How To Make A Color Palette From A Photo

by Destri on July 24, 2012

How To Make A Color Palette Using A Photoimage via the fabulous edytaszyszlo.com


Hello friends!  How is your Summer coming along?  We are getting ready to head out to Dallas for 3 whole years – hopefully in one house.  That is the longest we’ve been in a house – ever.  I can’t wait to decorate without feeling like it is all going to be taken down in a moments notice.  In my head I’m imagining a light and airy color palette – but I know when I get to the stores I’ll hit a wall.  Be it fabric for a dress, colors for the website, or in this case for my home decor – I have a hard time putting color combinations together in my head.  One way I love to get inspiration is through pictures.  Not necessarily pictures of rooms – but styled images that I am drawn too.  Every bit of color used pulls the image together, and it’s a good bet if you like the photo, you’ll love the same colors used in a room, sewing project, or even an outfit your trying to put together.

With Picmonkey you can easily generate a color palette using a photograph you love, and then use those colors as your starting point for any design project. Here are a few ideas you might use a color palette for:

  • color palette for a room
  • color palette for a quilt
  • color palette for your blog
  • color palette for scrapbooking
  • color palette for a wedding – or any party

It’s super easy to do and quite addicting!  So if you’re in need of a little color therapy for your house, website design, sewing project or whatever else – grab an image you love and catch me after the jump for the how-to!

How To Make A Color Palette Using Picmonkey

Okay, you have a picture you love, right?  Something about all those colors put together make your heart go pitter patter and you want to use them in your project.  The best way to do that is to identify exactly what colors were used in the composition.  After you do this you might surprised what colors are actually used.

What’s that, no picture?  Well the best places I have found are Pinterest and type in key words like “beautiful” or even “picnic” or “Italy” pulls up some great images.  Most design blogs have great photos, and wedding blogs are great for eye candy.  Style Me Pretty is a great place to start.

I’m going to show you two different ways to to this, so let’s get started:

How to Make a Color Palette From a Photograph

I found this image taken by Lovely Little Designs, and loved the pops of color against the neutral material.   Makes you realize that beige carpet you have actually can work in a fabulous design :).

Jump on Picmonkey and upload the photo by clicking on the edit photo button.

If you are using this for you website resize it to fit your page first under the top icon option.  Then head over to the stickers tab indicated by the arrow.  Pick a sticker you would like to display the colors. I chose the arrow with the ribbon end and left the arrow part off the image so it looks like a partial ribbon.

Once you have it the way you like – right click on the sticker and duplicate overlay.  You will do this as many times as you want, and them position the stickers where you want them by clicking and dragging.

Now for the fun part.  Click on a sticker and the little editing box will pop up.  Click on the little color box to the side of the color chart indicated by the red arrow.  A little dropper will replace your mouse arrow.

**edit** I have noticed the last few times I have been on Picmonkey I have to click in the color box first and then on the little box to the right – then the dropper appears.

Now take the dropper and click on a part of the photo that you want to highlight the color of.  So in this case I clicked on the yellow flower.  That is now the color that my first ribbon.

Now just repeat the above step and click on all the colors of the photo that make it what you love.  Be sure to include the neutral colors, as those are often a large part of what make the color combinations work.

Now let’s day for fun sake you want to use these colors for a custom web design, or maybe a custom stationary design. All you need to do is grab the color # and provide it to your designer.  To do this, click on each ribbon, write down the color and then go back and add the number to the ribbon using the text editor.  Simple!

Create A Color Inspiration Board Using Collage

Now let’s say you want to create a color inspiration board.  You can do this using the collage feature on Picmonkey.  I can’t find the source for this photo, so if you know please let me know in the comments.

Click on the make a collage button indicated by the black arrow to get started.

Now upload the image you want to use.

Now click on the layout icon indicated by the red arrow and pick a layout that shows a large view of the image you intend to use and will allow for white space next to it.  For this I used the L-egant and removed the side squares by clicking on the x when hovered over.

Then click back over to the top icon where you uploaded the image and drag it over to the main square.  You can resize the entire collage here, or over on the image editing screen.  To resize here in collage, just click on the number in the box below the collage indicated by the red arrow and type in the dimension you want, then click the lock.

