Let me walk you through the easiest way to make a YouTube thumbnail that stands out and looks amazing.
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2:08 Elements of a thumbnail
4:48 Searching for thumbnail templates hack
8:03 Image hacks
11:20 Text effect hack
15:54 Uploading your thumbnail
How to make a YouTube thumbnail – Easy Canva tutorial – Video Transcript
Hello, and welcome to the live stream, whether you are joining me live now, or if you’re catching us on the replay. In today’s video, I’m going to be walking you through how to create a YouTube thumbnail using Canva.
This is a Canva tutorial, and I’m going to step you through exactly what you need to do to create a YouTube thumbnail really quickly, as well as one that stands out and stops the scroll so that people can pick your video when they’re searching on YouTube search.
Now, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sara Nguyen, and I help coaches, consultants and creative pros build their business using video with ease. And I live stream a lot about live streaming to help you get the best possible live stream and video possible.
Make sure that you check out the links in the description, because I’ll put all of the timestamps as well as any resources that I mentioned in this video. Now, I have had a couple of questions about how do I create my thumbnails for YouTube, as well as the ones that I put on Facebook for my Facebook live thumbnails.
And the big secret is that I use Canva for all of my design and predominantly most of my YouTube thumbnail needs. And I’m going to walk you through exactly how you can do that.
And this one’s going to be a bit different from my other tutorials, because I’m going to show you all the hacks that you can use with Canva so that you can create one really quickly. Let’s go over to my computer now. That’s the wrong camera. That’s okay.
We’re going over to my computer now. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to have a look at getting started. Now, as I said, I create all of my thumbnails using Canva.
These are the last, how many? The last 39 or so of them. And as you can see, they’re all there displayed in one go. I’m going to show you how to create your own ones and some guidelines to help you really create the best thumbnail possible.
Now, the first thing that I need to get out of the way is your thumbnail dimensions. The size that you want to create your thumbnail for is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Write that down.
That’s the size, make sure that you’re really clear on that because that’s not always the size that you’re given, but essentially this is the 16 x 9 ratio, 1920 x 1080. Now I want you to start by going to create a design. This is in the top right-hand corner here, this section here.
I want you to select that and after you’ve selected that, I want you to type in those dimensions I gave you. It’s a test. No, it’s not a test. 1920 x 1080, and then select create a design, right?
And this will open up the canvas for you to start designing with. And I’m going to remove myself so that you can see all of the screen. Now, after you’ve got the canvas up and running, we’re going to walk through a couple of guidelines, essentially with your YouTube thumbnail.
There are a couple of things that you want. The first thing that you want is you want big bold text, right? As I’ve written here you want big bold text, whether you put it on the left-hand side or the right-hand side or across the top, I don’t think that matters that much.
I typically put it on the left-hand side, but you want big bold text. Your YouTube thumbnail is not the space to be doing fancy, tiny calligraphy. You want big, bold text so that people can see it, particularly when they’re looking on a small device, like a mobile device, or if they have vision issues like I do, where they can’t see things, unless the text’s really big.
You want the text to be really big. And the second thing that you want is an image, right? Predominantly, most of the time, you’ll see people have their faces as the image or something related to the actual video itself.
These are the two things that you need to have. If you are creating your thumbnail. Now, let’s go into how you actually start to piece it together. After you’ve gone into Canva, and if you check out the link in the description, you get access via my link to Canva Pro for free for 30 days.
That gives you all the access to their amazing paid features. And you can get it for free for 30 days. Go, go bananas, create all of your thumbnails during this 30-day period that you get up for free.
Now, after you’ve created your canvas, what I want you to do is I want you to go to the top left-hand corner here. This section that says templates, right? And then, in this template section, I want you to search for two things.
You can either search for YouTube thumbnail, and this will bring up all of the templates that they’ve already premade for YouTube thumbnails, which you can start to use or use as a foundation for your thumbnails or so I’ve been, you know, I use Canva a lot, the one that I find that gives you slightly better designs that still is in this layout and aspect ratio is I want you to look up the keywords in stream, oh, you can type stream advertising, right?
