How to Create Transparent Backgrounds for Free

If you have a free account with Canva.com, you’ve probably already figured out that you cannot download your PNG images with a transparent background.

 

That function is for “Canva for Work” users who have paid plans. But, you want to be cool and have transparent backgrounds like everyone else…you’re just tight on funds and/or the Canva upgrade simply isn’t on your priority list.

No worries.  I’m going to show you 2 Ways to get a transparent background without having to upgrade.

Method 1: LunaPic

LunaPic is an online editing tool that allows you to change your image in many ways. It’s honestly one of my favorites, and the best part is that it’s free. No signup required.

Here’s the direct link to the transparency tool. Save it to your favorites.

Let’s go over 2 situations in Canva.

In this example, I took the “I Heart Canva” graphic from the Elements area, changed the color of the heart and placed it on an orange background.

 

Now I want just the heart with a transparent background. Go into LunaPic, upload the graphic and click on the color you want removed, which in this case is the orange.

 

Tip: When you know you’re going to need a transparent background in Canva, it’s best to use a background color somewhat close to the color of your graphic because sometimes there is a tiny outer line left even after you adjust the threshold.

 

2nd Situation, which is tricky:

Let’s use this sample logo I created for the Boss Brand Guide.

I created in Canva and it has a white background.  If I were to place it on another image, it wouldn’t look too great:

 

Go into the original logo image created in Canva and change the background to color close to the outer edge. I’ll just use pink in this example.

You probably expected the white to stay behind the letter of the logo, but that isn’t the case.  The whole logo is already transparent.  How do we fix this?

Go over to “Shapes” click the circle and change the color to white.  Make sure it’s the same size as your logo (Canva already did it for me). Then arrange the circle to the back.

 

 

Download the image once again and upload it into LunaPic, clicking the pink to get rid of the background.

 

And there you have your logo, which the white only behind the letters with a transparent background. Download it from LunaPic and upload it into Canva.

IMPORTANT: Don’t drag and drop for png with transparent background in Upload portion of Canva, it will not upload correctly. Upload your transparent background images by clicking “Upload your own images” and choosing the image in your computer.

Now you can see that when add the image back into your desired background, it looks like it’s supposed to look!

 

Method 2: Burner Bonanza

Burner Bananza is good for situations where the background of the image matches elements within the image that you don’t want transparent OR the background is way more complicated than a solid color.  Go to Burner Bananza and upload (or drag) you image into the area indicated.

LunaPic won’t do the job in this case.

 

Burner Bonanza will remove the background in different ways, and you can choose which one is closet to the one you want.  If it’s not perfect, simply choose the one that requires you do to do the least amount of work and click the “Touch Up” button.

In the Touch Up area, you will use the magic wand to indicate which areas to keep or remove.  Once completed, you click “Log in to Download” (creating an account is free).  You will download your completed image, and that’s it!

Now you can remove backgrounds without having to purchase expensive tools.  🙂

Want to see it done on video? Watch it here!

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Canva: How to Create Social Media Post Graphics

Intro to Canva

Canva is a free graphic-design tool website used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tool can be used for both web and print media design and graphics, and access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. In my opinion, Canva is really awesome. Like…I love it….I love it a lot.

HEADS UP: If you already have experience with Canva, by all means, skip the intro stuff by clicking here so we can get to the nitty gritty!

The Basics

The sidebar from top to bottom:

-User info, once you create an acccount

-Create a design: Self explanatory

-All your designs: All the designs you’ve created on Canva

-Shared with you: A colleague or client can share designs via the email address registered on Canva, and the program stores it here.

-Team members: If you have employees are team members, you can add them specifically as “team members” so that sharing designs is easier for you.  Those with free accounts can add up to 10 team members.

-Your brand: NOT FOR US FREE ACCOUNT USERS! Yea, you have to upgrade to Canva for Work to get this feature. However, you create your own sheet using our Boss Brand Guide. If you don’t have it, sign up to be a Boss Brand and you’ll get it for free. Shameless plug? Whatevs. Haha.

