Picnik Aftermath + Making Pinteresting Labels

By Kate Riley January 24, 2012

I’ve had two cups of coffee so brace yourselves, this is a long post about photo editing, Picnik, and making labels for Pinterest. My friends, Google dropped a bomb on us over the weekend.  Perhaps you’ve heard, but according to their blog, Picnik, one of the best and most user friendly sites for online photo editing is closing on April 19th.

Deep breath people, deep breath.

Truth is, I’m upset like so many and there are hundreds (maybe over a thousand now) of disappointed and angry comments.  Picnik is/was so great for an easy photo tweak, I loved the Collages and Effects, and I used it to quickly make labels for Pinterest with the Basic Shapes tool.  Some of the basic Picnik tools have been moved to a Creative Kit on Google+ but after visiting, it’s really not the same thing. It seems this is Google’s way of forcing people to join their social network by transferring this popular program over to lure people over to Google+.

Hopefully they’ll reconsider, but let’s assume what’s done is done. What are we to do? What about kids who can’t join or those who don’t want to bother with Google+? We Picnik lovers are now mourning and seeking alternatives. What are our choices?

bye bye picnik

I’ve been hunting around for one over the last few days. It basically comes down to a few other online sites, upping your game by purchasing and learning to use Photoshop Elements, or turning to close but free equivalents like GIMP, Splash Up, and Pixlr.  My brother is slowly teaching me the ins and outs of Elements – I’m just amazed at what it can do.  I’m getting more proficient, but there is definitely a learning curve.  Often my eyes glaze over when working with Elements, which is why I’m excited Layla is planning some tutorials in the near future.

For us Picnik fans, sadly, there’s no one program that does exactly everything I or we want to do as quickly and easily as Picnik.  iPiccy is the most Picnik-like it its layout and user friendliness and has some of the same fancy tools we’ve become accustomed to (Clone Tool, Sketch Tool, and also a Painter tool), but lacks the sophisticated Frames, Borders, Collages, Shows, or Stickers (Geometric, Speech Bubbles, etc.) we loved over at Picnik.  iPiccy likes feedback, so feel free to suggest any Picnik like tools to them.

Fotoflexer has a few Photoshop like tools that are available like the ability to use Layers and Scissors (similar to the Lasso tool), Paint Bucket, Pencil, and Eye Dropper.  There are several fun Effects similar to Picnik and it will Beautify (meaning fix wrinkles like Picnik’s Wrinkle Remover) but still not as great as Picnik.  (Thanks Jen for letting me know about this one).

Pixlr Express is another online editor which offers the ability to make some quick adjustments, and also has some fun Effects and Overlays. They have a Teeth Whitening tool like Picnik, but no other Touch Ups or Stickers and a limited amount of Frames.  Photoshop Express Editor is available as well, and while their basic edit functions are superior to most, they have none of the other fabulous Tools, Effects, etc. offered by Picnik.  I’ve always liked Picasa for a basic photo edit, but again, no fancy Tools or Effects.  And then I checked out Pixenate and LunaPic and gave up due to their ads and the fact they seemed to be not very user friendly.  For two other articles offering helpful tips in the wake of Picnik closing, read the SITS girls post on Photo Editing Sites like Picnik and Susan’s article on 9 Photo Editing Alternatives to Picnik.  Also check out Rhoda’s tutorial on using Photoscape!

I also played with three free Photoshop Elements-like programs, they are GIMP, SplashUp and Pixlr.  GIMP requires you download the software, but it also has Layers, and a good toolbox (Paintbrush, Healing, Bucket, etc).  The nice thing about GIMP is once you download it, you can work without an internet connection.  Splash Up’s layout is also similar to Photoshop Elements, it offers Layers and Tools like EyeDropper, Marker, Eraser, etc.  My favorite was Pixlr, simply because it looks and feels the most like Elements and is completely free so you can work on it anywhere you have internet access. My brother and I played around with it a lot over the weekend and he was pretty impressed.


Onto Pinterest labels.  I was asked by a few how I make them and as I said above, it was with Picnik.  I started making those rectangular labels for my project posts because it looks nice and makes your project easily pinnable for readers. I also appreciate a great label when I spy a cool DIY project and want to file it away on Pinterest myself.  Since Picnik is closing, I’ve turned to Pixlr to make them.  For those of you who are interested in making labels for your projects for Pinterest, here’s how you do it in Pixlr in five steps.

1. Open Pixlr and then open your image.

label open image


2.  Click on the Drawing Tool about halfway down the toolbar, then select the Rectangle Tool in the upper left corner.

choose rectangle tool


3.  Adjust the opacity (50% is nice), change your border to zero, and change your Fill color to white.

change opacity border fill color


4.  You’ll see a little cross symbol appear on your screen.  Click and drag your opaque rectangle where you want it on your image, like so.

click and drag rectangle


5.  To add text, select the Type Tool, then choose your font and color.  (Note: You can adjust the font size up to 130 but if your image is over 1000 px, simply resize it down with the Image Tool in the top navigation bar to get the maximum size text to fit across your label.)  Take the time to watermark your image too while you’re here.

text tool font color


6.  Now save your image to your computer, you’re done.

botanical fern art on wall label blue label


Use the same rectangle tool and play around with the opacity and colors to make even more labels like this one…

pinterest labels


So readers and fellow bloggers, tell me.  Are you as upset at the demise of Picnik?  Any great editing sites or software you recommend? And for those of you who know Photoshop well, what do you think of the similar (but free) tools over at Pixlr?  How do they compare to Photoshop Elements?  Would love to hear from you too.




