You may already know that you can easily add a shadow to photos and graphics in Canva by selecting the element on your canvas, heading to the photo editing options, choosing “Shadows” under the effects option, and then selecting a shadow from there.

But if you’ve ever tried to follow the same process to add a shadow to a frame, you’ll have noticed that it doesn’t work, and instead it still tries to apply the shadow to the image contained inside of the frame, rather than to the frame itself.

Resources Mentioned


There are two different ways you can approach this.

Your first option is to add your image to your frame and then save that frame design as an image. You can either do this by downloading the image with a transparent background and re-uploading it into your Canva account, or better yet, you can use the Design to Image app in Canva to speed up that process and save a design as an image directly into your account.

I have a separate tutorial to show you how to use that app, and I’ll link to that in the resources below this video.

Once you’ve got the saved frame image re-uploaded, then you can add it to your design and at this point, the shadow feature in your photo editing options *will* work now, since your frame is no longer a frame element and instead is an image.

So that’s option number one.

The other option you might prefer is to do a search under Elements to find a shadow graphic that you can layer behind your frame.

For example, I could search on “drop shadow”….and then you’ll see there are a variety of potential choices here that I could select from.

Then you can also play with the transparency level of the element in order to adjust the intensity of the shadow.

Keep in mind that a lot of the shadow graphic results that appear may be pro elements. If you’re on a Canva Pro plan, you’ll be able to select from any of the results. If you’re on a free Canva plan though, you’ll be more limited in your options and you may prefer to save and re-upload your frame image so that you can utilize the shadows effects in the photo editing tools.

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