How To Create a YouTube Thumbnail in Canva

No gimmick here, it's just free.
Britt Britt (157)
10 minutes

These days, branding and consistency is everything on YouTube. While it's recommended to use programs like Photoshop, it’s not accessible to everyone. That’s where Canva comes in!

Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, videos, and other visual content. Users can choose from many pre-designed templates, edit the designs, or upload their own photos. The free version of Canva is unmatched by any other graphic design sites out there. You can even upload your own fonts to make sure your branding is cohesive!

Creating a thumbnail for YouTube doesn’t have to be a hassle. Canva provides free and customizable templates, so you create thumbnails specific for your channel. Once you’ve created your own, you can always return to Canva for any new videos you have!

If you’re interested in any more free tools for content creation, be sure to check out this guide!

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canva dashboard

Navigate to Canva's website.

Once you’ve signed in or signed up, you’re taken to this main dashboard. Here you can search for themes, templates, or view your own designs.

search canva

In the search bar at the top of the screen, type in “YouTube Thumbnail”. Various options will appear, but they’re all the same sizing, so choose whichever you think fits best.

For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to click on YouTube Thumbnail.

filters canva search

Before we start browsing, we need to filter out anything that isn’t free. In the left sidebar you’ll find all the filters. Scroll down and check off the box that says "Free".

Continue on to filter down to what you need or want. You can filter by themes, styles and color!

You can also start from a blank design if you can’t find anything that catches your eye.

Once ready, click to open the design template you want to use.

edit a design template in canva

You now have a handful of ways to edit the template. Plus, if you don’t like how it looks closer up, you can change the template at any time from this design dashboard!

Be sure to change the design name to whatever you’d like!

Canva allows you to change all colors, fonts, and photos! So feel free to play around! As you can see in the photo above, there are many ways to design what you need. With integrations, emojis, and more you can create something eye-catching!

make a youtube thumbnail in canva

Here's our example of how we changed the colors and background image.

download image from canva

Once you’ve finished editing and designing, it's time to download your thumbnail! To do so, click the Download button at the top right of the screen.

In the dropdown, click the purple Download. Canva will spend a few seconds preparing the image for download.

Depending on your browser and its settings, you might be able to choose where to save the thumbnail, otherwise check your download folder.

There you go! You now have a design template of your own and a new YouTube thumbnail!

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