Type in stream advertising. Then these are the design templates that Canva have created expecially for ads. And why am I telling you to use this one instead of the YouTube thumbnail?
I’m saying you can use the YouTube thumbnail, but I’m saying in-stream advertising templates that you see here, these are the designs that they created for advertising on Facebook and advertising in general. And the whole point of an ad is to stop the scroll.
And the whole point of an ad is to communicate a message really quickly, which is why I love these, these advertising templates. And I think they make really great templates for your YouTube thumbnail. You can see how great they are.
And they’re a little bit different from the standard YouTube thumbnail templates. Use the in stream advertising keyword as a hack to find some really good templates.
Now, as you can see, there’s a whole bunch of designs here, you know, scroll through and don’t get hung up on the fact that it’s a certain colour or that, you know, for example, this one has a game thingy on it. Think of it more as in layout.
And remember that you can change the image, you can change the text and you can change the background. For example, as you can see here, there’s this one which I’m going to select where there’s this dude here who’s, you know, it’s yellow and it’s white.
And if I scroll on it, there’s a version where it’s also got a girl on the second one. I’m going to go ahead and select that one. And this is the template here, right?
And this is the template that I use to create all of my recent ones. And it turned out like this, right? As you can see, like, it looks vastly different to this yellow, white girl here, but I used it as a foundation, you know, I used it as a template, as a layout so that I could actually create the thumbnail.
From this, I turned it into this and I’m going to show you exactly how to do it right now. This is the basis of it. The first thing that you want to do is I’m going to ungroup everything. And then I’m going to delete this girl, right?
To create your thumbnail, typically what you do is you’ll probably take a photo and upload it. After you’ve uploaded your photo, I’m going to add my photo, here it is.
This is the photo that I added. I took a photo, I uploaded it and then I added it here, right? It’s still got all of my background and whatnot. After I’ve selected the photo, I want to go to effects. And I want to go to background remover.
And guess what that’s going to do? It’s going to remove the background. Surprise! Now that it’s removing the background and hopefully that all works, there you go the background is now removed from the image, right?
Then starting to come together now, see? Now the other thing that you can do is after you’ve done that people are, you know, one of the trendy things to do with thumbnails is to have this white outline around your image. And I’m going to show you how to do that next.
In order to get that white outline, I’ve removed the background from my image. I’m going to duplicate it by selecting this plus icon in the top right -hand corner here. And after I duplicated this background layer is the one where I want to change the colour.
I’m going to go to effects and then I’m going to choose, it doesn’t really matter which one. I’m going to choose this cherry one as a effect. And you, you might be saying, this is not white, Sara, and I know I know just bear with me.
I’m always there. And then you click on the colour and then you see how they have like these three like lines. I want you to click on those lines and any colour, it doesn’t matter which colour that you, that you have here.
Click on any colour and I want you to move it to white, right? And the second one as well, move it to white. And ta-da! You’ve got the outline now in white. That’s how you do it. Then you make it a little bit bigger. Oh, that’s a bit of a bug.
Go back there, choose my colour, make it go white. Make you go white. And then she’s white there, right? And that’s it. I’m going to change the background colour of my entire canvas to be purple. And then I just position the actual image so that I have the bi-layer there.
That’s how you do the white layer. That’s probably the big thing that I see people ask all the time. How do you, you know, remove the background from an image? How do you add that white background frame?
Now I’ve done it really quickly because I’m trying to demo it. But essentially the steps are to select the image, go to effects, move the background, duplicate the layer. And then once again, go to effects, choose a colour and then make that colour white, right? Once you’ve chosen that colour, make it white.
And then you’ve got your white background layer. That’s the first hack to creating your actual thumbnail image. Now the second part is how did I get this beautiful, bold text? Because we want beautiful bold texts.