When your finished here, save the collage to your computer and then click the x in the top right hand corner.  Then upload the collage under the photo editing button.

Now hop over to the stickers and choose the shape you want for the color display.  I choose a circle under the geometric stickers.  Then I made it the size I wanted and duplicated as we did with the previous image.

I put the circles in the white space provided by the collage and used the dropper to make them the colors of the photo.

To make the top color palette I used a biggie small collage, adjusted the dimensions by clicking and dragging on the sides to make it fully display the vertical image.

See, fun right?!  I played around with this all weekend and now have found a bunch of accessories that fall into the colors that I have in my inspiration photos.  Each has a different room, and I’d go over all that here, but that is an entire different post.

If you making these for the web and want to add a fancy watermark to it be sure to see 3 Different Ways To Watermark Your Images Using PicMonkey.  It’s a great one!

So like I said, we are on the move this week and posting might be a little light.  But can I just share how excited I am for the things to come?  So so excited!  I have been hinting for awhile now and we’re just about there.  You will see familiar faces more often, some new faces that have the most amazing things to share and a lot more of all the things that make TMH so useful.  That is the new focus for us- Incredibly useful and helpful content for the modern mom.

I can’t wait to get settled to roll it all out.  Kids settled and in school, stuff put in place and food in the fridge – then watch out!

Wish me luck, it’s another long haul.  Thanks goodness Aubrey just posted these awesome ideas for keeping the kids busy in the car. My kids are going to think I’m a rockstar ;).

luvs ~Destri

Print Friendly
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

greta July 31, 2012 at 7:56 pm

How neat! I had to give it a try and now I see a weekend winter project on the horizon. Thanks!

Reply

Destri August 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

It’s addicting right?!

Reply

calimauve August 21, 2012 at 5:04 am

Wonderful ! Been searching high and low for this kind of tutorial. Thanks a lot for your time.

Reply

Carson August 22, 2012 at 10:20 am

This is perfect! I’ve been using Pic Monkey for a while now and never thought of this. So great, I’m going to be putting into action today.

Reply

Destri August 22, 2012 at 11:10 am

Oh be warned – it’s quite addicting!

Reply

Emily C. August 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Here’s a website that will automatically do it. It can be a bit tricky to manage since it goes for the most prominent colors of a photograph, but it workse pretty darn well. If nothing else, it’s a good jumping off point! http://www.degraeve.com/color-palette/

Reply

Jennifer August 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Oh my word!! I’m so glad to know this! Pinning so I can remember the steps! Thanks so much!
Coming from Tatertots & Jello! :)

Reply

Stel November 10, 2012 at 5:10 am

Thank you, thank you thank you!
I will now spend my free time with Picmonkey.

Reply

Tisa January 8, 2013 at 2:49 am

thank you so much for this how to. Saved my butt! Lol

Reply

Destri January 9, 2013 at 6:08 am

I love saving butts :)

Reply

Tisa January 9, 2013 at 9:11 am

I’m so glad you do!

Reply

jessica April 16, 2013 at 12:55 am

oh my…this is quite addicting! thank you for the diy. i have been sitting here trying to figure out hot to use picmonkey for it and you saved me! i had no idea the eyedropper dealio existed. i could kiss you!

Reply

Sunaina Sharma June 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

thanks Destri.. I had been looking for this tutorial for a week almost.. was just juggling with palette creater softwares and today i stumbled on your blog article. Now it seems so easy to create these palettes which seemed to be a huge task for me…

thanks for helping once again…

Reply

Lea November 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I have a problem. The first picture of the cat with a black arrow pointing to “edit a photo” … this option never shows up. How do I get there?
Thank you for your time and your help.
Lea

Reply

Destri November 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Picmonkey changed their interface slightly but it all still works the same – on the home page just click on the “edit a photo” square at the top. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

Reply

Lea November 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Thank you for your answer. The “edit the photo” square is there and I can pick any photo I want, but the only editing options I see are: crop, canvas color, rotate, exposure, color, sharpen, resize. I cannot find how to select a color to then identify it. Help! Please!
Thank you.
Lea

Reply

Marie December 31, 2013 at 7:48 pm

So useful, thank you!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: