Browsing TikTok, Twitter, or YouTube, you’ll find tons of popular images and videos that use similar calming, pastel colorways, font styles, and animated stickers. A lot of the time, these features are what people mean when they call things “aesthetic.”

In 2021, you’re probably seeing these edits more often than ever, and it’s actually not that hard to make your own. In this article, I’ll go over how you can download cute aesthetic backgrounds for your own photo or video edits, as well as how you can design your own background images for stunning edits. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Find an image to start with
  2. Add filters, overlays, edits, and text
  3. (Optional) Add your photo or video
  4. Export & download

Step 1: Find an Image to Start With

The easiest way to create an aesthetic background is to start with an image, rather than completely from scratch. I recommend using the Kapwing Studio, since it allows you to upload any photo you found, search over 5 million stock images, illustrations, and designs, and make all your photo and video edits in the same place.

Head to Kapwing.com in your browser and select Start Editing to enter the Kapwing Studio. Here, there are a few ways you can find your background image. The easiest way is to find the Images tool on the left side of the Studio and use one of these options to search for your background picture.

The search bar will search in Google Images, and the other four options let you bring stock images from the best databases straight into the Studio for editing. I recommend using either the Unsplash plugin or the Google search bar, since they offer the widest variety of results, so you’ll be able to find any starting image you want. For my example, I searched for “aesthetic clouds background” to start.

Step 2: Add Filters, Overlays, Edits, and Text

Once you’ve added a backdrop image, it’s time to create the details for your edit’s cute aesthetic. There are two things you can do: filters and effects. When you select a GIF, photo, or video layer, select Adjust in the right-side menu. Here, you can select the Filters tab to choose from 18 different aesthetic preset filters, or select the Adjust tab to manually change your opacity, brightness, saturation, contrast, and blur.

There are a few ways to add fancier effects to your background as well. My first recommendation would be to use Kapwing’s web search tool to look for overlays. Select Images from the top toolbar and search for things like "lens flare effect transparent," "cute hand drawn emoji," or even just "aesthetic overlay." Overlaying one of these flashy effects can be perfect for cute, aesthetic backgrounds.

Step 3: (Optional) Add Your Own Photo or Video

Once you’re done creating your background, you’ll probably want to put a photo or video on top of it. The easiest way to complete your edit is to stay in the Kapwing Studio to add and edit your main content. Either drag & drop your file into the Studio or select the Upload button and import from your files or a link.

Once your main content has been added to the Studio canvas, use the canvas buttons and editing options on the left to crop, resize, move, rotate, flip, filter, animate, and add borders to it. You can also add text, image overlays, and GIF stickers using the toolbar on the left.

Step 4: Export & Download

Once your cute edit is all ready to go, hit the green Export button in the upper right corner. If you made a still image project, it should be ready to download in about a second – for short videos, it may take a bit longer. When your project is done processing, use the Download button to save your background or full edit straight to your files.

I hope this article helps you produce great backgrounds for image and video edits! If you’re interested in more tips and tutorials on aesthetic editing in 2021, take a look at the videos on Kapwing’s YouTube channel, or read through some related articles on aesthetic photos and videos:

How to Make & Edit Aesthetic Videos
How to Make an Aesthetic YouTube Banner
How to Make an Aesthetic Wallpaper
How to Make Aesthetic Poem Art Online