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One of my favorite Canva features is grids and frames. Frames let you add an image or video and it will take the shape of your frame. Instead of just regular shapes Canva also offers frames in the shape of individual letters; however this is limited.

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to create a custom text frame using text that you create in Canva. In order to achieve this effect we will first download the text from Canva and then bring it into Illustrator to make a custom frame.

How to Create a Custom Text frame in Canva with Illustrator

Create your text in Canva

First you want to create your text in Canva. Open a new document and select your text. In this case I created text with a hollowed out text effect. When using this effect you can increase or decrease the width of the outline.

Once you have the text you want you will need to export it as a SVG file. Go to Share > Download and select SVG from the file type.

Open your SVG file in Adobe Illustrator

Next you will need to bring your file into Illustrator. Click to open your SVG file. Before proceeding in the video above I demonstrated that you may need to expand the stroke and fill of your text. To do this go to Object > Expand and make sure stroke and fill are selected.

Creating your Custom Frame using a Clipping Mask

To make the custom text frame you need to bring an image into Illustrator. Go to File > Place and select your image. Click and drag to place your image and make sure it is larger than the text.

Next, make sure the image sits on top of the text in the layers panel. With the direct selection tool select both the image and the text layer.

To create a clipping mask go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make. The image should now fill the outline of the text letters.

Export your file as a PDF

The next step is to export your file as a PDF. To do this in Illustrator you need to open the Asset Export panel. Go to Window and select Asset Export.

Click on your text shape and drag it into the Asset Export panel. Here you can give your asset a name. From the drop down menu for format select PDF. Click to select the asset in the panel and you will have the option to click Export.

Open the PDF file in Canva

In order to use your custom text frame in Canva you need to upload it to Canva directly. Typically when you add media to Canva you can do it within a Canva document. In this case you need to upload your PDF file directly to Canva. Go to Projects and click on the plus icon in the upper right corner and select upload.

Once your document has been uploaded open it up in Canva. You should see your text shape with the image inside. Click on your custom frame and click the trash icon. It will give you the option to delete image or delete frame. Go ahead and delete the image and you will see the standard image that represents a Canva frame. Now you can start using your custom text frame by adding an image or video to your frame.

To use this custom frame in a new design just copy (Cmd/Ctrl + C) and paste it into a new design (Cmd/Ctrl + V).

Saving your Custom Frame

I recommend creating a dedicated folder in Canva for your custom frames. Click on File > Save to Folder and save this file to your custom folder. You could also create a master Canva document where you copy and paste all of your custom frames and can create a bookmark for easy access. This way you have all of your custom frames in one place.

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