How to Create Mockups in Canva

The easiest way to create mockups in Canva is by using the Smartmockups feature. Open the Canva home page and find the Smartmockups tool in the menu on the left. Select a mockup template and add an image or design you want to create a mockup with. Click on the “Select” button next, to open a new design file containing your mockup.

My name is Yana and I have been doing graphic design related work with Canva for the last six years. It is essential to see how your design will look as a real product, whether it is a logo on a tote bag or a mobile app prototype. I was making mockups in Canva even before they launched a Smartmockups tool, so you can believe me, I know a few efficient ways on how to create mockups in Canva.

In this post, you’ll learn how to create mockups for both digital and physical products. In the end, I’ll also answer some common questions you might have about this topic.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Smartmockups feature in Canva is a beginner-friendly tool that helps to place your design in a device or a physical product frame to preview the final results.
  • You need to have your design in a PNG or JPEG format to be able to use it in the Smartmockups feature.
  • You also can create a mockup manually, by using frames for digital products or placing your design on top of the image for physical ones.

How to Create Mockups in Canva

You might need to create mockups as a part of design visualization to present your ideas or to see if the design will look good on a real product. In any case, Canva can be a time saver as you can preview your design by placing it in a laptop or mug template. 

Let’s take a look at the first method to create a mockup by using the Canva mockup tool.

Method #1: Create Mockups Using Smartmockups Feature

Step 1: You can reach the Smartmockups tool right from the Canva home page. Find the Smartmockups button on the left side of the screen and click on it to open.

Step 2: Search through templates to find the one that meets your needs. There are plenty of mockups available, starting from smartphones to t-shirts and book covers. Once you select a template, you will need to upload your design to Canva or add a design file from an existing project.

Step 3: After you choose a design file, it will be placed inside the template automatically.

Step 4: Now it’s time to create a new design file with your mockup inside. Hit the Save mockup button, and in the newly opened window. Click the Use in a design button to select the ratio of the future project. Think about where you plan to use the mockup. Select a presentation ratio if you want to present your design or an Instagram post ratio if you plan to add it to social media.

Step 5: When you have a new project with your mockup, you can change its size, and position or add some filters. If you want to add more mockups, you need to add a design file first. Find the Uploads button on the left side of the screen and upload your design or select one from the file library.

Next, select your design and find the Edit image button on the menu at the top of the screen. In the new window on the left side, you should be able to find the Smartmockups tool.

Click on it to see all the templates and choose the one for your mockup.

Step 6: When you are satisfied with the results, hit the Share button in the top right corner and download the mockups to your computer.

Method #2: Create Mockups Manually 

If you have something specific in mind, you might consider making mockups manually. 

Create Mockups by Using Frames

You can create unique mockups by using the frame feature in Canva. There are some laptop, screen, and smartphone mockups available to be used for your project.

Step 1: Create a new Canva file. Hit the Create a design button on the Canva home page. Think about where you will use the mockup and choose a ratio accordingly.

Step 2: Now add a design file that you want to add to a mockup. Before uploading it, make sure it is saved as PNG or JPEG format.

Step 3: Once you upload a file to your Canva account, find the Frames button in the Elements tab in the main menu on the left side of the screen when in editor mode. Click See all and scroll down to find the perfect frame for your future mockups. 

This method will work better for digital products, as there are frames for different devices. But if you want to add a design to a physical product, I would recommend checking the next technique.

Step 4: Add a frame to your project and drag the design that you’ve prepared for the mockup inside it. Now you can edit the frame by choosing different colors or changing the position or size. Also, you can work on the background to create the mockup project you have in mind.

Create Mockups by Using Images

When you want to place a design on top of a mug or t-shirt, you may find this method handy.

Step 1: Find images with white objects, where you can place your design. For this method, you need to have your design with a transparent background. You can learn how to prepare your design and remove a background in Canva

Step 2: After you open a design file, click on the Element button on the left side of the screen and scroll to find Photos. Click See all and start searching for the object you need to place your design too. 

You can type “white mug” to find suitable images or search for “white tote bag” or “white t-shirt”. Select a perfect image to add to your design file. 

Step 3: Now go to your Uploads library and drag your design on top of the picture. Place it, so it looks natural, and download your mockup when you are happy with the results.


Make sure you also check the following answers for the most popular questions about mockups in Canva.

How Do I Use Smartmockups in Canva?

Open the Canva homepage and find the Smartmockups tool on the left side of the screen. Click on it to choose a template you want to use, depending on your project. Once you open a template, add your design by uploading it to Canva or choosing from an existing file.

Is Canva Smartmockups Free?

Yes, this tool is free. Some templates are only available for Canva Pro users, but there are still plenty of mockups that are free and accessible to Canva Free users. 

Can You Do T-shirt Mockups in Canva?

You can create a t-shirt mockup in Canva by using a Smartmockups tool or by overlaying your design on a picture of a white t-shirt. Just search for a free image in the Canva content library and place your design on top of it.

Final Thoughts

Canva allows you to create great visual mockups just in a few minutes. There are also numerous graphic elements available that you can use to make your design more original. Select the method you find more efficient and follow the guides we discussed above to create mockups.

By the way, you can also create quick mockups using tools like MediaModifier, which allows you to create beautiful mockups with their various predesigned templates & devices.

How often do you use mockups? Have you ever tried making mockups in Canva? Share your experience and the best practices in the comments section below.

Leave a Reply

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