How to Use the Google Plus Creative Kit to Edit and Spice Up Your Photos

Ads by Google

Could it be the Instagram effect…or more aptly, the Picnik effect which is Google’s own online photo-editing app? One click photo editing apps are all the rage these days. More for fun and less for serious image stylists, spicing up your photos has almost become a social show-off activity in itself. So, it’s no surprise that Google recently brought out the Google+ Creative Kit.

Google+ Creative Kit is an online photo editing application that enhances the photos in your Google+ albums with some cool effects. It is powered by Picnik. The best thing about it – you can go crazily creative with photos right in your browser and all within your Google+ profile. Let’s try it out.

Open Google+’s Creative Kit by selecting a photo from your photo albums and then choosing Edit. You can see the Creative Kit button right there. Here’s how the interface looks:

The Google+ Creative Kit includes basic editing tools and a number of pre-set image filters and a text tool. The basic edits are well covered with image adjustment tools and an Auto-fix button.

It’s when you hit Effects, the online app gets into the creative side of things with a slew of photo filters. All are nearly one-touch with sliders to set the degree of effect you want to apply. In the Touch-Up section, you can set brush size and a few other parameters.

Ads by Google

Google hasn’t forgotten its Christmas, with its Seasonal filters. I guess this section will keep changing with different holidays around the year.  What’s a photo-app if you can’t go berserk on your friend’s mug shot?

The Vandalize section is just for that. From Speech Bubbles to Vampire Eyes, try out the effects for fun. Oh! You can go to work on your photo too.

After all this, you would think that the Text section would be a bit humdrum. But with the cool lineup of fonts, I can already see myself designing some nice ecards for the season on the Creative Kit.

The Creative Kit and its lineup of effects give you the freedom to mix-match, and mash your photos. Plus, you can tag and share them right from there itself. Try it and invite a few comments with your creations. Tell us if the Creative Kit adds another arrow to the already formidable features of Google Plus.

Get Guiding Tech articles delivered to your inbox.

We will never share your address. Unsubscribe at any time.

Post a Comment or Discuss at Guiding Tech Forums

Show archived comments (105)

Archived Comments

  1. Sjking1 says:

    Will you have all the other great features of picasso picnic eg: teeth whitening, mascara , airbrush. Etc ? The features if tint and hand drawing is not enough. Any more details?

  2. Tututaxi says:

    How do I save these photos to my desktop after editing them? I worked on a photo yesterday to see what you can do (a lot of Picnik stuff is not there) and I couldn’t find where to go to save it on my desktop – circles kept coming up. I don’t want circles, I just want to save it like I did in Picnik.

    • Ncb00 says:

      This So unfortunate that Picnik won’t be available anymore. This new program is NOTHING even in the ballpark of Picnik. Really????

    • Saikat says:

      Save it to your Google+ photo album. Save it as a New Copy. Right below you will see the album name and an Options link with a small upward pointing arrow. Click on the arrow. Select the option which says – Download Full Size.

      Hope this helped.

  3. Marcy says:

    does this have the teeth whitening and airbrush effects?

  4. Ljupe1 says:

    Why is that Google, who actually created/own Picnik cannot provide the same outstanding service and editing effects on Creative Kit…its an absolute joke. For a world renowned online company…going backwards is not the answer!!! At lease provide everything that Picnik offered, PLEASE!!!

  5. Britt says:

    How do you get to the edit tab. I have tired to follow this process but I cannot seem to locate the edit tab to get into the creative kit…. help please!

  6. Maronmuir says:

    I will miss PICNIK very much. I used it a lot.

  7. Vandenbossm says:

    This really sucks… I subscribed to picnik premium and used it all the time… Now it looks like I am going to have to figure something else out as I will not be using google+… I just wish picnik wouldn’t go away… I’m not even mad about having to pay for it… I would rather pay for something that I really enjoy using than use something that I hate for free… Just saying…

    • SophAfmal says:

      I completely agree… Picnik is my favorite photo editor, and when I heard it was shutting down I couldn’t believe it. Picnik was easy to use and had a lot of cool gadgets while google + is just complicated….

