Canva – How To Create A Neon Outline Around An Image

Sharing is caring!


Please Note: Some of the links within this post are affiliate links of which I receive a small compensation from sales of certain items, at no extra cost to you. I will NOT suggest any link who I do not believe to be a great business!


Creating an outline around an image is super easy as well as scroll stopping. Make your blog post, instagram post, or email, stand out from the crowd with a neon outline of you or something else you’d like to illuminate.   It’s always fun to see the different effects that you can make that will be eye catching and attention grabbing.  Think about your brand colors and how you would like to integrate the outline into your designs. What colors would grab your audiences attention and make them stop in their tracks, click on your link, or watch a video?

If you have not used Canva as a ‘non designer’ or even a professional designer, design tool you are missing out on creating simple, awe inspiring designs. Within Canva you can create designs for all of your platforms with the click of a few buttons. You can also integrate movement with animation and video into your designs. People are visual creatures. They are drawn (and will remember) images more than text or words. Grab your audiences attention and create designs that are branded, unique, and unforgettable in Canva.


Did you know that Neon is one of the elements of the periodic table? Ne, neon with its “bright reddish orange light” has been used in signs to grab attention and let customers know that a store is open or closed, or some other type of physical visual content.  Wikipedia states that other colors found on signs, think blues, purples, pinks, that are also called neon are actually not made with the neon element but with other similar elements or fluorescents.


I’m going to assume that you have Canva set up on your computer and have a basic understanding of how to create and save designs. If you don’t give a shout out and I’ll help you.  Using the neon outline design tool you will need to have a Canva Pro membership.  Canva Pro actually has so many advanced features you will love its premium capabilities.

If you have not used Canva, check out my article titled “Design Your Own Graphics In Canva”. It will give you a quick run down on the platform and how easy it is to sign up and get started. I have no doubt that you will love to create and design branded designs for your business or profession. If you would like to check out Canva, click this link to learn more.

Open A Blank Page

It’s now time to simulate a neon outline that will create a thumb stopping image for your business. Whether you want to create a post for Instagram, Pinterest, or one of the many other options, you will want to start with a blank page and work from there. For simplistic sake just create your main graphic and go from there.

Select An Image

You will want to find an image that you would like to isolate. It could be a picture of you or maybe a picture of your dog. Think about the content that you are creating, You can upload your own or scroll through the thousands of images Canva provides to Pro members.

Remove The Background

I love this part! I love to take that image, click effect, click remove background, and wa la, isolated image with a nice crisp and clear background.



From here you will want to duplicate the image. Make a copy so that you will be able to create a thick or thin neon outline around your image. After I made my copy, I actually stretch the top image just a little bit, by clicking on the circle in the one of the upper corners. Just stretch it a smidge. You can always adjust it later if it’s too big.

Click Effects > Duotone

The next fun part is adding the color. The top image is still selected. You will go to Effects > Duotone. From here, if you have not installed the Duotone extension you will click connect. When I clicked connect, it was installed right away. From here I got an option to ‘see all’ duotone choices. Select your desired color and you will see your top image change like magic. Play around with the colors and see what works best for you. You can always go back and change the colors. And now that you know how to add a neon outline effect you can do it all the time.


From here you can rearrange and manipulate the image according to the size and needs of your project. Make sure that your layer is selected and then click the little circles in the corners or the lines on the sides to increase or decrease the length and width.

Where To Use

You can resize your design over and over depending on the social media ( Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), Email, Blog banner, or any of the other uses you can thing of for using fun, attention grabbing, scroll stopping designs. Use the ‘resize’ tool at the top left on the tool bar to resize the design to your needs and wants. I have saved mine as an Instagram image as well as a Pinterest image. Different sizes have different impacts on the platform.  When you have finished with one design you can save it to your File folder for that Brand and always create another copy for a new color or creation, the possibilities are endless.


Using the shadow feature in canva

Besides using the Duotone feature, you can now add a ‘Glow’ to your text and Elements. This is handy when you want to add a white outline around an image when creating stickers. 

add shadow to image

Once you have your image and have removed the background, go down to ‘Shadows’ and click ‘Glow’. 

This will add the default shadow. 

add shadow to image

Next you will click on the 3 white lines above the word ‘Glow’ to edit the size, transparency, and blue, as well as color, of the ‘Glow’. 

I changed the shadow to white, increased the size, increased transparency all the way to 100, and decreased the blue. 

Click apply. Now you have an amazing sticker. If you want to save this to make a sticker for your projects you can delete the background color and save your image as a png. 

Make sure that you select  ‘transparent background’ if you are saving to use as a sticker. 

add a white outline


I would love to see your creations and your designs that you’ve created with the outline image and effect tool. There are so many different things that you can create with the effects tool in Canva. Think outside of the box and add outlines in different colors to older designs. If you need help with creative ideas, check out my blog post from last week titled, “How to get creative ideas”. I’ve already had a fun, creative idea this morning, that I can’t wait to get to work on designing.

Good luck and don’t forget to share your creations!

Xoxo, Jenn

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *