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Applying Vintage Photo Frames in Canva

Applying vintage photo frames in Canva is easy. Just upload your photo, browse Canva’s vintage frames under Elements, drag your chosen frame onto the image, resize and adjust layering, edit the frame’s appearance, and download your framed photo. Vintage frames give images an old-fashioned, nostalgic look.



Adding vintage photo frames to your images in Canva is a great way to give them an old-fashioned, nostalgic look. With just a few clicks, you can transform ordinary photos into stylized works of art. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply vintage frames in Canva:

Selecting a Vintage Frame

Canva offers a wide selection of vintage-style frames to choose from. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Polaroid frames – These frames mimic the white border and square shape of old Polaroid photos. They give images a retro, instant camera effect.
  • Film frames – Designed to look like strips of analogue film, these frames add a classic movie style.
  • Painted frames – Reminiscent of hand-painted art, these feature rough edges and visible brush strokes. Great for a bohemian vibe.
  • Distressed frames – Featuring faded edges and scratches, these frames have an antique, weathered appearance.
  • Ornate frames – Intricate carved patterns for a formal, sophisticated look. Ideal for portraits.
  • Burlap frames – Made from natural jute fibers, these rustic frames complement outdoor photos nicely.
  • Photo corners – Adhesive-backed paper photo corners mimic old-school photo albums. Apply them to give images a scrapbooked look.
  • ticket stubs frames – Designed like retro ticket stubs and concert passes. Perfect for memorializing special events and performances.

Browse Canva’s Elements library and pick a frame that matches the mood you want to convey. Vintage-style frames come in diverse shapes, colors and patterns.

Uploading your Photo

Next, upload the photo you want to frame. Click the “Uploads” tab in the left sidebar and select your image. Supported file types include JPG, PNG, and GIF. For best results, ensure your photo is high resolution.

If you want your framed photo to have a perfectly centered appearance, crop or adjust the original image before uploading. Otherwise, you can crop and realign after adding the frame in Canva.

Inserting the Frame

With your image uploaded, navigate to the “Elements” tab. Drag and drop your chosen vintage frame onto the canvas. Position and resize the frame as needed to fit around your photo.

Use the send backward and bring forward options to adjust layering. You may need to enlarge the frame so it fully covers the photo’s edges.





If applying rounded frames, use the corner radius slider to curve the corners and create a soft, oval shape. Add padding between the frame and photo by increasing the white space margins.

Additional Editing

Part of the appeal of vintage frames is their worn, distressed appearance. You can enhance this effect in Canva by editing the frame graphic. Try applying filters like sepia and black and white. Adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation for a faded look.

Overlay textures like film grain, paper fibers or ink stains onto the frame. Lower the transparency so they blend subtly.

For extra embellishment, add stickers like film dust, scratches, or cracks. Use warp tools to bend the stickers to match the frame’s shape. Blend these seamlessly into the frame graphic to complete the vintage style.

Adding Graphics and Text

Besides framing the photo itself, you can use graphics and text to further decorate your framed image. Consider adding:

  • A custom title or subtitle
  • Quotes, lyrics, or poems
  • Botanical elements like flowers and leaves
  • Outer borders, ribbons, or tape
  • Scribbles, stamps, washi tape

When applying text and extra graphics, use fonts and color palettes that complement the vintage look. Keep embellishments minimal for an authentic, timeworn aesthetic.

Exporting your Photo

With your framed photo designed, go to the “Download” menu to save it. Export formats include JPG, PNG, and PDF.

For online sharing, 1080×1080 pixels is an optimal image size. Print resolution will be higher quality for physical photo keepsakes like canvas prints, framed prints or scrapbooks.

Experiment with different frame styles and edits. With Canva’s wide range of templates and design tools, you can easily turn ordinary photos into extraordinary vintage-framed masterpieces.



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Last modified: November 4, 2023

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