    • julie says:

      Me too. I love Picnik. What I am going to now?……

    • guest says:

      use picmonkey…its almost exactly like picnik.

  8. sh1rl3906 says:

    So FRUSTRATING that after all your work, you can’t even save it to your computer. Does anybody have suggestions of another site to use? I’m starting to look elsewhere.

    • cherry says:

      try fotoflexa, not as good a picnik but its quite good and its free.SO DISSAPOINTED THAT PICNIK IS GOING , its my favorite site for photo editing and so easy to use…

      • Dionnewinchell says:

        please please please return Picnik…this is really upsetting me!!!!

  9. Msdiamonddawg says:

    I paid for and used Picnik ALL THE TIME. It was the absolute BEST software out there for photoediting. THE BEST. This is awful. No, Google + comes no where near where Picnik was. Why do you have to get rid of it if you own it? Makes no sense to be the best at something, only to deminsh everything that was good……..

  10. li says:

    how do i get to the google creative kit… it takes me to a blog.. who has the direct link..?

    • Suzanne Wollschleger says:

      Yes, go to I, too, was a consistent user of picnik and very upset that it closed. I’ve been trying n trying to just get connected to Creative Kit, but I feel like I’m going around in circles trying to get to photo editing. There’s not one thing out there that can connect to Picnik…….. WHAT A HUGE LOSS FOR EVERYONE !!!!!!!!. does offer some of Picnik’s editing tools but not quite there yet. They will have collages coming soon…… we’ll see.

  11. Madelinedegan says:

    This stinks! I have used Picnik and then the premium for a long time. I used the collages numerous times for yearly DVD pictures for the grandkids. Now I can’t even get to the Creative Kit to see what is available. I sure hope there is another site out there that I can use. Picnik was a great photo editor. I am very upset that it will soon be gone.

  12. Warnersk says:

    I spend hours going from feature to feature to deepen outlines, tint specific areas, creating shadows, lightening shadows that are too deep…and experimenting and experimenting and experimenting with it…and I haven’t scratched the surface.
    The ability to “fade” and decide in that manner what intensity you want for an edit….
    Mascara deepening edges.
    I could go on and on and on and on.

  13. Warnersk says:

    Previous comment was extolling PIKNIK!

  14. Maggie says:

    WHY!!!!! are you taking the best photo editing tool (Picnic) off ????????

  15. Aieleen_burt says:

    I am sorry and disappointed Picnik is closing. I am a senior who was just learning how to use it . I found it simple to use as I have no computer skills to speak of. Does anyone know of another site I could go to that is free and easy this one doesn’t look easy for me. Thanks.

  16. Bkmancini says:

    how do you download Google plus (creative kit)?

  17. Debbywintersun says:

    it seems to me that picnik should put their photo editing program out for sale in the stores. With so many people using it and liking it, they would be really be able to make a profit off of their program before shutting it down. I know I would buy it.

  18. Toni says:

    I love Picnik!!!! I used the clone, teeth whitening, eye color editing the most, and Google+ doesn’t have any of these. Not happy about this. I would pay for Picnik if it were sold in the stores.

    • Saraya67 says:

      Go to It has all of this :)

    • Barcal says:

      I just discovered Picmonkey through this post. It just saved my life! It has ALL or almost all the features Picnik used to have. Google Plus editor not even close to what Picnik used to be. Thanks!

  19. Diane Richardson says:

    I agree with everyone else. I was so enjoying Picnik and all I could do with my photos, it was amazing. Why, take it away???? Please at least put it out there to buy in stores. I am a senior and frankly it is just to complicated with this Creative Kit thing. I could do the Picnick, please come back!!!! God Bless

  20. This program sucks!! I will be searching for another program to use in place of Picnik. There are no framing options, most of the really good edits are not even present in google, and what you have to go through to get to a photo, edit it, and then save it back to your computer is a pain in the butt!

  21. Hgoodsonjr says:

    I can’t even figure out how to get to the creative kit, even though I’ve signed up for Google Plus. This is disgusting. Nothing like Pinik. I got so use to Pinik and updating images to my website. I would rather pay for competence, than to get incompetence for free. Does anyone have step by step instructions on how to get to this Creative Kit.

