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Can You Make Custom Frames in Canva

Can you make custom frames in Canva?

Yes, you can make custom frames in Canva by adding a color-changeable shape, exporting it as a PDF, importing into Word, filling the shape with an image, saving as PDF again, and importing back into Canva. This converts any vector shape into a reusable custom frame.



Canva is a popular graphic design platform that makes it easy for anyone to create beautiful designs. One of the handiest features in Canva is the ability to use frames to showcase images and other design elements.

While Canva offers a great selection of basic frame shapes like circles, squares, and rectangles, you may want to create a custom frame in a unique or non-standard shape.

With a few simple steps, you can design custom frames to suit your needs in Canva.

Why Create Custom Frames in Canva?

Here are some of the key benefits of making custom frames in Canva:

  1. Tailored Design: – The existing basic frames may not be the right size, color, or shape for your design. Custom frames allow you to create something more suitable to your specific purposes.
  2. Unique Visual Appeal: – Custom frames help your images and designs pop and catch viewers’ attention. They allow you to break out of the norm with shapes and styles that fit your brand.
  3. Brand Consistency: – You can perfectly match your frames to established branding colors, shape libraries, and visual style guides. This helps strengthen brand recognition.
  4. Fitting Odd Dimensions: – For showcasing differently shaped images like long panoramas or social media templates, custom frames ensure proper and aesthetic framing.
  5. Save time – Making reusable frames once in Canva means you don’t have to rebuild custom shapes for every new design, saving tons of time.
  6. Visual Enhancement: – Custom frames can fill natural visual gaps when the standard frames just don’t work for an image or document size and layout.
  7. Express creativity – Custom frames allow you to be more creative and express a unique visual style that sets your work apart.

how to turn a shape into a frame in canva

Follow these simple steps to make custom-sized frames in Canva:

1. Add a Shape:

  • Open a new Canva design or edit an existing project.
  • Go to the Elements panel and browse the Shapes section.
  • Find a simple shape that is color-changeable, indicated by a double circle icon. Simple vector shapes like rectangles, circles, triangles, and stars work best.
  • Drag your chosen shape onto the design area and size it appropriately for your needs.

2. Export the Shape as a PDF

  • With the vector shape selected, use the Share menu in the upper right to download it as a PDF file.
  • Save the PDF shape template to your computer for the next step.

3. Import the PDF into Word

  • Open a new, blank Word document. Go to Insert > Pictures and insert the PDF shape template you exported from Canva.
  • The vector shape will appear in the Word document, ready for editing.

4. Fill the Shape with an Image

  • With the shape selected in Word, go to Shape Format > Shape Fill and choose Picture.
  • Select an image file from your computer to fill the shape. This will create the inner frame area.
  • You can also fill with a solid color if you just want a plain frame.
  • Save this new Word file as a PDF.

5. Import Back into Canva

  • Return to Canva and start a new blank design or open your original Canva design.
  • Use the Uploads panel to import the PDF you created in Word as a new custom frame element.
  • You should now have a customized frame with an image inside – delete the image if needed.
  • Voila! Resize, recolor, and reuse your new custom frame however you like.

Tips for create custom frame in canva

Here are some tips to help you make the most of using custom frames in Canva:

  1. Stick to simple vector shapes for converting into frames. Avoid intricate shapes with gradients, details, or photographic elements.
  2. Use high resolution 300+ dpi images when filling the frame in Word for best print quality. Lower resolutions can look pixelated.
  3. Give saved frame elements descriptive names like “Rounded Square Red Frame” to easily find them later.
  4. Organize frames into Canva Brand Kits or use Canva’s folder feature to keep them together.
  5. Make frames in common dimensions you use like Instagram posts, Facebook covers, etc.
  6. Use frames to create templates and easily batch edit images by dropping into your saved frames.
  7. Make frames with and without borders so you have options for different designs.
  8. Add fun elements like shadows or corners to frames to take them to the next level.
  9. Frames don’t have to be boring squares or circles! Let your brand personality shine through.
  10. Recolor frames to coordinate with different designs as needed.

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Frames in canva

Canva Pro Tips for Advanced Frame Making

While Canva’s free version has everything you need to make custom frames, Canva Pro unlocks additional useful features:

  • Layer masking – Mask frames over images for a sophisticated look.
  • Folder organization – Manage all your brand’s frames in one folder.
  • Brand kit syncing – Sync frames across your team’s accounts.
  • More graphics & elements – Pro has more shape templates to choose from.
  • Video frames – Add still or animated frames to videos.

So while not essential, Canva Pro can provide more convenience and possibilities for your custom frame projects.

FAQ About Canva Custom Frames

Can you make any shape into a frame in Canva?

Yes, as long as the shape is vector-based and color-changeable, you can follow the process above to convert it into a custom frame. Complex shapes with very fine details may not convert perfectly.

What image formats can you use to fill the frame in Word?

The most common image formats like JPG, PNG, and GIF will work. For best print quality, use high resolution 300+ dpi images if possible.

How do you save a custom frame to reuse later in Canva?

After creating your frame in Canva, save it through the Elements menu as a Template or Brand Kit asset. Then you can easily access it again for other designs.

Can you edit custom frames after creating them?

Yes, you can resize, recolor, or otherwise edit custom frames just like regular Canva elements. But you’ll have to repeat the Word process if you want to change the actual shape.

Is Canva Pro necessary for making custom frames?

No, you can make great custom frames with Canva’s free version. However, Canva Pro unlocks additional useful frame making features for power users.

Get Creative with Your Own Custom Frames

Part of what makes Canva such a versatile graphic design tool is the ability to move beyond its template options. Creating custom tailored frames using this simple workaround unlocks new creative possibilities.

The benefits for visual distinction, brand consistency, design flexibility, and time savings make the small effort very worthwhile. Now that you know the simple steps, go ahead – design frames that are uniquely yours! Let your custom frames become an integral part of your visual branding and content creation.



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Last modified: November 28, 2023

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