  1. I thought it was a spam email at first that I received, I was thinking there is no way it’s real, and there is no way a company would give everyone refunds who purchased the premium options. So, I went over to Picnik.com to confirm to myself that it was a spam email. And then the message came up on Picnik.com and my jaw dropped. So upsetting. They had a good thing going there, so they should have left it stay, without making us sign up for Google+ to use the creative tool which is not the same, at all. Rawr!

  2. I never had the chance to use picnik…good gracious I’m always late to the party. I have been looking for an easy way to make “pinnable” photos and am still getting my feet wet in the blogoverse. This post was very helpful thanks you so much for sharing!

  3. I was SO sad when I got the email! I love using actions in Photoshop, but I have no idea what I’m doing on my own with it. Pixlr is much more Photoshopish and much less user friendly in my limited experience.

  4. I am SO bummed and confused about this! I grumbled to my own Googler about this for half an hour the day it was announced! It DOES NOT make sense! But I also think Picasa can do most of what I did with Picnik. Not the web version but the software version.

  5. I’m so glad you wrote this! I was seriously hoping you would come up with something for all the loyal picnik users.

    I have a question, though. I use picnik to make party printables. Do you have any suggestions for a comparable site? I have Elements, but I love the ease of picnik.

    Thank you!

  6. Thank you ao much for this article about the alternatives to Picnik. I really hope the number of disappointed customers out there will change their minds, but….we must be prepared lol!

    Thank you also for the label tutorial! I’ve pinned tons of my hand made cards but don’t have nay labels or a watermark. I have to figure out how to do that as well. So much to learn!


  7. I am devastated! I just recently started using Picnik and fell IN LOVE immediately. I own Photoshop and absolutely hate it, to the point it has brought me to tears of frustration. The thought of losing this awesome site and having to use the program I paid for but loathe is cruel and unusual punishment!!!!

  8. I’ve had photoshop elements for a while now, but never learned to use it, so I’m excited to hear that Layla will be doing a series. I’ve only recently started blogging, but I used publisher for years as a church admin assistant, so I’ve been using it to watermark my photos. It’s really easy to me, though I’m sure it’s limited compared to photoshop. I just insert a picture in a publisher document, add a text box where I want it in the color I want, link the two together, then right click and save as a picture (jpg).

  9. I store all my photos on Flickr, and use the html of them for my posts. Picnik is their editing tool. :( However, on the Flickr blog, there was lots of talk about Flickr rolling out something simliar to Picnik in the near future, for their customers to not panic! So I’m going to try and sit tight for the next couple of months. Even though my posts would be lost without Picnik.

    I have to believe the editing portion is too big a draw for the big photo storing sites for them to sit idly by and let google rule the world.

  10. I’m fairly new to the blogging community, and Picnik was my go-to editor. I’m so bummed. Like you, I agree that there is a learning curve (HUGE) for some of the other editing sites out there. I know we’ll get tons of tutorials from those that are already proficient though.
    Thanks a bunch for the label tutorial….very helpful!

  11. I am very upset about Picnik closing – I used that one all the time! I tried to use the “creative suite” on G+, but it lacks some of the basic features that Picnik has, and most importantly, I haven’t been able to save any edited photos to my desktop for use on my website.

    I have used Pixlr, and am starting to try to figure it out more, but I need to learn more. I might spring for Elements and learn that as well, if I can’t figure out all the things that I want to do in Pixlr.

  12. Glad I could pass on FotoFlexer to you. :)

    I was so mad that my head was spinning. All I could think was “sure as soon as I started to use something I really love, they are taking it away from me.” And I wasn’t the only one to feel that way. I spent a little while reading on their forums over at Picnik and people were MAD, super mad. It seems lots of photographers also use this site as well. I would be willing to buy the software for a higher price, heck I would even pay a higher price by the year. It was a great product for all of us to use in blog land and now we have to find something else.

    Thank you sooooo much for putting together such a great post & tutorial. Can’t wait to see more turtorials also. :)

  13. I’m terribly upset (prob. more so than I should be but whatever) Thank you so much for this info, you’ve saved me hours of research.

    Wow that sounds like a spammer! I’m not, I promise. But really, thank you!

  14. This is so sad. I just started taking a bit of a ‘course’ for photography, and was hoping to master picnik for my blog. I guess the only advantage for me is that I will really never know what I missed! Story of my life! lol.

    I really appreciate your in depth article and will certainly be referring back to it again. I love your blog and all the wonderful ideas and projects you have shared.

    …thought… could a person sign up for a Google+ account, use the picnik and save the pics to use elsewhere? Or am I really confused?


  15. Oh, I am SO VERY UPSET!! I’ve been using Picnik for about 4 years and absolutely love it. I hope they change their mind, but am not holding my breath. Great post about alternatives! Hopefully, some of these other sites you’ve mentioned will adopt some of picniks feathers.


  16. Honestly, I just don’t know what I am going to use. I am at a loss. Hoping that someone sees the potential to start a new site with similar tools. I just hate that this has happened.

    Thanks for exploring some of the options.

    Amy R.

  17. I am so glad I’m not the only one that is pissed! I had to read the email twice just to make sure I wasn’t missing some tiny little sentence where they were like…just kidding. Thank you for this post. I’ve been panicking as to what I will do now.

  18. I’m a terrible commenter, but had to comment on this one! I am still in mourning after learning about this last week. I do not understand why they would even think it was a good idea to end Picnik when it is extremely obvious that it was a WONDERFUL program. I loved that I could do photo editing, but also do a lot of design with the program and all for free or a small fee. I’ll have to get over my sadness and try out Pixlr. Thanks for the great tutorial! Maybe one of these days I’ll break down and actually buy Photoshop…

  19. Hey Gal, I wanted to tell you and your followers perhaps try Picasa the new 3.9 software they just launched as it has many of the great Picnic features right on there and it’s still as easy to use. I’ve used it for several days now and it’s great. I’m really getting into it. Carol

  20. Very sad about Picnik! I had just been starting to use it – and it was SUPER easy to figure out – and decided to get the premium! Well, I’ve been trying to find other sites – I’ve been working on Picasa, but it doesn’t connect with ALL my photobucket photos so I can create htmls. I’ve tried many of the programs you suggested…I’ve settled {for now} with Picasa, but it’s just not as fun or easy. Anyway…thanks for the help in Pixlr. MAYBE I’ll try this one, too!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made fun

  21. Don’t even get me started on Google!

    This post is perfect timing for me because I’ve been lax on labeling my photos. I know I need to, just never got around to learning..

    I’ll send this link over to my VA so she can start labeling.

    dee :)

  22. I was very disappointed in that email too —- and every other one they have sent this week to continually reminds me that they are shutting down.
    Fortunately my hubby & boys’ gave me Photoshop Elements 10 for Christmas & I am now forced to learn it! I found a great tutorial series on You Tube by the Digital Goulash.
    Thanks for other tips – they are great to know for when I get overwhelmed with PE10!

  23. I am so sad! I got the email from picnik yesterday. I have Elements, but I actually preferred using picnik sometimes because it was sooooo easy. I have a couple wonderful shots of my daughter that I edited in picnik. Now I’ll have to figure out how to add a bunch of actions to Elements.

    Thanks for all the reviews of the other options!

    • Hi Laura, if you can offer any tips on making Actions for Elements, I’m sure we’d all love a step by step, keep us amateurs in mind!

  24. ditto to all that you’ve said…I’ve spent two hours trying to make a collage for a header somewhere else. this is just a mess…nothing works like Picnik. my only complaint was too few fonts, until I landed on these other sites. Shoot, Picnik looks like a dream in comparison. only problem is that this has turned into a nightmare. thanks for the tip on Pixlr. I’m off to check it out!

  25. I’ve been a Photoshop girl for about 13 years now (my background is graphic design). I feel so bad for all my bloggy friends out there who use Picnik. I was thinking about doing a tutorial or series to teach some basic steps, but it can be so hard to grasp the program without the actual one-on-one or classroom setting. While Photoshop is WONDERFUL, I really hope you girls find something quick and easy to learn (and inexpensive). Let me know if you need any help with Element too! I’m always glad to lend a helping hand :)

  26. Thanks so much Erin, Elements is tricky for those of us just learning, I can’t wait to master it more, we welcome any helpful tutorials!

  27. Very bummed about Picnik as well! I started using it after your tutorials, and use it multiple times a day for photo watermarking, etc. Courtney Lake mentioned pixlr today on Twitter, so I was pleased to see you share a new tutorial today. This just might be what I move on to when Picnik is gone. I really feel like the “big G” is bullying us all into joining the social network site. Once you get there, you have to jump through multiple hoops to use their “new” Picnik. I like the fact that pixlr is online and I don’t have to download any more software to my computer!

  28. I have been using picnik as well and I’m sad that I’ll have to figure something else out now. I’ve been wanting to try photoshop elements and now this may push me to do so. I have joined google+, but it’s a little puzzling to me so far.

    What are you doing about the loss of Google friend connect for non-blogger sites? Are you eventually going to join google+ or promote Bloglovin more?

  29. I’m so angry too. Just last month I started really using Picnik and loved it…and just paid for the entire year. Thank God they are refunding.

    I also use the Picasa software and their most recent update has a lot more of the elements that were in Picnik. It’s also free.

    I would love to learn Photoshop and will definitely try out Pixlr.

    Thanks for this post!

  30. so bummed about picnik and i could so very easily be one of those mean, nasty comments…but i am just hoping to find something out there that i can do my collages in! i do all of my editing in photoshop, but haven’t quite mastered the layering for the collage – in picnik it was so easy!

    this was a very helpful post!

  31. Ive never used anything but Photoshop so I can’t really compare nor will I miss it. Maybe I was missing out on an easier option but its too late for me now :)

    That said, I don’t add labels for pinterest either. I’m not sure I get the point. Although this is coming from someone who doesn’t like watermarks so Im kind of a photo purist.

  32. I echo what’s been said about Picasa. I’ve found it’ll do most everything I need it to. I also use a great free program called Serif Draw Plus for Graphics. You can add pictures in that program and compose, but you can’t do the editing part with that. For the editing, I generally use Picasa (you can add text there) or another freebie called PhotoFiltre.

  33. Great info. I quit using Picnik when I was given Photoshop Elements as a gift. I took me about a year to really get the hand of Elements… but I do love it! Thanks for the great post!

  34. I’ve never used Picnik before, but I can understand everyone’s frustration. If one day GIMP suddenly disappeared, I’d freak the heck out.

    Yes, I use GIMP. It’s the only thing I’ve ever used, and I really like it. It does take some getting use to though and the learning curve can be pretty steep. However, if you google whatever you are looking to do, there are always tons of tutorials to answer all your questions.

    I haven’t tried any of the other programs but I will say I really like GIMP and I can pretty much do whatever I want to on my photos.

  35. I was so bummed\sad\mad to hear that Picnik was closing shop. I used their website everyday for all sorts of EASY photo editing. I agree wholeheartedly about Google+ just wanting to expand their social network. It does sound like the folks from Picnik are working with Google+ so maybe by the time they close down their website the Creative Kit will be much better. Because right now it’s pretty lame.

  36. I’ve never actually used Picnik before. I’ve tried GIMP and Pixlr but didn’t like the first as well. Pixlr is super easy to use and I love that they have several options for photo editing. In addition to Express, you can use the full version (still completely web based) and retrieve an image from almost anywhere on your computer or web.

    There’s also a neat Grabber app that allows you to simply retrieve an image (or even just part of an image!) directly from the web page you’re on and begin editing it in Pixlr.

    Lastly, there’s a pixlr o matic tool where you can quickly apply different filters to create dreamy, vintagey, etc. effects instantly.

    I’ve been using this for a couple years now and honestly? I like it better than Photoshop. For the level I’m at, this is all I need and I can access it from anywhere in the world, any computer, 24/7. The only thing I don’t like is….if I accidentally close the tab/browser, I lose everything so I’m just really careful of that now.

  37. Thanks for this tutorial…I installed Photoshop Elements just before Christmas..OH MY !! couldn’t do a thing with it sooooo I bought “Photoshop Elements 7, The Missing Manual” by Barbara Bruntage..huge help, as the cover says.’the book that should have been in the box’. Now when I am stuck there is a friend right by my side who speaks my language.

  38. Totally bummed! I had literally just renewed (auto-renewal)!!! I am still new to this whole blogging thing, and Picnik made photo editing so easy. Not sure I can handle Photoshop! I know my youngest likes to use Picasa, and I know my Shutterly account will let me do basic editing. But, it’s just not the same!!

  39. I am devistated over this. DEVISTATED!!! I used it almost everyday for my blog :( Thank you for taking the time to check out some other alternatives for us. I’m going to go back to crying and rocking myself in a corner.

  40. I wonder how much Google paid Picnik to close? Like everyone else I am SUPER bummed. I feel like my blog can never be the same. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  41. I had just started using Picnik and loved how easy it was. Was getting ready to upgrade to Premium. It is (was) so easy to learn/use. Really appreciate you pointing us to alternatives. Had a brief, bad, scarring experience with Photoshop a few years back. OK, maybe not quite that dramatic. But been there, done that, and don’t want to go back. I don’t need that much sophistication. Have been in denial since getting the email–now I have some things to try. Thank you!

  42. I had just started using Picnik and loved how easy it was. Was getting ready to upgrade to Premium. It is (was) so easy to learn/use. Really appreciate you pointing us to alternatives. Had a brief, bad, scarring experience with Photoshop a few years back. OK, maybe not quite that dramatic. But been there, done that, and don’t want to go back. I don’t need that much sophistication. Have been in denial since getting the email–now I have some things to try. Thank you!

  43. Slightly off topic – does anyone have any good Printer recommendations? Mine is dying a slow death and no longer prints color, so I figure I should do right by my labels and get a decent one. Thanks in advance!

  44. I can’t believe that there closing shop, I had just started using it for a week after seeing how much you loved it and now this.

    Oh well, thanks so much for another tut!


  45. I am SO upset about Picnik! I use Picasa for my photos and it let’s you use Picnik to edit photos. It’s so fun and I use it all the time. It saves right back to your photo album. I use Picnik for work and play. Thanks for the other options.

  46. Hi there,
    Have you tried looking at Inkscape? I’m not sure if has all the features you need but might be worth a try. I don’t think it has all the photoediting capability but combined with GIMP it may do the trick.

  47. I mostly use Picasa (the software, not the web version) for photo editing. I’ve noticed upgrades to it recently with more editing options in addition to being able to edit in picnik. It made me wonder if they were going to split or kill picnik. So so sad that they actually are. I loved picnik. Boo to Google. Bad decision.

  48. Sigh. I’ve definitely been disappointed about the close of Picnik. I use it all the time. Like many, I’ve got to spend a little time looking into my other options- thanks for this post though, it definitely cuts out some of the leg work!

  49. Thank you for doing research. I was disappointed when I received my email from Picnik. I’ll give the ones you mentioned a look.

  50. What about Picasa (free downloaded program from Google)? I LOVE that program! picasa.google.com

    • Hi Angie, I love Picasa too and mentioned that as a helpful basic editor, I do really like how the new Picasa 3.9 has a few of the Picnik tools there now… wish they’d move them ALL over to Picasa, then we’d be happy!!!

  51. Simply put… I am devastated. I do absolutely ALL my blog work in Piknik. I have been a premium member for 2 years. I have designed and updated my header and all my buttons using Piknik. I create collages for every one of myproject reveals in Piknik. It has been the CENTER of my ability to blog. I bought PhotoShop…yes and paid big bucks, over a year ago and still cannot figure out how to use it. It is a full time job just figuring it out and I just don’t have the time quite frankly. This whole thing is just horrible for me. My only hope is that they keep it.

  52. I was very disappointed when I read that Picnik was closing. I use it all the time. I had thought I would give Picasa a try, but I see you don’t even list it so it makes me wonder if it doesn’t do as much as I thought it did. Sigh!

  53. I’m not as upset as others because I only recently started using Picnik. I’ve been a Paint Shop Pro user for many many years. In the beginning, this was a very simple graphics program that could do 80 percent of what Photoshop could do, for about a tenth of the price. As it’s grown, of course, it’s gotten more complicated. I use an older version because I simply didn’t want the learning curve associated with later versions. I did like the features of Picnik, and certainly it was the easiest to use of all the online editors I tried.

  54. I’m disappointed….I finally just learned how to use it! Thanks for the tip on pixl. I was wondering last week, when I saw your bathroom post on Pinterest, how you got that rectangle with your description in it :)

  55. Thank you so much for this, I have been in deep mourning since I heard that Google (Boo! Hiss!) is closing down my beloved Picnik. Mine is but one of the angry comments left at the Picnik blog and I also sent a nasty message to Google, for all the good it will do :O( So thank you for this, I have used the online version of Adobe Photoshop and found it very user unfriendly but will now have to persevere I guess. I’ll check out the other sites you mentioned as well although I know none will be as good as our beloved Picnik. So sad, so very, very sad.

