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How to Make a Mood Board Room Design on Canva

A step-by-step tutorial depicting how to create a mood board design for planning a room makeover in your house to save time and money.

Learning how to make a mood board design has been such a huge part of our home makeover journey over the years. The biggest struggle I’ve always had for basically everything in life is decision making.

Feeling FOMO and second guessing every design decision when planning a room makeover is completely normal. So an inspiration board is the best cure I’ve found for decision paralysis. 

bedroom mood board design

Rug | Curtains | Duvet Set | Gray Pillows | Blue Pillow | Mirror | Lamp (painted Rustoleum Metallic Gold) | Throw

(See this bedroom makeover here.)

Why You Should Make a Mood Board Before Starting a Room Makeover

The beauty of creating mood board ideas is you can “try on” your room plans before ever buying a piece of furniture or light fixture. With mood boards, you’re able to see ahead of time what colors, patterns, and textures work well together so you don’t end up having buyers remorse on that $2,000 sofa you planned to buy.

If you’re planning a room remodel with your spouse, it’s a great tool to fully envision the design together so that you both have clarity and confidence moving forward with the makeover’s execution. Whatever you have to do to avoid an argument is worth it, right?

Robert and I make time before starting a room makeover to pull together a mood board so we can see the direction together. 

Since we already have Regan’s little girl bedroom on the makeover docket to upgrade her from the nursery soon, now seemed like the perfect time to share.

nursery mood board design

Rocking Chair | Rug | Pouf | Green Pillow | Cream Pillow | Throw | Table | Floor Lamp | Table Lamp | Mural

(See this nursery makeover here.)

What To Do Before Starting Your Mood Board Design

Before making a mood board, browse Pinterest, Instagram, Google, blogs, and any design websites to get ideas.

Save your inspiration images or screenshot items your plan to incorporate into a Google Drive folder.

Then, create an account on the Canva app. There is a free version and a paid pro version of Canva, both on desktop and as a mobile app, but if you want to utilize some of the paid features that make the mood boarding process faster, you can just use the 30 day free trial version and cancel when you’re finished.

I’ll show you how to utilize both the free and paid versions of Canva to create your mood board.

How to Create a Mood Board Design on Canva

UPDATE: You can see a video tutorial for how to create a mood board design on Canva here.

1. Go to Canva.com and click the “Create a Design” button at the top right of the screen.

how to make a mood board with the canva app

2. Search “poster” on the next prompt and select the orientation you’d like for your mood board.

3. Click the “upload” icon on the left side toolbar and upload all of the images of inspirations / items you previously saved to your Google Drive folder.

how to make a mood board with the canva app

4. Click the first item you want to place on your mood board. I often start with wallpaper, a rug, or flooring image since it serves as a foundation to place other items on top.

adding wallpaper to a mood board

5. To adjust the size of an uploaded image: Click one of the circles in the corners and drag to the size you want. Click and drag in the middle of the image to position it where you want on the mood board.

6. To rotate an image: Click on the image to highlight it and a circular arrow will appear. Click the circular arrow and rotate the image as you want.

rotating an image using the canva app

7. To remove a background on an image (paid Canva Pro option): Click the image, click “Effects” in the top toolbar, and select “Background Remover” in the top left of the screen. 

how to remove an image background using the canva app

8. To remove a background on an image (using a free second party app, if you don’t have the paid version of Canva): Navigate to Remove.bg in a new browser screen. Upload an image. Remove.bg will automatically remove the background from the image. Save. Upload the newly adjusted image to Canva to add to your mood board. 

how to remove an image background

9. To duplicate an image: Double click (Mac) or right click (PC) the image and select “Copy”. Double click (Mac) or right click (PC) again and select “Paste”. A second image copied from the first image will appear. Move and resize as you’d like. 

how to duplicate an image using the canva app how to duplicate an image using the canva app how to duplicate an image using the canva app

10. To flip an image: Click “Flip” in the top toolbar. Click “Flip Horizontal” or “Flip Vertical”. The image will now be flipped. 

how to flip an image using the canva app how to flip an image using the canva app

