How to make color crafting images ready for printing in black & white with PicMonkey

The most amazing crafting printables in amazing color palettes can be found on the internet. But what if you want to use them in your crafting, and you only have a black & white printer to print them?

Most of the time when you print colored designs on a black & white printer you get smudgy and muddy looking images. But now we offer you a solution!

This tutorial teaches you how to prepare your color printables so that they print beautifully on a black and white printer, completely for free, using an online tool we love a lot: PicMonkey.


If you’d like to save or print this tutorial, we have a handy PDF for you (and much more) if you subscribe to FreeFLOW (it’s free, of course).

Here we go:

  1. Go to
  2. Click “Edit”.

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3. Click “Computer”.

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4. Open the jpg file you would like to alter (make sure it’s saved somewhere on your computer).

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5. The image appears on the right of your PicMonkey screen. I chose a page with our Blank Maps Labels. The outline would print fine, but the Antique Map texture of the labels would look quite muddy when printed in black & white.

6. On the left you have a toolkit with all kinds of cool things you can do with PicMonkey. Click “Colors”.

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7. You see two sliders. Move the “Saturation” Slider all the way to the left. This removes all color. Then click “Apply”.

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8. Click “Exposure”.

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9. Now you see four sliders. Move the “Brightness”, “Highlights” and “Contrast” sliders all the way to the right. Most likely your images will almost disappear. Don’t worry about that, we’ll get them back in step 10.

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10. Move the “Shadows” slider to the left until the image appears nice and clear. When the original background is not too grungy you can get away with moving this slider all the way to the left.

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11. When you’re happy, click “Save”.

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12. If you used a 8.5 x 11 inch image sheet and you want to keep it the same size, click “Change” next to Dimensions.

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13. Change the dimensions to 2550 x 3300 px. Then click “Save to my computer” and save your new images.

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Let’s see if this applies to other images as well: Here we have our “The Crafter’s Shoppe” Apothecary Labels. They are quite clear but have a slightly antique textured background:

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And after using our magic:

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And how well does this work with a heavy grunge background?

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The only difference here is not moving the “Shadows” slider too far to the left. Otherwise the stains will reappear. This looks very good though:

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This tutorial is mostly intended for drawings and graphics. This method doesn’t work so well with photographs. If your design uses has photographs, it’s better to apply only steps 1-7, unless you’d like the pictures to look like ink stamps:

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If you’d like to save or print this tutorial, we have a handy PDF for you. Just sign up and you’ll get access to our vault with lots of goodies.

Lots of love,



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