    • Charraz says:

      I can’t figure out how to get to the creative kit either. Does it exist?

  22. Bill O. Rights says:

    Google sucks anyway …… I want nothing to do with a company that has their eyeballs in your shorts.

  23. Cynthiakwaz says:

    You would think that with all the unhappy customers / photo editors Google + would hear the pleas and leave Picnik alone, or sell us the program. After all, isn’t the customer that you are trying to please. Because non of us are very pleased, and time is running out. Why won’t Google + hear our voices? What must we do??

  24. Carol a great grandmother says:

    Older folks such as myself have learned to use Picnix and love it. I agree with the last post I think you should sell the program for those of us that prefer it. Come on help out the older generation.

  25. mikec says:

    I agree. Creative Kit is nothing even close to Picnik.

  26. Arichoux_bole says:

    I loved Picnik so much… it was the most simple program to modify pictures that i know! If Google doesn’t want to administrate Picnik anymore, they should keep premium free to everyone or sell the program in stores! It’s so simple! I really don’t know why they want to close it…

  27. char says:

    it’s great that they’re keeping the effects etc… but the reason i use picnik really is for the touchups such as wrinkle remover to hide my double chin! 😉
    what will i do now…

  28. Rbrewer_04 says:

    This is terrible….. I depend a lot on picnik. The “creative kit” is awful it offers such a limited selection of editing options. What a terrible idea to discontinue picnik.

  29. Bsluebbe2 says:

    I want picnik sold in store’s! I used it for my Business in Photography and I have 2 weddings and a family group pic comming up and with out picnik I don’t know what I am going to do!!!!!!! I will try this new google+ but my reputation and business in on the line…

    • Cheryl says:

      My feelings exactly! I have an old photoshop but its way to aggrevating to use.

    • Heidi says:

      As a current Picnik AND Lightroom using photographer, I highly recommend Lightroom. Look for a short online tutorial, and you will be amazed how much you can do that mirrors what you can do in Picnik. The only thing I haven’t found yet is a way to spot cure blemishes or add the “airbrush” look to photos. I will be looking into the creative kit further to see if they retained this ability. Otherwise, I just may have to sharpen up my photoshop skills. meh.

    • Vickylynngroves says:

      I’ve been using it for my photography buisness and love it. I’m very sad that it’s closing down!! It’s very easy to use.I’ve tried the photoshop trial and its hard.

  30. Heather says:

    I subscribed to Picnik Premium since its inception and used it all the time. It was a brilliant, user-friendly photo editing program created and managed by a small group of entrepeneurs from Seattle who were friendly and accessible by email. Unfortunately, megalomaniac Google (like Walmart and Starbucks) is taking over Picnik (your quality local mom & pop shop) and the results suck. Google Plus Creative Kit is confusing and poorly executed, excluding the original Picnik features. Ever try to reach a Google customer service rep for personal assistance? Forget it!! I am happy for the success of the Picnik guys and their original team. It’s a shame that a big corporate giant has to ruin it. I would rather continue paying a monthly fee for Picnik or buy it in the stores in support of the local guys who created it, than switch to Google Plus Not Creative Kit (you stole all of Picnik’s ideas and made a confusing program).

  31. smile500 says:

    wow so dumb so now what :/ my pics are all gonna look like shit :/

  32. Kitty says:

    Thanks to the guy that suggested Pic monkey!!!!!!!!! It is pretty much exactly like Picnic, everyone check it out yay!

  33. Pdflutterby says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Picnik! weddings family portraits just awesome! Google + better compare! it is too good not to have.
    I like Heather comments. I think Picnik should on its own and accessible I don’t really want to have to upload all my photos into goole + when I am using it to edit 600+ photos for a shoot. I love Picnik, like I saod

  34. M. Sloane says:

    Anyone who used the feature-packed, elegant, easy-to-use Picnik sees that dissolving it is one of the major blunders of Web 2.0. It’s clear Pepsi or reformulated Coke.

    Google blew it. Big time.

  35. Jac says:

    Ok.. I must be a real idiot, as I cannot even get to Google+ Creative Kit…. I have been Google-ing it for 30 minutes and still cannot find the dang program..argh !