  56. Thank you so much, I’ve been looking around and I like your suggestion about iPiccy… it seems to be easy and a lot like picnik. I’m totally bummed that they are closing…I’ve joined Google+ but honestly…. I don’t get it…..
    I hope Picnik changes their mind but maybe iPiccy will fit the bill! Thanks for doing the research!

  57. Wow! I’ve not used Picnik enough to be but so sad about losing it, but using your tutorial, I went over to Pixlr and made my first (and second and third) attempt at making Pinterest labels! Your directions were easy to follow and very clear…thanks!

  58. Wow! I’ve not used Picnik enough to be but so sad about losing it, but using your tutorial, I went over to Pixlr and made my first (and second and third) attempt at making Pinterest labels! Your directions were easy to follow and very clear…thanks!
    Laura (I’ve just started using Picasa with good luck so far)

  59. Try google Photoscape. Free. Easy. I tried piknik once and hated it. Love Photoscape.

  60. Thank you SO MUCH for these tips!! My feelings mirrored yours almost exactly. Why force us to g+ especially when they don’t even have the picnik features rolled out?!
    I love pixlr too but picnik was so user friendly with the drag and drop features.
    Thanks for pointing out the rectangle option in pixlr!! I didn’t know how to do that!! That will definitely ease my picnik pain. :)

  61. oh, yes – I was upset! I had premium, and my reaction was – “I don’t want my money back, I just want what I paid for to be there!” Thanks so much for the suggestions on alternatives, it will definitely save me some trouble seeking out replacements!

  62. I have a college degree in Graphic Design and am fluent with Photoshop CS and Elements, yet even with my mad skills, I choose to use PhotoScape almost exclusively. It is a free download and I have been using it for years now. Other than complicated layering, I can edit, brighten, sharpen, adjust, contrast, crop, add opaque text, etc… with PhotoScape. I love it!! (I have no personal interest in the software) It just works grat and is super user friendly and fast.
    :) Abbie
    AM Photography

  63. I too was very upset and disappointed with the closing of Picnik. I used primarily picnik for all my photo editing on my blog and with my students. I upgraded my Picasa and yes they have the same effects similar to Picnik. Have you seen befunky? http://www.befunky.com/

    Ease of use and VERY SIMILAR to picnik. Great effects and REALLY easy to use. I don’t know…they might be my new favorite! Try it out.

  64. that’s the least of the issue about Google… Google announced today it will institute a new privacy policy… linking ALL your data, stops, sites, across the entire internet. It is a grotesque invasion of privacy: search keywords Google, new privacy policy. Privacy? you have none. Google’s founders’ slogan was ‘do no evil.’ The loss of a pix fixer is the least of users’ worries.

    Re your blog post, there are plenty of pixfixers out there, most not mentioned here. Use keywords windows/ or mac, then ‘photo manipulation’ and do not overlook shareware, beta, and startups. I use photoshop, elements and 4 others. They are all good for what they are good for.
    Good luck.

  65. I was so upset to get their e-mail. It’s so frustrating, but I guess the once constant in life is change – you either learn to deal with it or lose out. I’ll deal :-).

  66. I’d just mention to, as a graphics designer/ artist, that photoshop, photoshop elements, paint programs etc, it is true, as I see many comments here about steep learning curve and bloated software in its intricacies and many offerings.

    Just this: consider approaching it as you would a smorgaasbord table (I know, I know, but I try to restrain myself before all that whipped cream and beautiful garnishes)… look it all over as you wish, or just look at the meat and potatoes part. Load your plate with only what you really want. With photoshop, there really only less than half a dozen moves a person would like, and uses them over and over,

    eat only what you want, dont overstuff

    same with graphics software: learn only the 6 or 4 or 3 you need, leave the rest. Maybe someday… but not now.

    To further target ‘how to’ re photoshop/elements/ paint progs, use search keywords: easy, (then title of your program)(then word(s) for what you wish to accomplish.

    You will find it on youtube by various creatures and ewoks there, you will find it on cpu mag websites. All of it free and with pix to show you exactly what to do.

    Good luck

  67. I know!!

    I was sooooo disappointed. I’m so glad you wrote a post about it…I was hoping you would!
    Ahhhh and just when I felt like I found my true love….

  68. Hey Kate.

    That news ruined my whole night last weekend. What’s a broke blogger to do?

    Figure it out herself!

    Here’s how I’ve circumvented the whole sticker issue. It’s super easy and there’s 1,000 of options for stickers. Far more than picnik offered.

    How to put stickers in photos *without* picnik.

    In the meantime, I hope some strapping young internet genius is writing up code now for the next “picnik”.

    Say it ain’t so…

  69. Glad to see that I am not the only one to be sort of in shock after the news this weekend! And happy to see that there are some alternatives out there! I just looked at a few of the alternatives that are mentioned, not all of them are suitable for Mac. But it may be that http://www.befunky.com/ is my new favorite.

  70. I am another VERY UPSET Picnik fan/user and really appreciate your work in pulling together info on other options. I’ll be trying the different sites to see which is a good fit for my needs.

  71. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe they’re shuttingnthis down -what meanies! I’ve got Photoshop CS5 ext but can I use it? pah, sooooo difficult. I get very frustrated and most tutorials expect you to have some knowledge. Gutted :(

  72. I only signed up for picnik just before they closed it down – never having time to use it. I am very intrigued by PhotoScape & would love your expert opinion on its capabilities. It looks very user friendly.
    As a service to your followers (wink), I would love your opinion. Here’s a tutorial I watched:
    http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/help.php Looking forward to hearing what you think of it!


  73. I almost cried when I got the notice! Ironically, I had JUST upgraded to the premium about two weeks prior (not worried as they said they are refunding everyone!). It is such an easy peasy way to do quick and fun editing. I too wish they would reconsider, but I am sure that probably won’t happen. I will have to check out some of the sights you recommended…in the meantime, I will enjoy the next few months of Picnik!

