Canva Tutorials

How to Use Frames in Canva? The Easiest Way

How to make frames canva
Published 13 May 2022

Canva is a star among graphic design platforms. It is available for free or with a paid subscription, and either way, it offers a wide range of advanced tools.

The design possibilities are practically limitless as there are thousands of free templates that are fully customisable. This means you can add shapes, videos, text, frames and even upload your photos.

In this article, we will focus on using frames in your designs. Borders and frames can make all the difference in the overall aesthetic.

Whether it’s a social media post, business card or zoom background, they make the layout look more elegant. Of course, you are allowed to have fun with borders. Read on to find out how you can use this element even more creatively in Canva.

What are Frames in Canva?

Photo frames in Canva are not what they sound like. They are not a frame-like border that you add to your photos. Frames allow you to crop your images and videos to your desired shape. You can shape your photo into a window, circle, heart, star, number, etc. – you get the gist.

Canva offers countless shapes, i.e. frames, in which you can insert your pictures and videos. For example, frames are very useful when you want to add a headshot to your design. And using them is easy too!


How do I use frames in my Canva?

Frames are regarded as essential tools in graphic design. They are most commonly used for the structure. You can add a frame to create a clear outline or divide the layout into different compartments. They are also great for drawing attention to individual elements such as text, images or numbers.

Canva offers an impressive frame library. An array of them are available for free; however, some require a Pro subscription to use them. 

Should you decide to use a premium element without a subscription, you will be left with a watermark on your design. But, the good news is that you can still use all elements and the watermark is pretty discreet.

There is a desktop and mobile app for Mac, iPhone, Android gadgets, and Windows devices. The interface on all their systems is pretty similar and very user-friendly. Canva isn’t just for professional use, so you don’t have to be a star graphic designer to create something beautiful.

Plus, adding frames is probably the most straightforward task. Read on for a step-by-step breakdown of the process.

Add images and videos to your designs in unique shapes with frames.

Step 1 – Set up your frame & photo

  1. Log in to Canva.
  2. Open your existing design or create a new one of any size. Frames work with all post sizes available in Canva and any custom designs you make.
  3. Then go to the navigation pane on the left and click on the “Elements” tab.
Elements in your frame canva
  1. The Elements panel will expand. In the search bar on top, type ‘Frames‘ and all shapes will open.
  2. Select the one you want. The empty frame will appear in your design.
  3. To add a photo, go to the ‘Photos‘ tab to use a photo from the Canva library, or the ‘Uploads‘ tab to use your own image.
  4. Drag the image from the left pane instead of clicking on it, and drop it into the frame. You can also drag videos into the frame in a similar way.
  5. Drag and drop the picture into the frame. Your photo will appear in the frame. You can adjust both the photo and the size of the frame. To adjust the photo, double-click on it. You can also click once on the item and select ‘Crop‘ from the toolbar at the top.
Upload a photo to your frame

Step 2 – Adjust the frame to fit

The photo is selected. Drag the frame to adjust its placement. When you move the photo over the frame, the photo is cropped, so to speak. Hold one of the white circle handles in the corners and drag it in or out to resize.

Edit a frame image or photo

Then click on the ‘Done’ option.

Resizing the frame

To resize the frame, click once on the element. By default, the frame is selected, and you can’t access the image. To change the position of the image, drag it or drag the white circle handles to change the size.

Don’t like the way it looks?

You can easily delete the image or frame and start with another. Select the item and click the “Delete” button at the top of the toolbar. The options “Delete picture” and “Delete frame” are displayed. Click on the one you want to remove.

Delete a frame

Step 3 – Customise the styles

Tired of the old image design? You can add colour to the frame instead of photos or videos. Select the frame and click on the ‘Rainbow colour‘ tile in the toolbar.

Then select the colour you want from the suggested colours or add a new colour by clicking the ‘New Colour’ option.

Change the color of a frame

Why use Canva Frames?

Canva is a fantastic tool for expressing your creativity. You can create social media posts, posters and presentations, business cards, t-shirt prints, etc. You can indeed design anything. Frames give another dimension to your designs and help them look more professional with ease.

The Ease of Use

Canva is very practical and easy to use by anyone. While designing, you may accidentally close the app. But there’s no need to panic. Canva saves all your pages automatically, so simply log back in and pick up where you stopped.

How do I use frames & shapes successfully in Canva?

The first rule is that there are no rules with Canva. The platform offers endless customisation options for all elements, including frames. Whether creating a completely original design or tweaking an existing template, you have complete creative freedom.

Canva is extremely user-friendly, so trying it out is the best way to learn all its features. However, if you’re looking for some essential design tips and hacks, be sure to read this article thoroughly again to master the process.

Overlay Creatively

Don’t be afraid to experiment with layout. Canva doesn’t force you to have a neat structure; you can use overlapping shapes and multiple layers. It will make for an interesting design when done the way you imagined