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Easy Canva Part II: 5 Easy Steps Using Photo Grids

Easy Canva Part II: 5 Easy Steps Using Photo Grids

Photo Grids might be the easiest way to use Canva. This second easy Canva tutorial (Go to the first tutorial if you’re new to Canva) focuses on these grids that have a box or boxes you drag photos and/or text into to create photo collages. Quickly make Facebook memes and other projects. You identify them by the image of green grass with a blue sky and a cloud on them. (And that will matter for the bonus material at the end.) Photo Grids are the least flexible of the methods we’ll look at, so they aren’t as much fun to me. Since we all work differently, they may turn out to be your favorite.

If you learn more easily with video, go to the end of this section.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Begin by going to the Canva home page and choosing a pre-made size for the project you want to make. Once again, we’ll make a Facebook meme with a quote on it so pick the one for a Facebook Post. When it comes to photo grids, some of Canva’s project sizes immediately show the grid options in the column to the left of your now blank box, with other sizes you’ll need to click ELEMENTS then Grids to find them. Scroll through them and find the one that best works for your project. I wanted to make a meme for a quote that had three prominent words starting with P, so I chose this one:


Step 1:

Once you’ve clicked on the grid of your choice, it’s time to fill the boxes. Canva has both free and paid images* and I used all free Canva images. You can also upload your own images — one you’ve bought from a stock photo site like DepositPhotos or one you’ve taken yourself — by simply dragging an image to Uploads or by clicking Upload Your Own Images.

Tip: Watch the upload circle with the arrow in it. It will fill with blue — occasionally with a rubber duck floating on it or a submarine in it. Wait until the circle is filled. I learned from experience that if you click the image that appears to be there before the circle has finished filling with blue, it won’t work right.

If you’d like to use Canva’s images, enter what you need in the search bar. You must use a photo for these grids, so also click Photos under the search box to narrow the search. If you want free images, they come up first and may also be scattered in further down the list. Or go to ELEMENTS then Free Photos to see the entire inventory of free images.

When you’ve chosen an image, click on the box in the grid where you want that image, making sure dashed lines appear around it and not just around the outside edge of the project. Drag and drop the image into it. It will automatically fill the space. If it isn’t showing the portion of the photo you wanted it to — maybe it cut off a woman’s head or just cropped it badly otherwise — that’s easy to fix in Step 2.


Step 2:

Once the image is there, you can double-click it to move it around or resize it with the dots at the corners so the portion you want is showing. If it doesn’t seem right to you, I find that it helps to drag the photos corner to enlarge it and then shift the image around to choose a portion of it. When you’re done, click the check mark on the top bar. Continue in this way until all of the boxes in your grid are filled.

Tip: If you drag on the image in one of the boxes, it may pull everything that direction. Don’t panic because it’s easy to fix. Notice the four dots, one at each corner when you click on the project. You can drag the dots back to the corners where they should be, and it will be fine. (I found this out when I panicked. 🙂

Step 3:

Then click on TEXT in the far left column. There are preset text formats of combined fonts that you can choose, much like the layouts in part 1 of this series, but those rarely fit what I want. I almost always choose one of the three sizes of text they offer: Add Heading, Add Subheading or Add a Little Bit of Body Text. Remember that the size and font can be changed. This is only a starting point. Add text to each box one at a time.

Step 4:

The text didn’t stand out as much as I wanted it to, no matter what color I tried, so I added a Filter. Click on the photo, again looking for dashed lines around that box in the grid, then click on Filter in the bar above your project. You’ll see many options. I tried them all, finally settling on The Blues. Then I dragged the dot on the bar to find the point where it looked best and chose 65. I used the same filter and setting on all four photos. The images darkened so that text showed up better and I like the retro effect. (I’ll show you another method for making text stand out in the third post.)

Step 5:

The final touch is to change the color or background image seen through the grid lines. I save this until the end because then I can tell what will work best with the design. Click on the project, then BACKGROUND to the far left. You can choose any color. To create a specific color, select the + and move the circle on the color wheel, or enter a color code. I clicked on the + and skidded the circle around until I found a color that felt right. If you’d prefer a pattern, choose from those shown here and change the color or colors from the bar above.

Tip: I prefer not to have wide spacing with the grid lines. To change spacing, click on the project and a Spacing button will appear in the bar above. Move it until it suits your project. This came set to 10 and I lowered it to 5.

Watch the video to see the steps in action.


Easy Canva Part II - 5 Easy Steps Using Canva's Photo Grids


For a prettier version of the same photo grid and quote, I chose a new image for the largest box and dragged it into place. This more girly Facebook meme has two major changes: it doesn’t use a filter and the three words in the side boxes are all in the same font. I had to play with this image to get the stars to position around the quote and not mixed into it so the words became harder to read. To do that, I double clicked on the background image, moved it slightly, checked it, then repeated until it was right.

The grid boxes don’t have to have images, they can also be filled with color. Click on the box, wait to see the dashed lines around it, and go to the bar above where you’ll see a color-filled box. The three box colors are pulled from the image itself. The font was selected because it was lighter in weight and wouldn’t overwhelm the quote’s font. The three side words shouldn’t be more important than the main image and quote.


I may not love the photo grids, but the same technology is used in something that I love! They’re many different shapes that hold photos using the same drag and drop system. I’ve found these through two main search methods. Either put photoholder (one word) in the search bar and click Illustrations under that to narrow it down further. Or go to ELEMENTS then Frames. They won’t all appear no what you do so try both and scroll through them to see your options. Remember: you’re only searching for photo holders that have that green grass, sky, cloud image on them.

Some circle options are below. Notice that the one on the top left comes with strips on it and those stripes will show through the photo. Photoholders are for photos, not to fill with color — we can do that in other ways — but you can add text to the photo. Also note that wherever there is a color on the photoholder, such as the green band on the lower right circle or the border of the one on the lower left, that can be changed on the bar above when the photo holder is surrounded by dashed lines.

And with photos:

Here are some other shapes filled with photos. Aren’t these fun?! The one photo that isn’t a Canva freebie is the one of me with my name beside it.


I hope you’re feeling inspired to try photo grids to make a Facebook meme or other project. If you missed the first post about using Canva’s layouts, click here. In the next post, we’ll start with a blank box.


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

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