Update November 11, 2016: Pinterest recently changed the area where it crops your board cover images again. I have updated this blog post – and my free template – with the new size. 

Update October 21, 2016: Pinterest recently changed the area where it crops your board cover images. I have updated this blog post – and my free template – with the new sizes. 

Have you noticed the new Pinterest board covers with Pinterest’s recent redesign? If you had custom Pinterest board covers setup in the past, you may notice that they are now cut off, stretched, or both! Don’t worry, I’ve got this all figured out for you below. But first:

Why should I create custom Pinterest Board Covers?

I truly believe that custom board covers can help with your branding, encourage viewers to stay on your profile longer, and help increase the number of followers you get.

  1. It allows you to make a great first impression with your branding. Incorporate your colors, fonts and any other graphical elements of your branding – so you have a cohesive look-and-feel that’s similar to your website and other social media accounts.
  2. Well-designed board covers give some peace to an otherwise busy view. They give your eyes a restful place to focus on amongst all the clutter.
  3. If you include your board titles in your cover images, it’s easier for someone to quickly look at the different boards you have and what types of things you’re pinning – so they can decide if you are someone that they want to follow. They can spend less time clicking through all your boards (where they can easily get distracted and leave!) trying to figure out if they want to follow you – and instead make a quick decision – while they’re viewing your profile – to follow you.

Here’s an example of a Pinterest profile (on a computer) without custom board covers. See how busy, cluttered and distracting it is?

Default Pinterest board covers with the new 2016 design

Default Pinterest board covers on the Pinterest App with the new 2016 design

 

Now here’s how it looks when you have custom board covers that have lots of “white space” and clear text:

Custom Pinterest board covers with the new 2016 design

Custom Pinterest board covers on Desktops with the new 2016 design

 

And here’s how it looks on the Pinterest app:

Custom Pinterest board covers on the Pinterest App with the new 2016 design

Custom Pinterest board covers on the Pinterest App with the new 2016 design

What do you think? Does this make you want to change your board covers? If so – keep reading!

How did the Board Covers Change with the Pinterest Redesign?

The board covers on desktops have gone from 217 pixels wide and 147 pixels tall to 236 pixels wide by 111 pixels tall.
Update: November 11, 2016: the board covers are now 200 pixels square.

But don’t forget about the mobile app! It would be nice if those Pinterest board covers were the same size (or at least ratio) as the desktops. But no such luck! The board covers on the app are much taller. So the board covers you designed for the desktop size are now getting cut off and/or stretched on mobile! (Oh Pinterest… why must you make this so difficult?! You’re reminding me of the new Facebook Page cover photos).
Update: November 11, 2016: the board covers on the Pinterest app are now square as well. YAY! This makes it so much easier to design covers that fit on both desktops and the mobile app.

 

Pinterest board cover changes in 2016

 

So obviously this makes it pretty difficult to know what size board covers you should create, right? Well I spent a little time (OK, a lot of time!) testing this out and I came up with a solution for custom Pinterest board covers that look good on both desktops and mobile devices. And I am sharing all the deets (plus a free template!) right here.

Download my Pinterest Board Cover Template


Let me have it!

What Size Should I Create my Pinterest Board Covers?

I just finished updating all my board covers – and they look good on both desktop and mobile devices. (Yay!) Once I figured out the correct sizing and cropping, I made a template and it went pretty quick to make them all. You can download my template above – or you can make your own using these instructions:

  • Create a graphic that is 800 pixels wide by 800 pixels tall.
  • Put your important items in the top 342 pixels of the graphic. This is what will show up on your board covers on desktops. For example, I made sure that my board cover names (text) all fit in the top 342 pixels.
  • Leave a 12-pixel border on the top and a 45-pixel border on the sides of that top area. 
  • The bottom 458 pixels of your cover image will be included on your board covers on the mobile app. For my board covers, I included my logo. But you could include anything you want. Depending on your design, you might have this be a photo, a blank area, or even your website address.
  • Update: November 11, 2016: the Pinterest board covers are now square. That means there’s NO CROPPING if you create your custom board covers square as well. YAY!

