How to Stretch an Image in Canva

How to stretch an image in canva:

To stretch an image in Canva, first select the image then click and drag any of the corner handles diagonally outwards to enlarge or inwards to shrink. Stretching one side at a time distorts the image, while opposite sides maintains proportion. Use the lock icon to resize proportionally. Stretch until the image reaches the desired scale.

Canva is a popular graphic design platform that makes it easy for anyone to create stunning designs. One of the handy features in Canva is the ability to resize and stretch images to fit your needs.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to stretch images in Canva:

Why Stretch Images in Canva?

Here are some common reasons you may want to stretch an image in Canva:

  • To fit an image into a specific sized frame, shape or layout
  • To span an image across an entire page or background
  • To distort or warp an image for creative effect
  • To resize an image proportionally larger or smaller
  • To crop or zoom in on a certain area of an image

Stretching images in Canva gives you more control over the size and placement of images in your designs.

How to Stretch an Image in Canva

Stretching an image in Canva is easy to do in just a few steps:

1. Add Image to Design

First, add the image you want to stretch to your Canva design. You can upload your own image or choose one from Canva’s image library.

2. Select Image

Click on the image to select it. A border will appear around the selected image.

3. Click and Drag the Corner Handles

Look for the small white circles that appear on each corner of the selected image. These are the resize handles. Click and drag any of the corner handles diagonally to stretch the image larger or smaller.

4. Stretch Image to Desired Size

Drag the handles outwards to enlarge the image or inwards to shrink it. Stretching one side or corner at a time lets you distort the image. Stretching opposite sides/corners at once maintains proportion.

5. Optional: Lock Aspect Ratio

If you want to resize the image proportionally, click on “position” then “Arrange” and click the lock icon to maintain the aspect ratio while stretching.

6. Resize Until Image Reaches Desired Scale

Continue dragging the handles until the image reaches your ideal size and proportion. Use the rulers on the side and top to guide the stretch if needed.

7. Click Outside Image or Press Enter to Finish

Once you’re happy with the stretch, click anywhere outside the image or press Enter to set the new size. The image is now stretched to your specifications!

Tips for Stretching Images in Canva

  • Use high-resolution images for best print results when enlarging
  • Be careful not to distort or pixelate images when stretching too far
  • Scale images proportionally to avoid warped or skewed effects
  • Crop images first before stretching for more customization
  • Use Smart Crop to automatically crop photos for you
  • Stretching vector images avoids pixelation issues
  • Utilize design rules and grid lines for aligned image stretching
  • Undo mistakes with CTRL+Z

When to Use Image Stretching in Canva

Stretching images in Canva comes in handy for all kinds of design projects:

  • Social media posts and headers
  • Blog banners and images
  • Print projects like posters, flyers and brochures
  • Presentation slides and infographics
  • Websites, logos and other digital designs
  • Photo edits and touch-ups
  • Video content like YouTube thumbnails and channel art

With Canva’s design tools, you have full control over your images. Stretch photos, illustrations, clipart, icons and any other visuals to create perfectly customized designs every time!

Stretching Images into Frames and Shapes

In addition to stretching images manually, you can easily crop or fit images into the various shape frames in Canva.

Here’s how:

  1. Add a shape frame like a circle, triangle, banner box, etc. to your design
  2. Click the frame to select it
  3. Go to Uploads, Photos or Elements to find your image
  4. Drag and drop the image on top of the frame
  5. The image will automatically fill the frame, cropping or stretching to fit
  6. Double-click the image to adjust scale, position and zoom

With the frame method, you don’t have to worry about manually stretching the image pixel-perfect to size. Canva does the work for you!

Stretching Background Images

For full-page designs, you may want an image to stretch across the entire background. Here are two options:

Using Magic Resize

  1. Upload your photo to Canva
  2. Add your image to page
  3. Select your photo
  4. Right Click on image and select “Replaced background
  5. Image cover all of your design page

Manual Method

  1. Insert your image on the page
  2. Pull the resize handles on opposite corners to enlarge it
  3. Send the image behind any elements so it’s in the background
  4. Optionally add transparency to create an overlay effect
  5. Send the image backward and stretch it until it covers the whole page


Learning how to resize and stretch images unlocks new creative possibilities in Canva. Adjusting the scale, proportion, crop and position of images gives you total control over your designs.

With a few simple clicks and drags of the resize handles, you can transform any photo, graphic or visual element to the perfect size and shape.

Stretch images effortlessly across backgrounds, shapes, frames and layouts to create stunning designs with Canva today!


How do I resize an image in Canva without stretching it?

To resize an image proportionally without stretching, click the lock icon after click on “position”, next to the image width/height to maintain the aspect ratio. Then drag any of the corner handles in or out to scale.

Can you stretch PNG files in Canva?

Yes, PNG images can be stretched in Canva just like JPGs and other image formats. As a vector file format, PNGs can scale up without losing quality.

What’s the easiest way to stretch a photo full screen?

The quickest way is using Magic Resize. Click “Fullscreen” from the resize options or manually drag the image to fill the page, sending it backward behind other elements.

How do I stretch an image vertically or horizontally only?

To stretch an image on one axis only, unlock the aspect ratio. Then drag the top/bottom handle to stretch vertically or the side handles to stretch horizontally.

Why does my image get blurry when I enlarge it in Canva?

This pixelation occurs when low resolution images are scaled significantly larger. Use high-res images whenever possible for the cleanest stretch and print results.

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Last modified: March 1, 2024

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