Use this method to get great personalized headers for your website, or blog post, as well as Social Media without breaking the bank.
No need to hire a Designer, use Canva and use their pre-made template layouts for great fast and inexpensive designs.
How to create awesome graphics without spending big money
Here is a step by step instruction to get awesome graphics for your blog, social media or newsletter.
In your internet browser, go to
There is also an iPad version, but this tutorial willshow the Desktop version. You can follow on the iPad version along as well, as the actions are very similar.
Here is your first screen
To start, we will create an account - don’t worry, it’s free!
You can sign up with your FB identity, or your Google + identity - this is really easy and all the hard work of signing up will be already done for you.
Or you can do the ‘old fashion way’ of entering your email and other info they require to setup your account.
As the FB and G+ signups are very self explanatory, I will show you the email signup here:
Once you click on the green email signup button, you will see this screen
Enter you Full Name, email, confirm email (meaning enter your email again) and choose a password.
As always, I suggest to keep you choose password and the email you used to sign up on a cloud based ‘note’ so you always have access to it. (My favorite one is Evernote, but if you are on a MAC, your notepad will work just fine.)
Note the website, email and password and the date you signed up.
Click the Green Sign Up button
Success - you have a Canva account =D
Select either work or personal (or education if you like) this only means, Canva is going to suggest most used designs for you to suggest based on the choice.
I choose work and this is what it presented me with:
Let’s say we want to create a graphic for a social media post - so let’s select the first choice
However, if you don’t see that option (because you choose a different use), just click on the bottom blue words PLAY with Canva. You will be presented with this screen - here you can take the 2 minute tour to get familiar with Canva if you like
You can always click on the CANVA logo in the upper left corner to get back to the beginning screen
Let’s create our first design:
Social Media is the first icon I see on my screen, but if you don’t see this, click on the + more button at the end of the design suggestions row and find Social Media
Click on the Social Media icon to select it - you will enter the ‘design’ space
This is where the fun starts!
On your left side, the first column of icons let’s you select individual elements as well as already pre-made layouts, which just need to be tweaked a little to make them work for you.
Let’s start with one of these first.
My sample design will be for my Ayurveda and Yoga site (you may have already encountered it, it’s part of my DIY Branding You™ course, which shows you step by step how to setup your basic & beautiful website).
The second column on your left side features all the available layouts to choose. You may want to scroll through them and see what catches your eye.
I want to make you were of something: some of these will be free, but some of them will cost you money. Here you need to decide, if you want to spend some money or not. However, when I say ‘spend some money’ - most likely this will be $1.-, which is the usage right for the specific image in the layout. If you hoover over one of the layouts that does not show FREE on it, you will see a little ? pop up on the bottom left of the layout thumbnail. Click on that to see how much the layout will cost you and what you are paying for in the layout.
And just because you choose that layout, it does not mean that you have to use that particular image.
But for now, I will select the ‘Kitchen Ingredients Thanksgiving Social Media Post’ layout for my example.
Once I click on the thumbnail, it will appear in my design space
Let’s modify this layout to fit our needs!
Click on the main text ‘There is always something to be thankful for.’ and you see a cursor appear.
This field now acts like any other writing tool, you can select words, change them, make words bold or italic and change the color or the font. (Please see the glossary for terms at the back of this guide, if you are wondering about any of the terms I’m using)
First we’ll change the main though text.
I changes mine for my example to say’ Optimal Health starts with your food!’
notice, I made the word starts italic - you do that by selecting the appropriate word and choosing the I in the white top bar of your design space.
I also changed the wording of the lower text block to
‘Learn how to fine tune your routine to benefit you to reach optimal health’
I left both text blocks in their original font, as I liked the combination.
For my example, the background image would work fine. However, if you rather not pay for an image, or would like other choices, click on backgrounds in the left first column. You will see plenty of choices here.
Again, most of the background images sell for $1.-, only straight colors and some of the textures are free.
However, if you have some images you are using for your site and want to keep your Social Media posts branded to your current style (maybe you found the perfect images on unsplash.com) you can upload them and use them at no charge.
Here is how to do that:
Under backgrounds, in the first column of icons, you see upload, click on that.
You can either drag your image into the black area, or click on ‘upload your own images’ and select the file.
I found 3 images on unsplash.com that would work for my sample and I uploaded them by dragging them onto the browser window and dropping them into the upload area.
Now I can use those for my background.
However, I’m not sure which I like best, so we will make different versions to compare and decide which one we want to use.
To do this, we will first create a new page in our design space.
Because I want to reuse the text blocks on all of my designs, I just click the ‘dublicate’ icon to the right of my design
This will add an exact copy of your design as a second page.
As I have 3 additional images I want to try, I will do this 2 more times to give me 4 total pages, all identical at this point.
Now we can modify our original design to give us options.
Make sure you are on page 2 of your designs and select the background image by clicking on a place where there is no text. You will know that you selected the background when you see the dotted outline all around the image.
Hit your delete key on your keyboard to get rid of the original background image. (Don’t worry, your text is still there)
Now click on one of your new background images and drag it into the design space
Because the new image sits ‘on top’ of all the other elements on our page, we need to move it to the back. We’ll do that by selecting ‘Arange’ on the top bar
And clicking on the ‘Back’ option until the option is grayed out - meaning we are as far back as we can get.
Now we need to enlarge the background image to fill the space, you ca do that by clicking and dragging on either of the corners.
If the part of the image you want to show makes the image too large to fit into your view, you can zoom out by clicking on the bottom right corner black button.
The + makes the view bigger, the - makes it smaller.
Find a size where you can see the entire image outline to resize.
Position the image so you see whatever detail you would like to focus, or at least to cover the entire area.
In my example, I didn’t like the food to be in the bottom left, as my text was on that side, so I flipped the image. With the image selected, I clicked on ‘Flip’ in the top bar. Here you have the choice to flip your image vertically or horizontally. You can play with it and always flip it again to get to the original again.
I flipped my image horizontally and positioned it so the food was located in the bottom right corner.
You will notice that now my text is not clearly readable, so let’s re-position it to be on the upper side of the image, as there is dark background and the white will read nicely on top of that.
To do that click on one of the text boxes, hold down the shift key on your keyboard and click on the other text box, as well as the line between both text blocks. We will move them all together.
Now with them selected click and drag the entire group to a position that has a dark background.
And that is our 2nd version of the design.
Let’s repeat this for the other 2 images.
Go to page 3, delete the background that is there now, add the next image to the page, arrange it to the back, re-size and reposition the image. Reposition the text blocks if needed.
In my 3rd design, even though I repositioned the text, it is still not very readable, as the background image has too much going on for the eye to be able to focus on the text.
In this case we can do something different.
Go to the first column with the icons and click on Elements
Here select Shapes (the pink one)
You will see a large selection of shapes - scroll down for fun to see more appear.
We will select the first one - the simple rectangle for our example.
Double click on the
first shape and it
will appear in your
We don’t want white, as our text is white and we want to make the white text stand out better. So let’s change the color.
Click on the white rectangle in the top left corner of the white bar.
Let’s pick black for the sample.
Again, out new box is on top of all the other things in our design, so we need to move it to a better spot.