    Thanks for sharing the above options!

  74. I’m very upset that Picnik is closing. I love it! I do not have any plans of joining Google+ either. I’m upset about the closure but I have to say, I think they are handling it beautifully! Full refunds for premium users and free premium features from now until they close is a nice bonus.

  75. I too found out over the weekend about the demise of Picnik. I was devastated -to put it mildly. I loved Picnik. We were very close. *sniff* The fact that they are closing explains why I could not find an app for my pad. I have done some work with Picasa but always chose to edit in Picnik. (Loved that they offered that…of course, it only fed my addiction.) Thanks for your info. It’s a great, no, a HUGE help to have your advice to narrow down my options. With running a blog, raising four kids, homeschooling and teaching piano on the side, let’s just say I was thrilled to see this post. Ha! Will definitely be looking into these programs. Thanks again.

  76. I think Google+ is a networking site? Something smells fishy about doing edits on such a site. I hope some of the other existing sites will fill the void. Now is their time to shine!

    Here is what I’ve picked up from other blogs as to possible replacements: FotoFlexer, Phixr, befunky, iPiccy, Pixir, Photoscape, Aviary, and of course Photoshop :)

    Hope that helps! XOLaura

  77. O my goodness I am upset about this as well! I HATE that Google is taking down such an amazing tool just so they can try and get more people on stupid Google+… it MIGHT have been ok, but like you said their version doesn’t even come close to what Picnik was. Anyways, thanks so much for sharing some other websites – Lucky for me I’ve been fairly acquainted Photoshop Elements for a while – which I’ve begun to revert back to – I just found Picnik to be SO much faster and easier – not to mention more fun. O well I suppose – C’est la vie.

  78. Hi Kate…thank you for this post. It was time-consuming and generous. I bought Photoshop Elements after Christmas from Amazon.com because I had a gift card. It downloaded perfectly. My problem with Photoshop Elements is that I don’t use it enough to get proficient. It’s the type of program you have to use almost daily to get the hang of. (Sort of like my camera…ugh.) I have to admit I have not edited one photo there yet. :o( I use Picasa and then pop over to Picnik if I need to. Now my next step is to take your advice and download Pixlr. I am among the legions of bloggers who hope Picnik changes its mind and stays open. If not…life goes on. Thanks again for a great post.

  79. Hi Kate,
    As a tech challenged (older) blogger I was so happy when my adult son introduced me to Picnik…I thought I’d arrived, at last, at the place where I could make my photos so much better and size them easily. So I was crushed. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time and with such help. You’re the best. I work full time and blogging is one of my hobbies so I don’t have a ton of time but you’ve helped me realize I need to play around with some of these sites. I’m starting with pixlr since that sounds most helpful to someone still learning. :-)
    Thank you!

  80. I’ve used Pixlr most and their tutorials were a great help in figuring out what all of that ‘stuff’ was for the novice user that I started out as. I found Picnik to do a lot of the same things as Pixlr but was very limited if you did not want to upgrade to the paid for service.

  81. I don’t know if this has been mentioned already, but I use Corel Paintshop Pro for all of my photo editing and typographic needs, and have for years. I love it. It has all of the functionality most people need in a Photoshop-like program, but it’s usually available for around $50 on sale.

  82. So upsetting. Thanks for all the alternatives, Kate. I just got PS elements for Christmas. You aren’t kidding- major learning curve.

  83. I too was absolutely gobsmacked with picniks announcement…..WHY?
    I really do not understand. Is Google trying to take over the whole of the internet? I have had a look at Google + and you’re right, it’s just not the same as picnik and one of the reasons I actually paid for picnik was to use the excellent collage facility. As of yet it’s not included in + and I wonder will it be? If they produce the same sort of service picnik did I’d be quite happy to put up with this but I fear they will not. It’s the same with blogger, obviously now unless you use Google Chrome you don’t get the full ‘package’ as lots of blogs turn to a white page if you try to leave a comment but with chrome it works perfectly. Now I must admit I do like the new reply part in the comments section but at what cost, not everyone wants to use chrome and it’s unfair that they seemingly have to. I see a total Googality future!!

    I do have photoshop elements and what I actually have learnt has been good and the more I use it the better it gets and it is an excellent thing but boy it’s not that user friendly, certainly not the one click or drag like picnik. I even have the so called easy guide books to photoshop…..hahaha, say no more! I’m currently trying to master the collage in elements but it’s not easy. So please Layla if you are going to do tutorials PLEASE do it in dummies language (not saying you’re dummies out there, but I am!!)

    Just a quick note on Picasa, I have tried it and quite like some of it’s features but the one thing that really really annoyed me was deleting pictures and the fact that it takes them off the whole of the computer whereas other programs (that I’m aware of) only delete from the program you are using and not taking over everything. I learnt the hard way with this and lost some pictures. Maybe I was doing something wrong but I won’t use it again.

    I’m going to check out some of the others listed now to see how good they are.

  84. I’ve never used Picnik, but I LOVE Photoshop, and can’t wait to help folks learn how to use it!
    (Thank you for the sweet shout out, friend!)


  85. I haven’t used Picnik so I can’t weigh in on that but I do use Photoshop Elements and find it pretty much does everything I require for post-editing (and plenty that I don’t know how to use yet). I found a great book that explains Photoshop Elements very clearly and with lots of pictures. It is the Photoshop Element book for digital photographers by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski. (I have no association with them – just like their book).

    I just created a Pinterest label (like your post describes) in PSE and found it super easy to figure out.

