Create Apple Watch Faces With Canva

apple watch faces.png

Here’s a simple graphic design project that you or your students could quickly put together in next to no time – custom Apple Watch faces. These stylish backgrounds are easy to make and can be a great representation of your individual style, personality, interests, or even school spirit. Here’s what you need to know if you want to create your own Apple Watch faces.

Apple’s Watch app has a fair number of customizable faces that you can use on your smartwatch, but for some people, they are still a little limiting. So, for a burst of creative genius, I will often turn to Canva, an easy to use graphic design app that anyone can use to make images that they will be proud of, regardless of their design experience.

Creating Custom Apple Watch Faces

Step 1: Log in to Canva or open the mobile app on your iPhone or iPad.

Step 2: Create a an image with one of the following custom dimensions…

  • 272 x 340 pixels (38mm watch face)
  • 312 x 390 pixels (42mm watch face)

Step 3: Choose black as the background color for your image. Black is optional, but it helps eliminate the bezels you see on traditional photo backgrounds. Still not sure? Take a look at Apple’s built-in watch faces and you will notice black backgrounds everywhere!

Step 4: Tap or click the search bar in Canva to search for an icon(s) to use in your design.

Step 5: Move and resize your chosen icon(s), bearing in mind that the date/time on your finished watch face needs to be in the bottom right or top right corner of your screen. 

Step 6: Download your images and transfer to your iPhone’s Camera Roll via AirDrop, email or cloud service. If you created them on an iPhone, simply save to the Camera Roll.

Step 7: Add the images to an album on your iPhone and sync that album with your Apple Watch. If you’ve never done that before, read how to sync photos to your Apple Watch.

Step 8: Open the Photos app on your Apple Watch. When all the images have synced from your phone, swipe to select the one you want and then press and hold on the image you want to use as a watch face.

Step 9: Tap Create Watch Face to start building a new watch face and customize it to include the information that you want to display on your screen.

Step 10: Enjoy your new Apple Watch face!

Apple watches
Screenshots created with Screenshot Maker Pro app

Ideas for Custom Apple Watch Faces

Apple Watches are increasingly popular so adding your own custom watch face is a good way to try to stand out from the crowd and express yourself in a fun and creative way. Need some inspiration on what you might design? How about…

  • Sports
  • Animals
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Technology
  • Food
  • Short quotes
  • Space
  • School logos

You might also want to check out Samuel Zeller’s Apple Watch and iPhone Wallpapers for even more ideas. There are even some iPhone apps on the App Store that have a variety of pre-made backgrounds you can use, but very few of them get good reviews and it is more fun to make these yourself.

Make Custom Wallpapers for Any Device

Of course, you needn’t stop here. You can create custom wallpapers for any device using very much the same kind of method. All you need to know are the screen dimensions for the device you are designing for so that you can create a custom image in Canva. Below are some popular resolutions for other Apple devices. Feel free to leave a comment below if you want me to recommend an image size for a device that is not listed here.

  • iPhone 6/6S/7 – 1344 x 750 pixels
  • iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus/7 Plus – 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • iPad 9.7-inch Retina Screen – 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch – 2224 x 1668 pixels
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch – 2732 x 2048 pixels
  • Macbook Air – 1440 x 900 pixels
  • Macbook – 2304 x 1440 pixels
  • Macbook Pro Retina 13-inch – 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Macbook Pro Retina 15-inch – 2880 x 1800 pixels


Original idea adapted from David Sparks: https://www.macsparky.com/blog/2016/12/building-custom-apple-watch-faces 

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