How to Curve Text in Picmonkey

Curve Text_Done

Update:  If you’re looking for more “How to” Picmonkey gems, check out How to make Blog Headers in Picmonkey.

Update (6/6/2017): If you have a premium account with Picmonkey, they give you an easy way to curve text using text effects. Simply highlight your text box, click on the “Effects” tab (right next to the “Options” tab on the text popup window) and select “Curve.” If you’re looking for a way to do this without upgrading to the premium version, read on.

Since I first blogged about Picmonkey’s awesome photo editing software a couple of months ago, I’ve had a little more time to play around with it and figure out some new techniques.

The one big thing that bothered me about the effects was that there was no way to get your text to match up with all of Picmonkey’s cool curved banners. I looked around on the site, I ran “how to curve text in Picmonkey” through a search engine, I right-clicked at every chance I got, but still came up with nothing.

Then, while working on our most recent New Year’s post, I figured it out.

To curve your text, you have to break it up into smaller segments.

I mean, think about it: we all learned in geometry that a circle is a shape with an infinite number of sides. The greater the number of sides, the rounder the shape. So if you break your text up into just one or two letters at a time, you can curve them into any shape.

No, it’s not at all difficult to do, just a little tedious. But once you get the hang of it, you can knock ’em out in a matter of minutes. I think the image you see here took maybe 30 minutes, start to finish. And that was with me stopping every few steps to take a screen shot.

Start by getting your background ready and placing the banners you want to use. Keep in mind that if you want to add a texture to your background like I did here, you’ll have to do it before you add any text or overlays, otherwise the texture will be added to those as well.

Curve Text_Background

Next, decide what text will go into each banner. I went with “Curve Text” in the top banner and “Picmonkey” in the bottom one.

There are two methods for setting your curved text in place. The first method is to type and curve as you go, like this:

Curve Text_1

Curve Text_2

Type only a few letters into each text box. As you can see here, I’ve broken the word “curve” into three parts: cu-rv-e.

Once you’ve typed your letters into the box and shrunk it down to size, move the letters snugly against the previous ones and rotate them using the circle sticking out from the top of the text box.

When you rotate your box, imagine that there is a straight line running underneath them, and make this imaginary line parallel to the curve of the banner directly beneath. This is tricky, since we’re dealing with curves and nothing will be exactly parallel, but it’s the only way your letters will look right.

In the picture above, you can see how the letters “rv” are following the line of the banner as it slopes down to the right.

Curve Text_3

Keep going with the rest of your text.

In this instance, I decided to change to a different font (“Roman Antique,” in case you’re wondering). With my first font (“Pencil Pete”), I didn’t have to break the words up into that many boxes. I had “cu-rv-e” and “te-xt.” Then I switched fonts.

Curve Text_New Font

The letters didn’t seem to be curving as nicely (see how the “Cu” and the “Te” look too straight?), so I had to break them up even more. This gave me “c-u-rv-e” and “t-e-x-t.”

I also had to shift everything over to the right, since I had so much extra space over there. (If this happens to you, it means you will have to re-rotate all of your text boxes, since they won’t properly align with the banner directly below them anymore.)

Curve Text_Cleaned Up

Ahhh! Much better!

The second method of placing text was a little easier. I broke up the word “Picmonkey” and created all of the text boxes at once.

Curve Text_4

This gave me “P-ic-m-o-n-ke-y.” I learned that wider letters like “m” and “o” should get their own box, while thinner letters like “i” can be combined with others.

The letter “o” is in the exact middle of the word, so I started by putting it in the exact middle of the banner, then set the other letters on either side, rotating them to follow the line of the banner.

Curve Text_6

Because the middle letter is in the middle of the banner, I didn’t have to do any cleaning up to make it look right. Much easier. I vastly prefer this method.

Once the text is set in place, just add some neat graphics (I went with a “pirate/treasure map” sort of theme) and you’re done!

Curve Text_Done

Some important points to remember for future reference:

  • Break up your text into small pieces.
  • Wider letters should be given their own box, while thinner letters can go in boxes with other letters.
  • When in doubt (or for very steep curves), give each letter its own box. It will be more work, but it will also make for a cleaner finished product.
  • Set the middle letter/text box in the middle of the banner first, then set the remaining text. It will automatically be centered.
  • Rotate your text box so that the letters align with the curve of the banner directly beneath them.

 This method of curving text may not be perfect or Photoshop simple, but it definitely works. Maybe one day Picmonkey will add a “curve text” feature to their website, but in the meantime, you can rest easy knowing that there is a way for you to use all of those neat curving banners. The world of design is your oyster! Err…treasure chest? Or…something pirate-y….

Of course, blog header images are only a small part of getting your blog out to the public. But these 5 Tips to Make Your Blog Look Gorgeous will bring your blog to the next level.

Update: Thanks so much to @PicMonkeyApp for sharing our tutorial on their Twitter feed! It means a lot to us.


Clarity Creative Group is a digital marketing & Orlando SEO company located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. We respect Johnny Depp for his successful use of guyliner in his role as Captain Jack Sparrow.





Share this article
  • belgravia villas
    Posted on February 26, 2014 at 5:43 am

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious
    what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% positive.
    Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Julie Forman
      Posted on March 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      We love WordPress for a starting platform. There are a lot of different templates to choose from and everything is very customizable. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

    • Kati
      Posted on September 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

      I use Blogspot and its free!

