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How to Design Pinterest Pins + Video Tutorial!

November 6, 2020

This post contains affiliate links from products and services I find valuable. If you click through and make a purchase, I'll make a small commission, which comes at no cost to you. This supports my small business. Learn more here. 

Do you want to learn how to design Pinterest pins that relate to your business or content? You can save a tremendous amount of time by using templates. If you create your own pin templates, you can re-use them and you don’t have to build the template from scratch every single time. You can duplicate your pin templates and create dozens of pins in a short amount of time.

In this post, I’ll walk you through a straightforward Pinterest template tutorial. I’m not going to go into all the details of using Canva, but I’ll give you a good idea of how to set up a Pinterest template.

Why should you create your own templates?

The marketplace for Pinterest images is flooded and most of the pins look the same. To avoid this, you can create your own Pinterest images. In fact, around 10 million people are using the free templates that Canva offers, so are your pins truly standing out? I think not.

Canva offers a free version and a paid version for designing pins. I recommend using whatever you can afford. (While I use Adobe to create my pins, most beginners use online programs for their ease of use.)

Canva Free Version

The free version includes:

  • 250,000+ free templates
  • 100+ design types (social media posts, presentations, letters, and more)
  • Hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics
  • Invite members to your team
  • Collaborate and comment in real-time
  • 5GB of cloud storage

Download the FREE TEMPLATES!

Grab a free set of Pinterest templates made in Canva! You only need the free version to use and you can create a variety of Pinterest pins with this mix and match set. 

Canva Pro Version

The paid version includes everything the free one does, plus these features:

  • Establish your brand’s visual identity with logos, colors and fonts across multiple Brand Kits
  • One-click design Magic Resize
  • 420,000+ free templates with new designs daily
  • 75+ million premium stock photos, videos, audio and graphics free-to-use
  • Upload your own fonts and logos
  • Save designs as templates for your team to use
  • 100GB of cloud storage
  • Schedule social media content to 7 platforms

If you have the free Canva account, it has some limitations. For instance, you can only put a few colors in your color palette (Go to the dashboard and click on BRAND KIT to add your brand colors). If you have the paid version, it’s better, but you can still use the free version.

Pinterest Pin Sizing

First we need to set up a Pinterest pin, so log in to Canva. You will be on the dashboard, which shows designs and templates.

Go to CREATE A DESIGN in the right-hand corner type in “Pinterest.” Select the “Pinterest pin” option, which is 1000×1500 pixels. In the future, if you want to create a custom size, you can use 1000×1500 as that works too.

Read More About Pin Sizes: The Ultimate Pinterest Size Guide

After you click the Pinterest pin option, you will be on the artboard and see an empty canvas. Name your file appropriately at the top of the screen. I named mine “Pinterest Pin Template.” Now we have a blank Pinterest pin that we can use as a template. Be sure to click “save” to update your changes.

design pinterest pins set up

Set Up A Color Palette

From the Canva Pinterest template, navigate to ELEMENTS and then type in “rectangle.” Click on it to add it to your artboard, and then grab the corners and make it smaller. We need five rectangles to create a color palette, so to duplicate the shape, click on ALT or OPTION (on a MAC) and drag the shape over to another area.

design pinterest pins - add a rectangle

To clean up and align the boxes, hold down your mouse and drag it over all the shapes. Go to POSITION and click on TIDY UP, and it should put them all in a nice row. To move the entire row over, select them again, and then use the arrow keys to move them.

align shapes Canva

Brand Colors

If you have a jpg version of your logo or a photo you’d like to grab the colors from to use for your brand, upload that into Canva (go to the tabs on the left and click on Upload. Follow the directions for uploading your image file.) Place the image on your artboard area. Now Canva will recognize the colors inside their COLORS area.

color palette
The colors will show up in the PHOTO COLORS area

Click on one of your box shapes and then click on the color icon at the top. Scroll down to where it says “Photo Colors.”  Now you can add those colors to each of your boxes to create a color palette.

Now we have our colors set up, and we can keep the first pin and use it as a reference.

Duplicating a Pin

To duplicate the pin, click on the duplicate icon right above the pin. Now you’ll have a second copy. You can delete all the items in the second pin and leave the first one “as is.” So whenever we want to use a brand color, we can go to the first pin, and it’s right there.

how to duplicate a pin in Canva

If you’re creating a pin, and want to change your text color to one of your brand colors, click on the color icon at the top again. You’ll see the brand colors in the photo colors area and the document colors area. You can pull them up whenever you need that exact color.

Best Practice

For branding, you should use 2-3 fonts and 3-5 colors. Your pins should have some similarities with the color, look, and feel. Using a logo is optional, although Pinterest recommends it. I recommend using your website URL, especially if you lack brand recognition.

Download the FREE TEMPLATES!