  86. I never used Picnik, but with the outrage over its demise I should have! I actually use Aviary sometimes. But since I’m a grad student, I may pony up and buy Adobe Creative Suite at the student rate. I mean ultimately, Photoshop and Illustrator are the best. :)

  87. Great post. Thanks for sharing this. I am new at this and I’ve always thought which tools you use to make some images so pretty. Now I know, and maybe I can start doing some pretty ones too. :)
    Thanks. Lu

  88. Someone suggested befunky.com and I checked it out along with the others you recommend and I think it’s the closest to picnik. If you don’t know what the tools are to do the effects, this is the way to go!

  89. Hello Kate ~ I’ve been following your blog for months now, and am so in love! Thank you for all the wonderful reads!
    I go the email too from Google about Picnik… My poor Love had to deal with all my complaining. But I came across Photoscape a few months back because I was looking for an editor that would do certain things that I couldn’t do with Picnik. I am using it now for my blog and am happy to say, that it is very useful. I wasn’t much into photoshop before, but I’m trying to learn more now. Photoscape is actually a free download so you don’t have to have internet access, and there are still so many tools that I haven’t been able to use. Here is the link so anyone can take a look : http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php


  90. I can’t believe it either! No picnik?!!!! I refuse to be enticed over to Google’s thang they’ve got goin’ on either! I have always loved photoshop elements but I have a very old version so I had been using picnik to do some different fun stuff that my old program couldn’t do. Guess now I’m just going to fork out some cashola for the newest elements version.

  91. Does anyone know of a site that allows you to make collages similar to the ones you could make in picnik? I too am so sad about Picnik leaving! You can’t even use the collage function on the site anymore! I had planned on making a collage for each month of my baby’s first year, now I can’t! :(

    • Hi April, you can do it by hand by cropping and resizing in Picasa with the collage function, just place all your images in a file and open that file in Picasa, click on collage and sort them in the order you like. That’s how I do it!

  92. I am a photographer & DIY hobbyist and absolutely love photoshop & LR3. There is no comparison, free or otherwise. Do yourself a favor and take the time to learn it proficiently. You will be glad you did.

  93. Yes. I was very upset to hear that Picnik is shutting down. I’ve been trying to find something similar since Elements requires a chunk of money and is a bit more complicated than I have time for. I’m going to try Pixlr like you suggested.

  94. Thanks for this tutorial! Got my first label ready for Thursday’s post! So kind to share…and I look forward to learning more about other photo editing options as mentioned above. Thanks again!

  95. After I got off OXYGEN and heart machine from nearly DYING when I heard PICNIK was leaving, I finally landed at
    which I am thinking might be as close to Picnik as I can find.
    I need to work with it awhile but sure am hoping it is a good one.

  96. Oh my just so blustering mad! I need a few more weeks to be able to entertain any other options, and I am a full photoshop suite user.

    Damn that google!

  97. I, too, was upset when I heard the news about Picnik.
    I have been using Pixlr as well and I really like it. I am a professional photographer, however, and I do use PSE for my editing. It does take some time to learn but it’s worth it.
    You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Elements is not that expensive. I use the version 7 and it still pretty good. You can get some good deals on Amazon.

    But, yeah, I am totally going to miss my Picnik :(

  98. I’m totally bummed that picnik is closing. I just recently upgraded to a premium membership. Honestly I use it every single day! I create blog buttons, stickers, etc… using it. What will I do now?

  99. You are not the only one upset!! Do you know if they will be closing Picasa, too? I hope not. It is really unfair for Google to take this away without food reason. I will not be going to Google+–I think if that is the reason they may be sorely disappointed. I bought Photoshop and Lightroom so I guess I need to learn how to use them!!

  100. I was a newbie to Picknik right at the time Google announced it’s plans.
    IMHO I think it’s a way for them to try an prop up the (IMHO unappealing) Google+ environment, by taking great service sites like Picnik out of the main stream and trapping it in G+.
    I guess they hope the fans of the site will move on over to G+ as a result.
    Won’t work with me. Sorry to see it go.

  101. I only discovered picnik recently – thanks to your blog actually – and I was so delighted to have found it. I cant believe Google would do this- all to promote their Google+
    What a bummer.

  102. I’ve been using GIMP for years because I love the layer feature and love that it’s a freebie. My husband is a photographer and has Photoshop Elements and Adobe Lightroom for the big jobs.

  103. Thank you so very much for the tip Kate! I used Picasa to put together my baby’s 3 month collage. You saved me! :)

  104. Thanks for the Pixlr tutorial. I am also very upset that Picnik is closing. I joined Google+ to try their “creative kit” and it was awful. Even if they came out with the full picnik capability, I wouldn’t use it. I immediately removed my account. I don’t want the hassle of doing it on Google+.

    I’ve tried ipiccy a few times, but am so sad the curve tool isn’t there. I use that a lot to lighten up pics just a bit.

  105. I’m very disappointed in picnik and Google, BUT I’m also SO glad that over the last year I’ve learned to you PS and PSE more!!

    http://everydayelementsonline.com/ is the be all end all site to help you learn how to use PSE (and most of it applies to PS as well) Amanda has amazing free tutorials, as well as very reasonable online workshops and actions! SHE is the sole reason I’ve learn to embrace PS and not be intimidated by it!!

    The only thing I had been going to Picnik for any more was for the collages, and Amanda is working on making some with an easy action to use!! YAY!!

    PLEASE check out her site!!

  106. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Learning about Picnik’s impending doom was a bummer, especially since I was relying on it to edit my Etsy photos after my computer with Photoshop died. Just checked out Pixlr, and so far so good! It is very similar to Photoshop, so I already like it better than Picnik. Your blog is always full of great information, so again, thank you!!!