      There is def a learning curve- so be patient.
      Mine is basic but I love it

  • Jody Haymann
    Posted on March 5, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    THANKS so much for doing this – it was an aspect that was really frustrating and I couldn’t understand why they had curved banners with no facility to curve text. Other than that, picmonkey is awesome and so easy to use!

    • Julie Forman
      Posted on March 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      You’re welcome! Isn’t Picmonkey the best? Fingers crossed that they add this feature one day. (It might also be nice to show “perspective” where your words get smaller as they get “further away”…?) We’re glad we weren’t the only ones frustrated by this and that you can get some use out of those curved banners!

      • Sarah Saysana
        Posted on August 18, 2016 at 1:31 pm

        You could do this in the same way, by making each letter in its own text box and then making them smaller and smaller…

  • The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog
    Posted on March 17, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    […] a few months back when we gave you the tutorial on curving text with PicMonkey’s photo editing software? I knew I couldn’t be the only one who wanted to learn how to do that, and I was right. […]

  • Kelly
    Posted on March 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing your method for curving text. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it on my own!

    If Picmonkey introduced a few text effects, it’d be the perfect image editor! I’d love to have the ability to outline letters or add a drop-shadow, as well as curve text and add perspective.

    • Julie Forman
      Posted on March 21, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Adding perspective is the PicMonkey Holy Grail! If only….

  • Best Blog Boosters for Your Business | Clarity Creative
    Posted on April 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    […] Cost Option 2: Use a photo editing software like PicMonkey to dress up your photos (or design a photo-less image like this one). Sites like Piktochart let you create custom infographics using a variety of different […]

  • Julie
    Posted on April 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Brilliant tutorial. Short, easy to understand, to the point…love it. Thank you!

  • 50+ PicMonkey Resources to Make Your Designs Shine
    Posted on July 23, 2014 at 2:02 am

    […] How to Curve Text in Picmonkey […]

  • Cajun
    Posted on August 28, 2014 at 9:21 am

    BOOM! You’re a wicked genius with mad skills. <—-I don't normally talk like that, but seriously, this just upped the graphics on my blog's images another couple notches. You're my hero for the day!

    • Julie Forman
      Posted on August 28, 2014 at 9:42 am

      So glad I could help! What do you blog about?

  • Marssy Reese
    Posted on September 12, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Thank you very much for sharing this very helpful information. It helped me a lot!

    Thank you!

    Eirene/Marssy Reese

  • Kati
    Posted on September 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Thank you for posting this!

  • Adrian
    Posted on November 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for sharing this very clever tip. I use PicMonkey for every post and you’ve given me some good ideas.

  • Gwen
    Posted on December 11, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Now why didn’t I think of that? Perfect – just what I was looking for. Thank you.

  • Nuria
    Posted on January 8, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Thanks a lot for sharing!!!! 😀

  • Joey
    Posted on January 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. It is the bomb!! and you ROCK!!!

    Posted on January 26, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    There is an even more simple way using paint AND PicMonkey that I would like to share:
    Whatever it is that you are trying to curve, if you do not have the line to go by it is hard to get the letters to look straight. I found that if I go into paint features (yeah the one included on most computers in windows for free:-) Open it up and whatever color your background is going to be make sure you copy that color into paint. I am using white today so that is the default. In the shapes box at the top of paint when it is opened, there is not only the wavy line that can used for banners (just make the line curve to your banner) but there is also a circle. I need the words to curve perfectly in a circle at the top. So after I make my circle in a small black line and save it to a BLANK paint page, I then go into PicMonkey and fit the letters to the line making PERFECT curving every time with NO guesswork making it SUPER easy and effective. After you save a copy of it under a different name, open it back up with paint and use whatever color you have to remove the line below your letters with the Eraser or the paint brush. (Just make sure the box on the top right is the same as your background. You can do this by taking the color marker (looks like a little pen touch it to you color, and it will change the left box to your color. Now go to the edit colors button, click on add to custom colors, click ok. Now your color has been added to the bottom of the colors. Click on the right box, then click on your new custom color and it will change both boxes to the same color. Now your ready to use the paint brush or eraser to take the lines off of your lettering. Now before you save, Click on the select button and make sure on the very bottom to click on (transparent) and make sure it is checked. Now save.
    Go back to your original project and open it up with paint. Click on the select button and make sure it says transparent again, then go to paste from and click your letters into your project. Place them where you need them to go, and then save your work. Your Done!

    Perfect Letters, with Perfect lines Every time. 🙂

  • pam
    Posted on February 6, 2015 at 4:12 am

    this was so well laid out and easy to follow. thank you

  • Risky Granny
    Posted on November 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I’m first time user of PicMonkey and first time reader of your site (Thank you Google). Curving my letters worked great and now I have my great logo for my new blog coming end of year. I’m learning every day and I’ll keep in touch with your blog. THANK YOU!

    • Julie Forman
      Posted on December 17, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      So glad to hear it! What’s the blog about?

  • Gina Marie
    Posted on January 14, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Oh my goodness, why did I not think of that! Thank you, thank you

  • Elyse
    Posted on February 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    This was really helpful! I used it for a graphic I’m creating for a digital product. Thank you so much for writing such a thorough article with great visual examples. ~elyse


Leave a comment


Free Quote