How to Create a Text Grid Photo Collage for Instagram

You’ve probably seen them all over Instagram during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grid photo collages with multiple different people holding up signs to write a message. But you were never invited to be part of one. Or you simply liked the idea and wanted to create on all by yourself. Well you’re in luck because I’ve created this easy-to-understand guide on how to create a  text grid photo collage. Be prepared to dedicate a whole day to this. It may take awhile, but the result is so worth it!

This video below gives basic instructions on how to create your collage with photos and videos for visual support. If you’d like more in-depth instructions, read below.

Here is an in-depth guide with added details, tips, and guidance.

Step 1.

Decide what your phrase is going to be divide it into individual words/squares.

It’s okay to have more than one word in a box if it makes the most sense that way. For example, I did my grid as a thank you to workers during COVID-19 and one of my boxes was “USPS/FedEx/UPS” because it made the most sense to group them together. You can also extend your phrase over multiple boxes or rows. You don’t have to have a complete thought in every row.

how to divide words into grid

Step 2.

Use Microsoft Word or Google Docs to type the word(s) for each square on separate pages.

Use landscape orientation and increase the top margin to help center the text (drag the top margin bar down so the text sits lower on the page). Select a bold or thick font so it can be easily read. I recommend using a font size between 180-210 depending on the font. I used Microsoft Word with the font Imprint MT Shadow ranging between 150-210 font size, depending on the phrase.

You will likely have to do some minor formatting such as condensing font and changing font size to fit the page. For some pages I had to condense the character spacing in the font to make it fit on one line.

Step 3.

Once your phrase is made, print the pages.

You should have 16 pages. If you’re doing a 3×3 grid you will only have 9 pages. The grid works best in a square, so stick to either 3×3 or 4×4.

Step 4.

Lay out each paper in the order it will appear on the grid. Divide your phrase into four different colors.

Use sticky notes or flags to divide your phrase. I didn’t have any colored sticky flags so I cut colored post-it notes into 4 strips and placed them on the papers. I tried to randomize mine as much as possible. Next choose your different looks associated with each color.

grid collage papers laid out

Step 5.

Do makeup and hair for your first look. Change into your first outfit. Take pictures of the four papers for the first color.

I wanted to vary my looks, so I started with just basic hair and makeup for the first look. For each look I added a bit of makeup and changed my hairstyle. For the most variety in your photos, try to slightly switch your hair or your pose in each photo. Add props that relate to each paper to add even more diversity.

Step 6-8.

Repeat step 5 for the other three looks/colors (12 photos).

Add or change your makeup and hairstyle for each new look. For the second look I added eye shadow and put my hair in a mini ponytail. For the third look I added contour and lipstick and a braid + a few curls to my hair. And for my fourth look I added darker eyeliner, changed my lipstick color, and fully curled my hair.

different makeup and hair looks

Step 9.

Edit each of the photos.

I started with my own Lightroom presets and then used Snapseed to edit individually. My style is very light and bright so I increase the brightness and reduce shadows. And then I selectively increase brightness in darker areas using Snapseed.

Make sure the editing style and colors of all the photos are similar so you don’t have a collage of different colors (unless that’s what you want). Uniformity in color is what makes your collage look cohesive.

Step 10.

Once all photos are edited and ready to go, put them in order in a photo grid.

I spent probably an hour looking up numerous grid collages and found Fotojet (online) to be the best/easiest. If you have another app/site you prefer, you can use that. Download each of your images to your computer from wherever they’re stored (I use Google Photos) and put them into the grid in order of your phrase. Download your grid photo collage and you’re done!

COVID-19 thank you photo grid collage


That’s it!!! DONE! Show off your beautiful new creation.

completed grid photo collage

I spent many days and hours making this photo, video, and guide so I hope it was helpful to you! Please feel free to share this with your friends and followers. I’ve created images below for you to easily share.

Let me know what you think! And if you’re looking for more ideas on what to do at home, check out my Things To Do At Home During Coronavirus guide.

Use this one of these graphics to share on all your social media platforms (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, TikTik, etc):

   how to create a photo grid for social media

(I spent 30 minutes trying to re-do these and make them not blurry. I don’t know what the issue is)

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