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I still use Picasa to create collages. A quick search found lots of free tools, mostly web-based.
Helping Travelers to Plan, Preserve, and Share their Travels
I also still use Picasa for collages. Just because the software is “retired” doesn’t mean it stopped working. You can still use it for collages. If you need the installation file, you’ll find it on our Picasa page here: Picasa Installation file
And, here’s a video about using photos from Google Photos, downloading them to your computer for making collages in Picasa.