11. To layer images: Click an image. Click “Position” in the top toolbar on the right side. Select “Move Forward”, “Move to Front”, “Move Backward”, or “Move to Back”. 

how to layer an image using the canva app how to layer an image using the canva app

12. To see how your design will look in your room: Upload a photo of your room. Click “Position” and “Send to Back” to virtually place your room design in the room. 

how to make a mood board for a room design using the canva app how to make a room design mood board using the canva app 

13. That’s it! Have fun “trying on” different decor on your mood board until you figure out the perfect room design for you.

kids bedroom mood board design

Wallpaper | Rug | Dresser | Headboards | Quilts | Lamps | Pillows

So now we have Regan’s little girl bedroom makeover plan! It’s so bittersweet and part of me is really sad to be done with the crib. 

But then I see that cute wallpaper and sweet twin beds the girls can have sleepovers in, and I’m happy again. More on all of that soon.  

Are there any other little decorating details you’ve ever wondered about? I hope to share more about these things more often since it’s something I never think about. 

If you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

living room mood board design

(See this living room makeover here.)

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who uses mood boards?

Mood boards can be useful for interior designers, graphic designers, photographers, fashion designers, and other artists.

What is another name for a mood board?

Inspiration board, theme board, design scheme, collage, or lookbook

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19 Comments

  1. Hi, thanks for this. I am new to all this design and decor ideas stuff, and have so much to learn. Can you tell me what the advantage of using this software rather than putting all the images into a word file? I probably missed something, but it just seems to be doing the same thing, corralling all the visual ideas in one place. Does the software do more than that?

    1. Hi, Heather! It is just a preference I guess. Many of my followers ask how I make my collages. This is the tool I like to use. If you are familiar and comfortable with using Word files, you may find the word file is better for you. Let me know if you try it out and what you think. 🙂

  2. Love this idea! Many of us from the former Polyvore community have moved over to Urstyle. They have been exceptionally welcoming and accommodating. It’s free too.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you!!
    I have been saving pictures in folders on my computer for a long time but I couldn’t figure out how to organize my finalists in a cohesive manner. This is perfect and I am so excited to start mood boarding!!!!!

  4. Thank you! You have amazing timing; I bought a new house and need this NOW! Much appreciated! Jane

  5. Thank you so much. I had heard about PicMonkey but had not had time to play around and learn how to use it. I too normally just jump into a project with only a vision in my head and sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way I envisioned. This way I can see it on paper and the dear fiancé can also see so he can vote on what he likes as well.

  6. Laren, Thank you SO, SO, SO much for this step by step post!! I love your blog and this is the BEST one I have ever seen. I should be able to do this now but I do have a question for you. The pictures you have are more specific than what I find on Pinterest. Where do you find them big, clear, and by themselves? I find rooms where I find something but then I can’t find the item to have it put together the way you do it. Please help me (and others) by telling me where you find these images. Sorry, I’m new to all this technology stuff. lol

    1. Never mind, I re-read your post and it was there clearly. Ugh! LOL Thanks for the great post 🙂

  7. I have been using Canva to design my entire tiny house on wheels and it has helped so much to actually be able to see what will work and what doesn’t. Can’t afford to make any major mistakes or hate the design when you are building from scratch!

  8. This was a great post. I’ve been wondering how to do the mood board thing and now I know. Your timing was perfect! Thanks so much.

  9. Lauren, you have no idea how happy this post makes me! I have made such a mess of a couple of rooms in our new house because I hadn’t thought the project all the way through. This will be so helpful and will keep my husband from wanting to kill me when I make us redo a room yet again! Thank you so much for sharing such helpful, tactile content along with the inspirational content!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Meggan! It definitely helps my husband and I visualize together whenever we have a room to tackle.

  10. Thanks for sharing!! I do pay for PicMonkey and love it but lately I keep gravitating towards Canva.com – which IS free with some pay options (but I’ve never paid).

    1. Yes! I’ve used Canva only a couple of times and really liked it. I need to get more acquainted with it. I haven’t made a mood board with it before though. Picmonkey used to be free (minus a few paid features) too, but they just switch to free trial only recently. 🙁 I hope Canva doesn’t do the same eventually.

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