How to Design Cover Images for the New Pinterest Boards (2016)

Note: This is an outdated blog post which features Board Cover image details for Pinterest in 2016. Please see the newer post for 2017.

I’ve always enjoyed the ability to customize the covers of my Pinterest boards by assigning the best image that reflected the type of content you could expect to find within it. You could choose from one of your pinned images, or even upload a whole new image if you wanted to get really custom.

And then Pinterest let all hell break loose and they changed the overall design of the profiles, including the way the boards appear and the cover design ratio. Don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot of positive changes, but the frustrations I’ve read about daily regarding those board cover images? Heart breaking. For real.

It took some time, but I finally cracked the code and I’m going to show you how to make custom Pinterest board covers – plus there’s a freebie template for you at the end!

How to design new Pinterest board covers


How the Cover Images Work (Now)

You’re going to find a huge discrepancy between the ratio of the cover image you end up with, and the ratio of the selection guide when choosing your cover image. I don’t know why Pinterest did this. I can only assume their designer was ill caffeinated that day. But it’s even worse than that…

(Edited October 2016)

During Quarter 3, Pinterest rolled out a new cover size. The problem is that there was a huge discrepancy between the ratio of the cover image you end up with, and the ratio of the selection guide when choosing your cover image (which is what prompted this blog post). Unfortunately, in October 2016 it was changed yet again, but at least this time it’s a little more manageable.

When viewing your Pinterest profile, the board covers you see are 236x102px in size. That said, the selection guide for choosing a cover image is still different. The good news is that the ugly zoom effect we were experiencing in Q3 is no longer an issue, and you can create a 236x111px image and work within the top 102px.

Don’t worry… once again, I’ve done the work for you and created a template!


My Cover Images

First off, you’ll probably notice that my account looks pretty bare and your Pinterest account probably has a lot more boards, followers, and pins than mine. Don’t worry – I’m an old hand at this, haha! I just happened to have started a new account specific to this website (which you should totally follow). The second thing you’ll notice are my gorgeous cover images. *swoon*

New Pinterest Board Covers 2016


How I Made My Pinterest Covers

While you could certainly use an already established pin as your cover image, I’m going to teach you how I created my own aesthetic by uploading an image to my boards. I found that this turned out much nicer because I had a lot more control over the placement of the design.

I chose to ignore the Pinterest so-called “recommended” numbers and focus instead on what I was seeing. I took a screenshot of my board covers and spliced out the cover image and found that the size it’s actually portraying is 236×111.

I designed a template based on those parameters, but again, you only actually end up seeing the top 102px. My best way of getting around that was to create a template that was 223x111px and simply work within that top 102px. I used the guide to make my own images, keeping my most important content within the confines of that space.

(Keep Reading… You can get my template at the end).


Uploading Your Design

Since I am using an image instead of an established pin, I needed to upload my image to Pinterest before I could pin it to a board and choose that image for my board cover. The steps are very simple!


Step One

From any page on Pinterest (I’m doing it from the board itself), click on the + button as shown below. You can find it towards the top-right of the page near your profile picture. It’ll give you a drop down like the one shown so that you can click on ‘Upload Image’.



Step TWO

Once you have uploaded an image, Pinterest will ask you to select the board you want that image pinned to. It’s important that you pin it to whatever board you want that image to become the cover of. You can put some information in the pin description and include your URL too if you’d like. May as well take advantage of that, right?



If your designed image is the first pin of a board, it is automatically chosen as the cover image. Otherwise, you will need to set the cover image yourself. You can do that from your profile page by clicking on the ‘Edit’ button below your board. You’ll be presented with a pop-up screen like this one where you can also edit the name of your board, select a category (Pro Tip: Never choose ‘Other’), and write out a keyword rich description for your board.


You’ll want to click on the ‘Change’ button in the Cover section that I have highlighted.



You can scroll through the pins of that board (if there are any besides the one you just uploaded) and select the new cover you designed. If you used the template I gave you, you’ll notice that it fits perfectly. Isn’t that so incredibly satisfying?

Pinterest board cover selection

Save Changes and you’re done! Refresh your profile and you’ll have a nice new board cover. I bet it looks real nice too.


Share With Me & Show Appreciation!

Come on… tell me how you really feel about the new Pinterest roll out. Don’t hold back. I’d also love to see what you create for your boards using my FREE template guide, which you can snag below. Post your Pinterest link in the comments if you use my template so I can check out your handy work.

(These templates are for 2017 as they are kept up to date to reflect the most recent Board Cover Sizes. They aren’t reflective of the content of this post. Please see the new post for 2017).

Say thank you by pinning the main image towards the top of my post (pretty please?), or letting your Twitter followers know about the free template you just scored. I’m sure they would love it too!

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