Digital backgrounds aren’t just for disguising a messy room during a Zoom conference call. You can use them for all sorts of purposes, from social media graphics to photography backdrops. 

If you’re looking for backdrop inspiration, look no further than soft, springtime-inspired colors, from periwinkle to pale yellow. Learn how to combine these hues into beautiful pastel backgrounds in the tutorial below. 

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What Can You Use a Pastel Background For? 

You can use digital pastel wallpapers in a wide range of ways, from adding a pop of color to your social media platforms to spicing up your Zoom video conference. Here are a few examples of ways you can use these backdrops:  

  • Digital wallpaper for your phone or computer
  • Backgrounds for text-based Instagram stories or other social media posts
  • Virtual backdrop for video conferencing
  • Backgrounds for digital calligraphy or hand lettering 
  • Website graphics
  • Backdrops for product or portrait photography
  • PowerPoint backgrounds

How to Make a Pastel Background in Photoshop

"the best is yet to come"
Source: instagram
Use Photoshop to create a gradient pastel background, like the backdrop of this quote via @ekdesign01

Photoshop’s advanced tools make it easy to create a gradient pastel background that showcases a rainbow of colors. Here’s how to make it. 

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Open a new Photoshop project.
  2. Select the gradient tool from your toolbar. 
  3. Open the gradient editor. 
  4. Double click the color stop on the far left and select a pastel color.
  5. Repeat with the color stop on the far right, selecting a different hue.
  6. To add additional color stops, click anywhere along the gradient bar and select an additional color. 
  7. Click new to save your gradient, then click OK to close the editor window. 
  8. Click and drag in the direction you want your gradient to appear (e.g., diagonally from bottom left to top right). This process will fill the entire layer with beautiful pastel colors that seamlessly blend into one another.

How to Make a Pastel Background in Canva

You can select and customize the color of each individual shape within a Canva template. 

Canva makes it easy to design pastel wallpapers. Start with a blank project, and then add a solid-color background. Or, select a pre-designed template, and then customize the colors to include your desired pastel hues.

Step-by-Step Directions: Solid Color Background

  1. Start with a new design based on the desired use for your background (e.g., Instagram story, PowerPoint slide, etc.). 
  2. In the left-hand toolbar, click background. 
  3. Select one of the color options or click the palette icon to choose a customized color. This will fill the screen with your selected hue. 

Step-by-Step Directions: Template Background

  1. Start with a new design based on the desired use for your background (e.g., Instagram story, PowerPoint slide, etc.). 
  2. In the left-hand toolbar, click templates. Use the search bar to find your desired style of background (try “abstract” or “geometric”). Click the template to apply it to your project. 
  3. Click an element of the design, and a blue box will pop up around the object. 
  4. In the upper left-hand side of the screen, you will see a color box (next to “Edit image”). Click the box, and then select your desired color. 
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until you’re satisfied with the design. 

Take a Deeper Dive Into Canva

Social Media Content Creation in Canva: From Beginner to Advanced

How to Make a Pastel Background in Procreate 

green leaves on a gradient background
Source: instagram
After creating a pastel background in Procreate, you can layer on additional graphics, like in this example from @brittanivstheworld

Procreate offers a more organic way of creating pastel wallpapers, which feels similar to drawing with a pencil on paper. 

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Open a new Procreate canvas.
  2. Open the color palette (in the upper right-hand corner) and choose your first pastel color.
  3. Select a soft brush, and then, using your stylus, paint the top portion of your canvas with your first color.
  4. Repeat the process with a second pastel color, painting the bottom half of the project. At this point, your entire canvas should be filled with color. 
  5. Under the adjustments panel, select Gaussian blur. Then, use the slider to adjust the level of blurring. This will smooth and blend your colors together. 

Springtime Inspiration 

These pastel backgrounds are perfect for Zoom backdrops, social media graphics, and everything in between. And, they’re simple enough that you can create them in just a few minutes. So embrace the hues of springtime and give it a try! 

Pick the Perfect Pastels

Exploring Color in Your Illustrations Using a Limited Color Palette

Written by:

Katie Wolf