Picnik Alternatives - Free Photo Editing Sites

I'm sure by now you have heard that Picnik closing as we know it and will be joining up with Google+ in April.

  I’ve had a look at and messed around with the photo editing in Google+, if you haven’t yet, you access it by clicking on your photo, when the 'light box' appears, use the ‘Creative Kit’ to edit the photo.

 You will find a few of the features from Picnik there, its kinda basic, but who knows how they will develop it over the next few months. You can of course use Picasa which will link into your Google+ albums.

If you are not yet convinced by Google+ there are several alternative photo editing sites around.

You can upload from several places. So far I have only used it on my own photos.

By clicking on the Browse icon you are taken to where you store your photos, Photo Library.

From here you choose what you want to edit. It will then appear on screen with the editing options along the bottom of the screen.

Adjustment gives you all these options to play with, they are self explanatory.

One of my favourite tools on here is the ‘colour splash’ tool.

By clicking on the photo you can isolate a colour make it pop!

Do you see the yellow balloon Ahren is trying to blow up, now it pops! The other adjustments are easy to use and give great results.

Moving on to ‘Effects’, here you have a wide selection of effects to choose from, each one has a little preview for you to view before selecting.

I went with ‘Melissa’. It gives it an aged effect which reminds me of the family photos from the 70’s.

The next option you have is the ‘overlay’ tools. Here you can choose from a wide range of overlays to place on your photo, each one is editable.

This is ‘Rainbow’



Click on the ‘more’ tab and you are taken to this screen where there are even more overlay options.

I went with ‘Rainbow’, and then went to the ‘Border’ tab.

Once again there is a wide selection from you to choose from.




The ‘more’ tab again gives you more options.

I went with the ‘Ground’ option

Using the ‘save ‘option in the top right hand corner you can save your edited photo to your picture library.

Another option available is

 {pixlr editor}

You can either create a new image or edit an existing image (photo).

I think the layout is very similar to PSE. Great if you like that, but a bit too much for me!

From here you can use the tools on the left hand side to edit your photo; further options are available along the top of screen.

On the right hand side you can see your history, layers and navigator tools, again this reminds me of PSE and I’d suggest some time messing around with it to find out what each tool does.

From the ‘adjustment tab’ you get a drop down menu with several options.

‘Old photo’ gives you this

The ‘Filter’ has a ton of options on the drop down menu

‘Water Swirl’ gives the photo this rather funky appearance.

‘Emboss’ gives the photo a grainy almost canvas type appearance.

Using the text tool you can add text to anywhere on your photo.

The save option lets you choose from several different locations in which to save your work.

Of the two options, I much prefer Pixlr Express, seems cleaner and easier to use, but that’s just me!

There are other options out there, Photobucket being one; I like this site as it will host your photos, but the adverts drive me nuts!

Another one you can use is Big Huge Labs, this site has a ridiculous amount of options! Great if you want something different. One thing I love here is the ‘colour generator’, you simply upload a photo and it generates the colours for you in a pallet.

There is also

{Foto Flexer}

which is probably the closest to Picnik in features and ease of use.

You can use this site to upload photos for editing from several different places.

Once your photo is uploaded, your editing options are along the top.

You can add text, either with or without a transparent background.

You can also add frames and some animation.

You also have the option of creating collages of your photos.

These are just a few of the free to use photo editing sites out there. I’d suggest having a tinker on a few to find one that suits both you and your needs best.

Here is my opinion on a few of these sites, nothing professional, just my opinion!

{Foto Flexer}

 Has several options for editing your photos, easy to use and understand. Can be used for making blog headers and buttons. I think this is the most similar to Picnik in ease of use and features.


At the moment has a limited amount of features from Picnik, I believe all the features from Picnik will eventually be here, not sure when. Great for sharing photos with your Circles. You can edit in Picassa and link back to Google+. Worth keeping an eye on if your a die-hard Picnik fan opposed to change!


Very similar in layout and appearance to PSE, bit too much to me, I like my editing simple!
I do however like that you can start from a blank image, handy for blog headers.

{Pixlr Express}

Lots of fun ways to tinker with your photos, shame that you can't add text. A definite one for quick, easy and dramatic edits.

{Big Huge Labs}

A huge amount of options here, best if you take a look. I do like the collage options and the colour generator could be handy.


The adverts here put me off, but it is fantastic for hosting your photos and being able to get html and direct codes (blog buttons etc).

Uses Foto Flexer for editing.

You can go 'pro', I have no idea what that gets you.

There are many more, you could even buy some software such as PSE or Photoshop. I would suggest having a play on them and seeing what best suits your needs. I think I will mostly be using Foto Flexer with a splash of Pixlr Express.

I hope you have found this somewhat useful, any questions just ask!

I'm not being paid to write any of this, just my own opinions based on my own tinkering about on these sites!


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I was a little freaked when I got my email yesterday from Picnik. I panicked a little :) I will for sure be checking these out!

  2. Thank you! I was so bummed Picnik is leaving!


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