  36. Jac says:

    Finally found Creative Kit… will really miss Picnik. Creative Kit does not have Touch Up, Frames, or Advanced functions.. or ability to make collages.. dang !

  37. Jackiegirard06 says:

    Is this available on ipad2s?

  38. Bela says:

    Dear Google
    The best and kindest thing you could do is return Picnik to the world. Look at the fan club!
    It was really a simple and effective editing kit for those of us who were not buffs or geeks.
    We were even happy to pay for it!
    Please please think about this. I am about to go into bereavement mode as 19th April approaches.

  39. Heavenschild1013 says:

    I wish they wouldn’t get rid of Picnik. There is NOTHING else online that works! Google+ is confusing and I still haven’t figure out how to edit a single picture. I especially am mad that I can’t use wrinkle remover and airbrush anymore……..UGH!!!

  40. Chaviez says:

    I’m 73 years old and was using Picnik sparingly but when they announced that it was shutting down I started using the Premium items which were now free. This morning I was sad when I realized that today was the last day so I decided to give Creative Kit a shot. Picasa has incorporated some of the features of Picnik but I missed the speech bubbles and stiickers to decorate my grandchildren’s birthday photos, etc. but lo and behold after a bit of navigating I finally figured out how to use the creative kit and happily found my speech bubbles and stickers. Hooray!
    Bubby Z.

  41. Becky says:


  42. Karen428 says:

    I so agree with Heather and I am so sad to see Picnik go was such a wonderful site for us all and so easy to use, Now I have not tried this program and by seeing what others are saying I am not sure that I want to. Will check out Google Plus :) Also i have found a site called FotoFlexer that seems to be nice. So going to miss our Picnik :(

  43. EVERYONE, LISTEN UP! We’re amazed at the incredible response to this post and we’ve decided to write a Ebook to help you folks in discovering the best alternative to Picnik. Sign up here – for the early bird discount list so that you are the FIRST TO KNOW when the book is launched.

  44. Rea_iz_real says:

    PicMonkey is just as good if not better :)

  45. Victr G. says:

    Why ruin a great thing?? Nothing online compares to picnik…Google blew it, BIG time!

  46. Felicia says:

    How do I try/get to Google Creative Kit. I made a Google+ account and cannot find it anywhere. Lol Please help!

    • Annieblue says:

      I was the same Felicia and asked the same question. I’ve had Google+ for some months now and used Picknik a lot. So, to see Creative Kit you need to open a photograph in one of your Google+ albums, choose edit and there it is. This seems silly to me as I usually don’t put photos in there until AFTER I have edited/processed them, not before. Get Picasa. It’s free and has a lot of the apps that were in Picknik :)


  47. Annieblue says:

    If you have Picasa as your photo editor, you will find that a lot of the Picknik apps have moved there. I love Picasa and the addition of the extra stuff has made it better. Picasa is also google owned. Now, Creative Kit…… do I get it?

  48. anthonykalowski says:

    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). They’re giving away a chance to win 1 of 100 free Ribbet Premium memberships if you request an invite on their site:

  49. Liam says:

    This program sucks. I hate it so much. Why did Google have to take over Picnik, it was so much better!

  50. Starkloffdolly says:

    Fuck you google+ I just photographed a wedding and now I can’t find a decent editing program like picnik to edit the photos. Sons of bitches. Sell picnik in stores you mother fuckers.

  51. Kinventor says:

    Can you make a collage?

  52. Jeri says:

    Keep an eye out for coming some time in early May. It’s just like picnik and I mean just like it.

  53. Nikigamboa says:

    This is just awful! Picnik has an immense fan base that is WILLING to PAY for the program! How are you not even considering this option?? Why will no one listen?????? I heavily depended on this program for my business and the ease of it. I am blown away by the selling out to grab on to the success of facebook and create Google + Creative kit. Stick to what you do well, search engine which I use daily, and at least consider making Picnik available in an alternative format. There is a HUGE opportunity to make money here, you would be dumb not too.