  107. I used Picnik almost daily. As an amiture photographer, it was the most program I used to enhance, airbrush and color correct my photos. I have bought into the program for two years now. It offered so much as is so user friendly. I hate to think of my life without picnik!

  108. Thank you so much for going over the options. I have every intention of purchasing either Photoshop Elements or Lightroom some time in the next year. First I have to decide which one will work best for me, and at the moment PSE is in the lead. In the meantime, I really need something that is user friendly. I am overwhelmed with how much I have to learn about taking good photos to start with, much less editing them. I was going to try GIMP, but now I want to check out Pixlr. I am also adding Layla’s blog to my follow list for the tutorials. I have looked at her blog many times before, I’ve really no idea why I wasn’t already following.

  109. Snagit Editor allows you to do some photoshop type editing to screenshots. You can resize images to specific pixel widths, and I believe it also allows you to add text, arrows, etc to your drawings which makes them pinterest worthy. Older versions are free (and not as comprehensive), there is a free trial, and the newest software is only $50 if you can’t live without it. It would be worth a look if you need a quick photo editor. It’s basically a screenshot software that allows you to save the things you “snag” as a Jpeg and other file extensions after editing.

  110. Looks like Pixlr.com comes closest to picnik and they are asking former picnik users what functions we want! YAY Pixlr.com. I plan to tell EVERYONE I know about it, FB, blogs photo forums everywhere so they get a foothold. I hope everyone will do the same and make Pixlr.com the latest and greatest (even GREATER) that Picnik. I also hope that google+ goes down in flames and slinks away never to be seen or heard of again. Big corporate greedy monster, buys up the best stuff available and then cripples it but talks out of the otherside of their mouth to convice you it’s better than before, LIES!

  111. Progress can be SOOO anoying. I spent nearly a year stressing about whether I would use Piknic enough to warrant the Premium package. Finally, I pull the trigger and BLAM like a shot to the head, two months later they are announcing they are closing it. GOLLY GEESH people, can you have a little sympathy for the technically challenged. Does this qualify under the Disablilites Act?

    Now what? I’ve tried GIMP ~ to convoluted, Photo Shop OMG, PLEASE! I feel so betrayed by Google! I have been a loyal Googler from the beginning and now they treat me like a piece of consumer, catch-up-with-the-Joneses-social media meat. What gives ~ does loyalty mean nothing anymore?

    On a lighter note; I would like to thank Centsational Girl for this post. You just might have saved me from the BEST BUY Hell that is software sales. BE Blessed.

  112. I just have to voice my opinion. I went over to Google+………I don’t like it, I don’t like it, I don’t like it. Okay I feel better! It is ridiculous! I am boycotting Google+ because of how they took away Picnik. (Sorry that is just how I am.) Now with that being said… I just know someone is going to step up to the plate and make a Picnik. Just think how popular they will become! iPiccy, pixlr and Fotoflexer like FEEDBACK…!! So please let them know how you are starving for more Picnik Like Effects. Okay I feel better… Oh… one more thing…I started using BING as my search engine…just sayin’ …!!

  113. Oh…one more thing!!! Thank you for doing this post!!! I really like iPiccy…and if you read their faq page(facts) They are going to be just like Picnik…and have added so much since you did this post!! Happy as a clam…Nancy G

  114. I’m so new to blogging and Pinterest so I found your article exceptionally helpful! I realize Pinterest is a great tool to bring readers to your blog and have been wanting to find a way to make my photos more appealing. Thank you so much Centsational Girl! You have a great site with a focus on many of the things that interest me!

  115. Hi Kate,

    My name is Jenn, I’m part of a team of former-Picnikers. We see that you’ve been an avid user of Picnik and love to hear about your passion for great photos! We know you’re probably looking for an alternative to your old favorite so I wanted to let you know about http://www.PicMonkey.com — a new photo editing site built by a couple of the folks who brought you Picnik! It’ll be familiar, fun, and totally user-friendly.

    Sign up on our site and we’ll keep you updated on a launch date. Also, feel free to send me your feedback, feature requests, and, of course, any questions you have!

  116. A million thank you’s for this article!!! I needed an easy clone tool (my clients love it when they have no double chins in their pictures) and I hadn’t found one til I read this and looked up “iPiccy” I can now panic a little less about giving up Picnik.

  117. Hi Kate,

    Ribbet! have just announced that they’re opening a photo editor that’s almost identical to Picnik (built on the same platform and with all the same features).

  118. Hi Everyone! I’ve just read some of the comments left here regarding the “demise” of Picnik and the replacements that can be used in place of “Picnik.” I read where someone said they used “GIMP” and I’ve got to tell you ~ long before I found out that it was a “free” software program ~ dummy me ~ actually paid for the program [downloadable version @ $49.99] and then later had to buy the CD version for an additional $19.99 [where all the tutorials are]. Yep, had a major learning curve & without the CD, would have probably never had figured it out! I’ve since bought PSE9 last June 2011 and self-taught myself the program. I’m still on a learning curve with the program, but for what I’ve used it with my editing on my photos, I’m quite happy. I also have “the photoshop elements 9 book for digital photographers” by “Scott Kelby & Matt Kloskowski” and I’ve found it quite easy to understand & use. Since I bought my PSE9 program, I promptly deleted the entire “GIMP” program off my computer & never looked back! :) I’ll also check out the other sites for some other editing tools to use. Took a quick look at iPiccy.com just to see some of it’s features [comparable to Picnik]. Haven’t had a chance to do anything with it yet. But soon! Will check out the “PicMonkey” site too. Never heard of “Ribbet.” Thanks for the other interesting info y’all.

  119. Thanks for the great article! I’ve been looking for how to do all the same Pinteresting Labels, but photoshop for me was a difficult program. But with Pixlr I caught instantly! You are a miracle!

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