PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: How to create your own watermark for FREE!

photography watermark

Last week I promised I’d post a tutorial on how to make a custom watermark for your photos without the need of using expensive photo-editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom, and here it is! Β Before I had access to Photoshop, I used PicMonkey as my go-to source for all my basic photo-editing needs and to design my old FeetfromShore button and header. I didn’t want to pay someone to make that for me, so I used this online photo editor to make my blog more personal. It’s very intuitive and easy to use – you’ll be a pro in no time! Ok then, let’s get started.

follow arrowstep 1

Go to PicMonkey and select “Create a collage” from the main screen.

Watermark 1

The Collage editing screen opens up. Remove two cells to have just one single cell.Β Select the Background option on the bottom left side of the screen and check the “transparent background” option.

watermark 2

watermark 3

Save the transparent image as a .png file in a location that you can remember easily. Close out the collage page.

watermark 4

watermark 5

Now we are going back to PicMonkey’s main screen, click on the tab “Edit a photo” and upload the transparent image we just saved as a .png file. It will look like there is nothing in there or a plaid image, but don’t worry, that’s a sign you are doing great so far. The background should be transparent, remember? πŸ™‚

watermark 6

watermark 7


Now it’s time to test your creativity and design your watermark signature. In the left side of the screen you will find different tools that can be used to add your desired font, text, and other ornamental elements. Go ahead and explore for a while. I prefer to create simple watermarks as they look more professional to me, but in the example below I added two arrows in front of my name to show you some of the stuff you can create with this editor. You can also see that I made my signature black, but you can pick a different color if you want.

watermark 8


Next, use the crop tool to crop your watermark as closely to the text as possible. I recommend to make the text the size you want now so you won’t need to adjust the watermark when placing it on an image. Don’t lose too much time on this though, you’ll be able to re-size it later on. Once you finish, save the image as a .png file again and name it – in my case “Yael Serena Watermark”. Now you can say you have your watermark ready!

watermark 9

watermark 10

watermark 11

To add the watermark you just created to a photo you will have to go to PicMonkey’s main screen and select “Edit a photo”. Go to “Overlays” and select the button “Your Own” at the top of the screen. Open your saved watermark image and move it wherever you want (try to place it where you don’t distract the attention of the viewer). I recommend to fade your watermark to 50% as it looks more professional.

watermark 12

watermark 13

That’s it! See? No need to buy Adobe Photoshop to create awesome signatures! Now that you’re done creating a custom watermark you can add it to each of your photos in mere seconds. All for free!


watermark for free

Do you own Photoshop? Check out how to create a custom watermark signature in 5 stepsΒ here.


74 thoughts on “PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: How to create your own watermark for FREE!

  1. Great tutorial Yael! Pretty much exactly what I did!
    I have a question – what do you use to make your top picture with the words on it? The one you put on Pinterest. I’ve been wanting to make things like that but I’m not sure what to use or how to go about it.
    Also, how do you make the little blue picture for each step?

    • Hi Brittany! To create the pictures you mentioned I had to use Photoshop CS5. For the top picture, I downloaded fonts that I liked from, add the text and just applied a blue gradient at the background. For the ‘step button’, I used a Photoshop watercolor brush and just write a text on it. I’m not sure if you can create those exact images in PicMonkey, but I’ve seen a lot of professional designs that people have come up with using this free software. I think the key is to have some textures that you like and can place at the background of your pictures (you can purchase some at Etsy or get some for free at, and then add the text using a combination of different fonts. Another option that you might want to consider is to get Photoshop Elements – it’s not as expensive as the extended version and it allows to make some basic design (like the images I have created for this post). I believe Adobe offers a one-month trial version so go ahead and test it out! πŸ™‚

  2. Thank you for this. I’ve just had a go but I think I am too tired and it too late so I will try again! It almost worked but the font was too large…tomorrow is another day. πŸ™‚

  3. I hate how picmonkey makes you purchase all the cool designs. Only the boring stuff was for free… at least it was like that the last time I used pic monkey. Still a great tutorial.

    • Yeah that’s unfortunate, but there is still some free stuff worth to use. It’s a good alternative to apply basic editing techniques for people who don’t own a software like PS or LR.

    • I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it! There are so many things you can do if you take the time to explore the website for a while and look at some ideas/tutorials online. Unfortunately some of the coolest features are premium, but I believe the rate is very affordable (around $2-3 per month). Have fun Sarah! πŸ™‚

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  6. I have used pic monkey but as people are saying they do charge for the cool stuff. I use Ribbet. How could I do a watermark on it without having to remake it each time for each photo?

    • Sorry for the late response, for some reason WordPress didn’t notice me this comment. I have never used Ribbed, so I have no idea how to use it. If you actually create your watermark with PicMonkey and follow the steps of this tutorial, you won’t have to remake your watermark each time. You just need to save it as a .png file and upload it as a layer on your photo. πŸ™‚

  7. Hey, so I made the water mark in pic monkey. But it won’t let me add it to my images in photoshop. Should I edit in ps and then go to pic monkey and upload it there to add the watermark?? Or is there an easier step to that?

    • What I would recommend (and that’s what I actually do to place my signature in my pictures) is to design your watermark in PS and save it as a brush. This way, each time you edit a photo you just need to create a new layer, use the brush you defined and place your signature whatever you want. Plus, you can adjust the opacity and make it blend with the background. I created a tutorial on how to create a watermark brush in PS if you are interested. Let me know if you have any doubts please. Hope it helped.

  8. I literally searched for HOURS on the internet this evening searching for a free watermark creator/tutorial. I seriously can’t thank you enough! Worked like a charm!

  9. I followed the directions as stated above and my watermark still has a ‘ghost’ type of color to it. I just want it to be clear (background) ! What am I missing?

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  11. I appreciate this blog. A friend of mine who is a photographer was needing to get a watermark with the transparent background but neither one of us had Photoshop! This tutorial was perfect step-by-step. We were able to make one just right for his pictures with the transparent background. Just can’t thank you enough.

  12. Love PICMONKEY!!!! Going to try! ….so I have to do each one individually, correct? I do have Lightroom…. Are there any graphics to chose from (like the arrows in PMonkey)? Thanks for the tip!

    • Hi Kim! I haven’t used Picmonkey in a while now, but if they haven’t changed the features, I believe you have to watermark each photo individually. You can find cute brushes (with arrows and other cute shapes) for Lightroom in pages like Etsy, DeviantArt or Pinterest. These are mainly the sources I use when I need specific brushes or custom shapes for Photoshop. I hope it helped! πŸ™‚

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