  54. Kcdriscoll513 says:

    ok first of all there is NOT an alternative to picnik, all these other sites suck, and fotoflexer (the closest I could find to picnik although it’s a terrible, unprofessional site) won’t even let me upload my photos at all, just says error to everything. If google + has “inherited” picnik’s attributes then HOW do I even find them? I have lost my patience after searching for hours and with allll the info talking about google + I haven’t found where I can actually upload my photos to edit them. Thanks I guess I can’t edit photos anymore

  55. Crazyseoulsister says:

    PicMonkey is nearly the same as Picnik and I’m so glad!!!

  56. Trishshee says:

    I just spent 20 min trying to get a photo to edit. I LOVED PIKNIK, so easy to use. I don’t understand how to get to this site.

  57. Teresa Acosta says:

    I miss Picnik. Google has ruined it. Adding photos to the photo and other basics are gone. Any other suggestions? Need super user friendly.

  58. Tyler1 says:

    And I quote, …you can go crazily creative with photos right in your browser…”

    If you had actually used Picnik then you would know that Google+ ‘s version is a sad and pathetic watered-down version of Picnik that doesn’t even include teeth whitening!

  59. Ly says:

    I remember Picnik used to have “awareness ribbon” where you can adjust the size and colors. I wonder if Creative Kit have awareness ribbon?

  60. how do you add multiple photos so you can edit them all into one photo?!

  61. Jcb4me04 says:

    I HATE this new photo app! Can’t even figure out how to use it!!! You have SOOOOOO many complaints in this whay dont you go back to picnik…it was easy to use and I loved the features>

  62. kak da vklusha tazi programa

  63. maimunite sa nai groznite sushtestva koi e za?

  64. Lanne says:

    Like everybody else here, I am very upset that Google took Picnik away from us!! They said that now they “get to focus”… What a joke. They certainly are not focussed on what makes the users most happy, that’s for sure. It just reaffirms that businesses like Google don’t really care about serving the needs of the user first. They took something that was very easy & fun for us to use, and ruined it. I once thought Google was pretty darn good, but not so much anymore….

  65. Livm2324 says:

    This is bull crap . GIVE US PICNIK BACK !! Why do you people always have to ruin a good thing ? There was nothing wrong with picnik and it was easy to use . But now ? I’m freaking confused as hell And i need to edit some damn Pictures !!!!

  66. Karl Philipp says:

    Can anyone even access googles creative kit??? every link directs to the help section… O.o

  67. Madashell says:

    I am so angry and frustrated that I have actually been crying! Hope that makes your happy you jerks at Google who massacred Picnik and took away the features I depended upon most! I have looked at all the other alternatives mentioned and cannot find what I need. The font I was using in Text, the name of which I can’t even remember now but I’d know it if I saw it, and the circle c copyright symbol which was right there in Symbols which no longer even exists. Yes, I guess if I hunt all over the internet and learn to be proficient in Photoshop I can recreate these things but wasn’t the point that we had a truly useful, easy, user friendly option? And no way to ever actually directly talk or even write to these cockroaches hiding in the dark! OK, this is going to do me no good whatsoever but at least I got to vent.

  68. lou newton says:

    i cant find the creative kit on my photos?

  69. I’m Kind of annoyed with the new Picnik too , why move to Google+? I mean seriously Google+ has already got millions of photo editing apps , but looks how many people hate it that you had to move!! Now we have to download it and I liked using it on facebook for free!! I WANT THE OLD PICNIK BACK!!!!!

  70. unknown says:

    how do u start?

  71. Kimberly t says:

    does this site do colorsplash

  72. Leeron Henderson says:

    I can not see the edit button on my picture.

  73. Kelly Byam says:

    Agree Creative Kit is less impressive than Picnik was and I never got the refund they promised me either. What was that, last April that they pulled Picnik?!

  74. daisy says:

    highly recommend the online photo editor Fotor:

  75. Sue Robinson says:

    it might be a good app if it worked. but since the photo editor in my google pics stopped working i can’t pull up this Creative Kit either…i am so frustrated b/c i used this all the time…it has a great edit tool that i can’t find anywhere else, the “detail/structure” one…i used it a lot! google photo editor has been broken for months now, for a lot of people! i don’t understand why they can’t fix it!
    (i posted a snip clip of what comes up but it’s not here now! grrrr!) jeepers! now it is here!