tutorial: make your own iphone wallpaper

It's been a while since I have done a tutorial, so I am going to fix that today. What you are about to see is possibly the only tech-related tutorial I will ever write, so it is a very special day indeed. 

I got my first iPhone this fall after being a long time android user and I have to say that I am a convert. Even if I hated everything else about my iPhone (which I don't), the camera alone makes it worth having. I am able to capture really great quality photos of Sawyer that I would not otherwise have. And the front facing camera? ah. mazing. 

Back to the iPhone backgrounds. Long story short - I didn't like any of the wallpaper offerings I was seeing, I love my collection of digital scrapbooking paper, so I learned how to replace my ugly background with pretty paper. 

First you want to decide what your background will be. Like I said, I have been using digital scrapbook paper, which you can find from quite a few places. Design House Digital has weekly freebies so keep an eye out there if you want to find some cute free paper. (By the way, I am not able to share any of the backgrounds I made because of licensing on the digital products. You know that "I agree to the terms of use" button? Well, I agreed to the terms of use and those terms say no distributing. I can show you how to make your own with your own downloads though.) 

So, download your paper. Then you want to upload it into picnik (also free, with the option of paying for a premium membership that has more fonts, effects, etc). 

You need to crop your image to the right size - and for the iPhone that is 320 x 480 pixels. The crop tool is under the Basic Edits tab of the Edit toolbar.

When cropping, you want to make sure you enter the correct pixels (seen above as 320 x 480) and also make sure to check the "Scale Photo" option. If you don't click that you will have this tiny little box cropped and you won't be able to see any of the pattern. By checking the box, you can decide and adjust how much or how little of the pattern you want to see in the 320 x 480 pixel area. 

Apply the cropping, and you are ready to personalize.

Add words using the text tool in the Edit tab. You could also add stickers or effects or whatever else you like. (Keep in mind that much of picnik is free, but there is a premium subscription you can buy that gives you access to even more of the options.)

When you are done personalizing, you can save your image by closing the photo. An option box will pop up and you click save to get to the next screen where you can name your image. 

Name it and save it to your computer. 

Now to get this pretty new background to my phone, I just email the photo to myself and open up the email on my phone. 

Click on the image and the option to Save will pop up. 

Save the image and it will go to your photo album. Open it from your photos. 

When you open it, click on that little share arrow on the bottom left. 

Click "Use as Wallpaper"

You have the option of scaling it, but since we already did all that in picnik, you shouldn't need to. 

Decide if you want your wallpaper on the lock screen, home screen, or both. I set mine to my lock screen.

Boom. Revel in your techy awesomeness. Make about 50 more because it is so easy and fun. Then change your background about every hour just to see which one looks best. 

Here are some that I have made. 

The idea for the "be present" one came from this post by Oops, I craft my pants. (She offers some free chevron iPhone backgrounds in the post if you would like to download one for yourself.) I love the idea of having a reminder when I pick up my phone to "be present". I spend waaaay too much time looking at pinterest, twitter, fb, and on and on when I should be talking with my husband or playing with Sawyer or enjoying a movie that we are supposed to be watching. It is just a really needed thing to see.
Enjoy making your own pretty phone wallpapers! We can all use a little more lovely in our life.

**I am not affiliated with Design House Digital in any way. I just like them and their pretty free things.**

Sumo's Sweet StuffTodays Creative Blog


  1. waoo..love it..I m in a habit of making new wallpapers for my iPhone.. nice post :)

  2. i just popped over here from pinterest and had to tell you i think this is awesome! i never knew what pixel size the phone screen was, now that i do know i'm gunna be making wallpapers all the time! and thanks for the free scrapbook paper link. i have a lot of work to do now, haha :]

  3. I just had a blast making some wallpapers! Thanks so much for the info and links.

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