Grab a free set of Pinterest templates made in Canva! You only need the free version to use and you can create a variety of Pinterest pins with this mix and match set. 

Decide on a Layout

How you want your pin to look? Consider these options:

  • Would a full photo work best?
  • Do you want half the pin as a photo?
  • Should one-third of the pin be a photo?
  • Is the text more important or the photo?

Place the most important thing (text or your photo) in 2/3rds of the space. Once you decide on the prominent piece, use the ruler and grid to help you layout your pin.

rule of thirds

Using Guides and Rulers

First, figure out where you want to place the guide by dividing the dimensions by 3. So, if you are splitting up a pin horizontally, divide the 1000 pixels by 3. You’ll set the guide at 333 and 666 pixels. If you are creating the split vertically, you’d divide 1500 by three and put the guides at 500 and 1000.

Set up your guide by going to the top of the artboard and find the rulers. If you don’t see them, go into FILE and make sure SHOW GUIDES and SHOW RULERS are checked.

Design Pinterest pins with Canva Rulers and Grids
Design Pinterest Pins with a Layout first

You can drag the guides by placing your mouse at the top of the ruler and dragging it down. To get rid of the guides, pull it up past the pin (or to the left or right of the pin) and let it go. This action will make the guide disappear.

Add Photos to Your  Pinterest Images

Upload a photo and place it on your pin, considering your layout. Stock photos are the best to use. You can find images to use in Canva under PHOTOS or upload your own. Read more about stock photos here. (Also, upload and use your own Pinterest graphics and illustrations using the same directions).

If you can, try to choose a photo that has an area that text can stand out. If your image is too busy, the text might be hard to read. Flat lays are always a good choice.

Add Text to your Template

Now that we know that we want to have the text take up most of the space, we can put title text on the pin template. If the blog content is called 100 tips for a keto diet, try splitting up the title. “Keto diet” is the keyword, so let that text stand out more than the others. “100 tips” and “for a” can have a smaller text hierarchy.  (Learn more about keywords here.)

If you click on the three dots in the right corner of the tool area, you will see a menu show up. Click on the aA to make your text uppercase. Use this tool for your keywords, so in this case, “keto diet.”

Changing text to all uppercase
Change the text to all uppercase

To change the line height, go to the icon with the three lines and an arrow next to it and adjust the bar’s line-height.

adjusting the line height in Canva
Adjust the line height in Canva

Using Text Effects to Design Pinterest Pins

If your background is distracting, try using the EFFECTS feature. Select your text box and go to EFFECTS at the top. Then select the effect you’d like to use. Adjust the offset, intensity, and colors using the toolbars. This feature adds effects to make your text pop off the page and mutes the background’s distractions.

Call to Action

The last thing you need to do is to add a call to action with your website. PRESS T and bring me up a text box and type in your URL for your website.

The call to action might be grab my cheat sheet or learn more or read more or click here. Add another text box and add a call to action above the URL you just created. If your content leads to a sign up or product for sale, be sure to use that in the call to action.

To align text, use your mouse and select all the text you want to align. Then go to POSITION and choose the alignment you want from the list. You can also use this to align objects.

Add Illustrations and Other Graphics

The last thing you can do for this pin is to add some fun illustrations or icons. Maybe you want to add an arrow, or perhaps you want to add a splash a color behind your text, or maybe you want to add just a little fun icon. You can add icons and illustrations from the ELEMENTS tab on the sidebar.

You now have a complete pin that you can use as a template. When you go back into your templates next time, it’s all set up for you. You only need to change out the picture, edit the text, and change out a graphic.

Design Pinterest Pins With Other Layouts

Now that you have your first pin, you need to duplicate it. Once you create a copy, change up the text and maybe add different shapes or illustrations. Be sure to create variations and different layouts. For instance, if you made a pin that used a full photo, you could change the duplicate pin to have an image that takes up 2/3rd of the pin. Now you have a very different layout, but the text and other elements are ready to be edited.

So, there you have it! You just created your first set of Pinterest images to use repeatedly. I recommend making a copy every time you want to use it, so you don’t write over your original templates. Whenever you need to use your templates for new content or posts, open the file, and go to FILE–>MAKE A COPY.

Video Tutorial for Pinterest Pins

Watch the video walkthrough to see the step-by-step process for how to design Pinterest pins that you can re-use for your business.

Free Pinterest Pins Image Set

If you want to see some examples of my templates before making your own Pinterest pins, be sure to grab the free set by signing up for my email list.

Download the FREE TEMPLATES!

Grab a free set of Pinterest templates made in Canva! You only need the free version to use and you can create a variety of Pinterest pins with this mix and match set. 

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About the Author

Pinterest graphic designer and digital strategist for business owners and change-makers who want to be seen and heard.

Michelle Buck

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