Blogger Tricks Animal Jam Graphic Central!: How to Make Custom YouTube Thumbnails : A Tutorial

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to Make Custom YouTube Thumbnails : A Tutorial

Hey jammers! :D Wow, I've actually succeeded in playing Animal Jam for three days in a row... and blogging two days in a row! :D

Anyways... a lovely jammer emailed me asking for a custom YouTube thumbnails tutorial. Unfortunately they emailed me a couple of weeks ago when I had forgotten to check my email for awhile, and I'm not sure if they're still looking for a response. Nonetheless, I figured that some of you YouTubers out there might still find this tutorial helpful, and if you know anyone who'd like to learn how to do this as well, make sure that you share this post with them as well!

But without me rambling anymore, let's get into the tutorial!


To start, you're going to want to open up PicMonkey. If you don't know what PicMonkey is, it's a free, online photo-editing program. You can pay $4.99/month for more advanced features, but those extra features aren't necessary in this tutorial. 

Note: You can also use Pixlr or any form of Photoshop/Photoshop Elements, but since PicMonkey is the most capable free platform that I know of, I'll be demonstrating with it instead.

Then, click on the "Edit for free!" link at the top right corner of the page.

Once you do that, you'll likely end up with a screen that looks like this:

Now it's time to resize the canvas so that it is the proper size for the YouTube thumbnail. In order for your thumbnail to fit appropriately into the YouTube thumbnail container, it must be 1280 pixels in width and 720 pixels in height, or 1280 x 720.

Your screen should look something like this once you've resized your canvas to fit the thumbnail size:

We've got the "bones" of our thumbnail down, and now it's time for the fun part! Start your thumbnail by adding a cool Animal Jam background for the background of your thumbnail. You can find some on this page.

To add your background to your thumbnail, first download the background and then go to the "Overlays" tab on the side (it's shaped like a butterfly) and select the "Your Own" option and upload it to PicMonkey.

Now all you have to do is resize it to fit the canvas better:

Starting to look more Animal Jam-y after adding that background, right?

Then, you'll want to add some text explaining what you video is about. Go to the "Text" tab (it's says "Tt") select a font and type out what you video is about. I suggest making the font BIG since this thumbnail will be shrunk when actually uploaded onto YouTube, so you'll want to ensure that people can read your thumbnail from a distance.

Once you've added the text and styled it the way you would like to, you can add tons of fun graphics and icons to your thumbnail! I personally didn't choose to add graphics for this example thumbnail because I chose for the text to be so large, but adding in graphics of your own animals, of things that appear in your video or just of random, cute animal graphics are great ideas to catch potential viewers' eyes!

After you're sure that your thumbnail is exactly the way you would like it to be, you can save it! Make sure that you save it in either the medium or highest resolution to avoid the thumbnail from getting too blurry.

And there you have it! Your very own thumbnail! Of course, yours will probably be way better than mine, because I just whipped this up randomly as an example. :P


I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! 



  1. I use PicMonkey a lot for my thumbnails and lots of other stuff. Its easy, really useful, and free. Maybe you could check out my channel? It's Tiger50621 AJ if you would like to.


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