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How to Create Custom Youtube Thumbnails for Free

Jun 03 2015

How to Create Custom Youtube Thumbnails for Free

How to Make Youtube Custom Thumbnails Free

Looking for a quick and easy way to increase views on your YouTube videos? If so, custom thumbnails are for you. With Canva you can create a thumbnail for YouTube videos that is guaranteed to catch the eye when your video appears in search results or is embedded on a website. Here’s what you need to know.

YouTube is one of the most useful tools for content marketing. The problem is the high number of competing videos you have to stand out against. According to the site’s statistics, 100 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every single minute! You read that right… that is 6,000 in an hour, 144,000 hours in a day.

custom youtube thumbnailYour best bet will always be building a consistent audience. But you still have to attract the fan base, and also catch the eye of people once they are loyal watchers who maybe done hit the subscribe button. The trick is to create memorable, attention grabbing thumbnails that will get them to make that click.

YouTube recommends that your image be 1280 x 720 pixels, that it is less than 2mb, and is either a JPEG, PNG, GIF or BMP file. Thankfully, this is easy to replicate in Canva using either the web interface or the iPad app. Simply select Use custom dimensions, enter the pixel measurements above and hit the Design button.

Use Custom Dimensions Setting in Canva Software

From here, pick the tools that will give you the look and feel that you want for a video thumbnail. Take advantage of the text elements that are provided, or get creative with your own. Think about bold, clear text or icons that can will catch the eye and be easily read at a glance.

Be sure to leave a small margin at the top and bottom of your image because this is often covered with the the YouTube player when your video is embedded on a website.

Create Custom Youtube Thumbnail Images Easily

youOnce you are done, save your image by clicking in the Download button in the top right-hand corner of the screen and saving your image as a PNG file. This is the image that you will use to upload to YouTube as a thumbnail for your video.

Next, navigate to YouTube.com and go to your Video Manager to find the video you want to add a custom thumbnail to. Click the Edit button next to the video you want, and then click the Custom Thumbnail button. Browse for the image you just created in Canva and upload it to YouTube. Click Save Changes in the top right-hand corner to store your changes.

If your video is not already on YouTube, upload it as you normally would and look for the Custom Thumbnail button after your video has finished processing. Then proceed as above.

Youtube Custom Thumbnail Graphic Tips

It is hard to beat the simplicity of Canva, especially if you have not had much experience with a desktop graphics editor before.

If you are new to Canva, there are a bunch of great things you can do with the software. Hope you enjoyed this video and article for creating custom youtube thumbnail graphics!


  • chase taylor June 11, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    i am new to youtube and really want to make eye catching thumbnauls to help me out

    • 360 Business Reviews July 13, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Chase did you start using Canva for that? Hope it helped!


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