click on your chosen shape and it will appear in the centre of the image. 

3. Resize the overlay and amend the colour

Drag the shape out to the size that you desire. 

You can change the colour of the shape in the ‘Overlay’ menu, which is hovering on the right of the screen. 

Color 1 = the colour of the border around the shape. If you don’t want a border, choose ‘transparent’

Color 2 = the main colour of the shape. I usually go with white as it’s easier to read text on it. 

4. Amend the opacity of the shape (i.e. make it a bit see-through!)

I personally like my text overlays to be somewhat transparent, so I can see the image through it.

You can do this by playing with the ‘Fade’ option on the ‘Overlays’ menu. The below image has been faded by 11%.

5. Optional: Add a Border

It can be quite a nice touch to add a border to your text overlay.

Simply add another matching shape. Drag it out to be slightly smaller than the main overlay and amend the colours.

This time you want Color 1 to the main colour and Color 2 to be transparent.

6. Finally, add text

Head to the text menu on the left (‘Tt’).

The text menu has a couple of options – the ‘Ours’ option brings up all the fonts available on Picmonkey. Whilst the ‘Yours’ option shows the fonts you have downloaded on your computer (including any fonts you may have purchased).

Choose a font and then click ‘Add text’ at the top of the menu.

This brings up a text box – just start typing. 

You can change the colour, size and weight of the text in the ‘Text’ menu on the right. 

Your finished product could look something like this:


Now you know how to add text overlay to images. Easy, right?!

This is just one in a series of tutorials on how to make the most of stock images – check out the others in my blog post on how to customise free stock photos using Picmonkey.

Happy creating!

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