-Find templates: An area that has various templates depending on your needs such as social media, etsy banner, flyers, etc.

-Add new folder:  Looks like us Free Account users can only add up to 2 folders. Anything beyond that requires a Canva for Work membership.

-Trash: When you delete designs, Canva will store it in its Trash section for 30 days before permanently remove it.  This feature has been a life saver for me recently.

Creating a Design

You can choose any template by using what is shown or clicking the “more” button to the right.  If you need to create a graphic with custom dimensions, all you have to do is click “Use custom dimensions” at the top right and enter the width and height in pixels.

This feature is a MUST when creating covers for your social media platforms because they are not in the templates.  The Boss Brand Guide has  pixel dimensions for all the popular social media platforms to ensure your graphics look their best.

Since this tutorial is for creating a social media post, we’re just going to click the “social media” template.

Your Work Area

Another tab will open up and your work are will look like the image above.  Let’s quickly introduce the menu bar and tools on the left side.

Free Photos: Pretty self explanatory. Canva will show you all the photos available for free. However, they are not sorted out.  So it’s better to user the search bar above it to find what you want and Canva will automatically show you the free ones first.Grids: Similar to Pic-Stich, you can combine photos into one organized graphic.

Frames: Add a frame to your graphic.

Shapes: Add shapes to your graphic. (Boy, this part is easy!)

Lines: Add lines to your graphic.

Illustrations: Drawings of images, not photos. What’s cool about illustrations in Canva is that one you choose it, you can change the color(s).

Icons: You can also change color(s) of icons as well.

Charts: It’s obvious, but honestly….I’ve never used this in Canva.  I usually use the charts in Word or Excel, but perhaps you can make your data more attractive creating the chart here.

I Love Canva: All kinds of fun Canva icons, which is great for someone like me who is doing tutorials because I don’t have to search for Canva pngs.  It’s all in one place!


Text: Canva helps you out by giving you Header 1, 2 and 3 sizes (top 3) so that you’ll have the size figured out and all you have to do is change the font if needed.  They also provide some really beautiful samples that you can add to your graphic.  You just click it, and update the words to your own.

Background: You can set the background to a color by choosing one on the default palette or click the square with the plus sign to create your own color using the shade selector or enter the exact hexadecimal color. The exact hexadecimal color is essential for maintaining consistency in your brand.

Refer to your Boss Brand Guide for more on hexadecimal colors.

Uploads: You can upload images to your library so that images such as your brand logo are readily available.

The Nitty Gritty

To get my background image, I’m going to search “office” in the search bar.  The image is a naturally a rectangle, but I’m going to pull the corner of the image out to make it big enough to fill the enter area of the square.

     

 

Then to create my overlay, you go to Elements: Shapes.  Choose the square. Canva should automatically center if for you. (If not, you’ll fix it in the next few steps.)  To make the square some transparency, click the checkered button and drag the circle to the left to your desired level of transparency.

   

 

Centering: If you still need to center the square (you can do this anything in Canva), you can drag it until you see the purple dashes create 4 perfect squares.  That means it’s centered.

 

Now I’m going to save you from utter boredom by showing you all the rest in one graphic (made in Canva, of course).

 

Name your file by clicking the name generic name Canva provided (sometimes it’s Untitled, or the first few words of your text).

 

The download your file. Canva recommends PNG, and I also agree because PNG files keep the integrity of the graphic while JPGs tend to lose some of the quality especially when resized.  You also have the option to download the graphic as a PDF.  The “All pages” only applies if you created multiple pages of graphics in one file. I’ll explain next.

 

If you want to create all your social media templates in one file, you can click what looks like 2 sheets of paper next to the page number by the graphic. It will create a copy.  I suggest completing the graphic, copying it and replacing the background.  Then if you need to change the wording, the fonts and everything are already set.  Super easy!

Want to see how a post is created in real time?  Watch it here!
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