An Intro to Canva & DIY Family Tree Print


Est. 1989 (1)

Have you always wondered how people make their memes or other professional looking images? Of the programs I’ve tried, Canva is a favorite. It’s user-friendly, free (if you stick to free elements), and saves your projects for future editing. I’m going to teach you how to make a beautiful art project you can give as a gift, and you’ll learn how to use Canva in the process.

First, head over to On the photo below, you will see how the site stores all my old designs/graphics, which is something I love. I can always go back and edit something I’ve already done. But when you’re looking to start a new project, continue to step 2.


2. On the top of the page you will see a series of options to make a graphic. These options work great to make memes for Facebook or blog post graphics. When you want to use a custom size for an art print, go to the top right corner. There is a blue box that says “use custom dimensions,” click on that option.


3. You can choose whatever dimensions you want your final project to be, I picked 8 X 10 inches for this one, because it will fit a standard frame size. Make sure you scroll down to “in” for inches instead of “px” for pixels. Then click the green “Design!” button. DSC_0394

4. The icons for creating your design are on on the far left in a black column. Start with the top one: layout. I usually just need the top left option, one full size image. Click on it to select.

IMG_20160609_204214378_HDR 5. Then choose the background by clicking on the desired design. Note: I stick to all free elements, the price is indicated in the bottom left of the options. You can also manipulate color, I’ll explain that in a minute.IMG_20160609_204234780_HDR

6. For this project, choose “elements” next. It allows the user to add shapes, icons, charts, illustrations, etc.


7. For this project I chose a circular shape by clicking on it.


8. If you don’t like the color, simply click on a different color in the options box that appears on the project screen. If you click the (+) sign, a whole color wheel will open for color adjustment. IMG_20160609_204333515

9. You can use the search box on top of the left column to find a tree for the family tree project. For other projects, you can search for images of anything. They have a million images so you can probably find what you need.


10. Click on the option you like and it appears on the project. You can drag to center as you prefer and also adjust color.


11. Then onto the text. Choose the text icon on the left hand column and several options will open.


12. Adding “heading” gives you larger size lettering, “subheading” is medium, and “body text” is small. You can manipulate letter size, font, and colors with the box that pops up on your project. This is where the artist in you can come out to play!


13. When you’re satisfied, you can save your project in the top right hand corner. It’ll ask you what size; typically I chose JPEG, for web, so it doesn’t take too much memory when I’m adding it to blog posts or social media.

14. To print: download to your computer and proceed like you normally print a download. This particular project looks especially stunning on pearlized photo paper, but you can print to cardstock or anything else.

Two finished projects—photo project options are endless with Canva, happy creating!


Est. 1989

And…framed. 🙂