Download my Pinterest Board Cover Template


Let me have it!

Custom Pinterest Board Cover Template

You can download my Pinterest Board Cover template here.

The template is a Photoshop file; but you can use many other graphics programs that allow for layers. To use the template:

  1. Open the Pinterest Board Cover template file in your graphics program.
  2. Create a new layer in the template. Make sure that layer is ABOVE the “Pinterest Board Cover Image” layer. Then start designing your new board cover.
  3. The “Cropped Areas” layer in the template file will show you how your cover image will look on both desktops and mobile devices. The lightened areas of your cover image are the areas that Pinterest will crop.
  4. Hide the “Cropped Areas” layer and then save your Pinterest board cover image.  
  5. Update: November 11, 2016: Since the Pinterest board covers are now square, you don’t need to worry about your cover image getting cropped, as long as your use a square image for your board cover.
     

Template for creating the new Pinterest Board Covers

How do I use my Custom Pinterest Board Covers?

First you need to upload your custom board cover as a new pin.

  1. On your Pinterest board, click on the “Save Pin” section.
  2. Select “Your device”.
  3. Click the “Choose photo” button and select your custom board cover image.
  4. Optionally enter a pin description. (I like to use the same description that I use for that board.) Then click the “Save” button for the board you want to use this cover for.

    How to change your Pinterest board covers  

  5. Optionally edit your pin and add a link to your website.

    How to change your Pinterest board covers

Now let’s use that image as your new Pinterest board cover.

  1. Click the Edit icon at the top.
  2. When the “Edit your board” window appears: In the “Cover” section click the “Change” button.
    (Note: You will not see the cover option until you have a few pins added to your board.)
  3. Your new cover image should appear. Click and drag it so that the top of your cover image is in the preview area.
    NOTE: The preview area is NOT accurately showing what your board cover will actually be. So just ignore the fact that it looks cropped here.
    Update: November 11, 2016: the board covers are now square – so you won’t need to click-and-drag it to pick where you want it to be cropped. It will automatically be the correct size and position — even though the Preview window is showing it cropped smaller.
  4. Click the “Save Changes” button.
  5. Click the “Save” button.

How to change your Pinterest board covers

Now go back to your main Profile screen and see if your board cover changed successfully. You may need to refresh your browser screen to see the change. If your cover didn’t change, just repeat the steps again for editing the board cover. (You don’t have to upload the image again.) I noticed that sometimes the board cover change doesn’t save – so you might have to do this a couple (or a few!) times before Pinterest actually changes your cover.

Why are my board covers fuzzy, stretched and distorted?

It’s not YOU. It’s them! Pinterest is distorting the board covers! They are saving your board cover images as 216 x 110. But then they’re displaying them as 236 x 120 (and cropping off the bottom 9 pixels).

Pinterest board cover changes in 2016

There’s not really anything you can do to prevent this stretching from happening. (Hopefully Pinterest fixes this soon.) This distortion seems to be most noticeable when you have text on your board covers. You can play around with different fonts and font sizes to find one that isn’t as noticeable that they’re being stretched. (I found that script fonts tend to work well.)
Update: November 11, 2016: Pinterest is no longer stretching your cover images as long as you upload an image that is at least 564 pixels square.

Why can’t I Reposition my Taller Pins as Board Covers?

Update: November 11, 2016: I noticed that when you try to use a longer pin as your board cover – and reposition it to where you want the cover to be cropped, Pinterest isn’t accurately displaying your cover where you positioned it. This is why I recommend that you use SQUARE images as your board covers.

Download my Pinterest Board Cover Template


Let me have it!

Don’t forget it… Pin it! Pin it to Pinterest

Tutorial: How to create custom Pinterest board covers (plus download my free template)!