Refresh your blog in a snap with a custom header you create in Canva.
It’s late spring, your site is overdue for a makeover, and you don’t know where to start. Sound familiar? Creating a new custom header is one way to refresh your site’s look and inject a fresh spark of personality at the same time.
We’ve explored Pablo and Canva, two free tools to create custom images to use in image widgets and site headers, and to unify your brand across your social profiles. Today, we’ll go deeper and learn how to create a custom header using Canva in under ten minutes flat. Are you ready? Here we go!
Get your site’s header’s dimensions
Heather Armstrong, who blogs at Dooce, changes her header once per month. Here’s her archive of often hilarious mastheads.
Go to My Site(s) → Customize → Header Image. If your theme supports a custom header, you’ll see a message stating the optimal image size. Note that my header image below is 960 pixels wide x 180 pixels tall:
Note: you can also find key specs and dimensions for your theme at the bottom of its showcase page.
Create a Canva account
Next, create an account with Canva. For a quick peek around, browse various tutorials or resources like color palettes, font combinations, and even design courses. Otherwise, let’s dive right in.
Set your site header’s dimensions
Once logged into Canva, click on Use custom dimensions to set the image size you’ll create:
I’ve entered 960 x 180:
Choose a background
Once you’ve set your image size, poke at the different backgrounds available. You’ll see a preview of your image on the right-hand side. You can use one of the free patterns, select a solid color, or click on the “plus” symbol to reveal a color wheel. You can click anywhere on the wheel or enter the hex value for the color you’d like. I went with a lighter orange background with a funky circular pattern in it:
Add some text
Next up, add some text to your new custom header. Here, I’ve clicked and dragged one of the sample text options on to my background. You can adjust the font, size, and color as you see fit:
Play with graphical elements
Canva offers plenty of free images to choose from, and you can also upload your own. Here’s a resource of high-quality, free-to-use stock photographs.
Next, I added a fun little “voice bubble” (also a free element you can click and drag under the text options). And finally, for a little visual interest, I searched dog illustrations and chose the universal symbol for barking dog. There are plenty of free images and illustrations to choose from, so with a little time you can mess around and create the look that’s just right for your blog’s brand and your personality:
Download your image
Once you’re satisfied (and you can easily get lost for hours playing around with Canva — it’s that much fun), click on the Download button in Canva’s main menu and save your new custom header as an image in a location on your computer:
Upload your new header
Go to My Site(s) → Customize → Header Image and click Add new image to upload your new custom header. Finally, click Publish to add your new header to your site:
Keep playing, keep experimenting
Canva has free design tutorials on design elements such as fonts, color, images, backgrounds, shapes, and more.
This resource scratches the surface of the custom headers you can create with Canva. Now get on over there and start experimenting. Have fun!
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