We don’t want anything small. And we don’t want calligraphy and handwritten at this point, because remember, we need to be able to communicate our message quickly. I’m going to, what I’m going to do is I’m going to go to the text tab on the left-hand side here.
And this is where all the magic happens. In the text section here, you’ll see, there’s a bunch of text combinations, and then they’ve got layouts, but I want you to in the search bar for text, I want you to type text effect, right? And this will bring up all of their premade, fancy smancy, text layouts, right?
And that’s how I got this massive block one here. I’m going to keep scrolling and I’ll show you the one that I actually used. It was, keep going, this one here. I’m going to delete this text.
This is the one that is this massive Restream tutorial text. Then I’m going to select it. It says free delivery and it’ll delete the stuff around it. It doesn’t distract you. Keep deleting. All right. And now all you have to do is you write over it.
I’m going to put Restream and then tutorial. And then after I spell correctly, ’cause everyone’s watching me and I can’t do it now. I’m having performance issues. Then you can change the colour.
I’m going to change both of them to be white, white text. And when I select it again, if I go to effects, then I can change that background colour to be red.
I can change it to black. I can change it to be whatever colour I want. All of this is doable in a couple of clicks in Canva. Now I’ve got my huge, blocked text. And you can choose any of these ones, but I find that when you look, look at these ones, they’re just already done for you.
And you may be saying, okay, that’s cool, but I’m not in love with that font. That’s okay. You simply select the text block. You go to this top section here and then you can choose like any other text option that comes up in their text finder.
Let’s call it a text finder. You can actually change the text, but it gives you once again the foundation and that basis that you can actually create the text from. That’s how you get big text blocks.
The text section here. I want you to search for text effect and this will bring up all of their premade text blocks that you can then customise and then change around. And it’s so easy.
How quick is that to have like a really well laid out beautiful text block done for you? Boom, just like that. That’s how you do the actual text block. And then after that, so how did I get the rest of these pieces here?
Then, all I did was in the element section here, this is where you search for bits to add. You can search for triangles. You can search for any shape that you want. And you literally, if you can, if I can spell, you literally search for what you want and add it to the actual design, you know? Just add it, play around with the layout.
You can turn it, you can stretch it to be whatever you want it to be. If you can change the colour, you’ll see in the corner here, the option to do so. And you just literally go along and add all the elements as you want until you get the design that you, that pleases you, right?
And that’s how you create a thumbnail in Canva, right? I showed you how to find the elements in templates, sorry, in-stream advertising as the keyword. I showed you how upload and have an image and then remove the background and then how to do the outline.
It’s a hacky way, but you know, it gets the job done. And I showed you how to actually add a big block text that looks really good and then add other elements to it. That’s essentially all that you need to do.
And then it’s just playing around with adding little bits and pieces and, you know, making the layout suit what you want it to look like. And once you’re done, because you know, you can do it so quickly in Canva.
To download it, all you need to do is in the top right-hand corner here, in this download section here, what you want to do is you want to select that download section, download button, go to download, select it as a PNG. I’ve got multiple images here, so I’m just going to choose the one that I want to download.
Go to download and this will save the file as a PNG for me so that I can actually upload it to YouTube. And now that that is downloaded, I would go to my YouTube account. I would go to the video where I want to change the thumbnail. I would select upload thumbnail.
Right here. I really love this drawing feature, select that and then I would choose the thumbnail from my actual desktop and that’s it. And then click save, and that will actually change the thumbnail.
That’s exactly how to create a thumbnail. All of the things that you need to make it a great thumbnail, uploading images, removing the background, adding texts, making the texts amazing with text effects, saving it and downloading it.
And that’s it. Boom goes the dynamite! That’s how you do it. Hopefully you found this really useful. I wanted to make a quick tutorial because I get a lot of questions about, you know, how do you do your thumbnails? And this is how I do it. Hopefully you found that useful.
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I’ll put the link to that on the screen and in the description box below. Thanks for joining me tonight on the live stream. And I will see you on the next video, bye for now.