Easily Create a Template for Your iOS Wallpaper and Lock Screen Background [Quick Tips]

iOS Custom Wallpaper and Lock Screen Tips

Adding graphics to your iPhone is not as easy as you might assume, especially custom graphics you create on a desktop computer.

In this article we look at the ways to make perfect background graphics that match the lock screen and icons on an iPhone or iPad.

Create Templates for Your Wallpaper

Before you can begin creating your own custom graphics for your iPhone, you need to make templates for the lock screen and home screen. This is simplicity itself, but a little setup is required.

Get yourself a solid dark wallpaper like this one from http://www.solidbackgrounds.com. Choose a useful resolution and aspect ratio like 640 x 1136.

Open the Settings app.


Set both your lock screen and home screen to the plain wallpaper you downloaded.

Now you have to screenshot your lock screen and home screen. Turn your phone off and on again to get the Lock Screen. Hold the Home Button down and press the Off button. You will hear a camera click noise, and the screen will flash. The screen will now be grabbed and stored in your Photos.


Do the same for your Home Screen.


Now you have templates for your screens. Send these files to your computer via email or use iPhoto or similar to get the photos to your computer. You can also use third party file transfer apps like iExplorer to just drag and drop them out of the phone onto the computer.

Making the Screens

Why do you need templates? Well there are certain areas of the screen which are not good for graphic detail, like the place on the lock screen where the time is displayed or the place where the slider is to slide open the phone. You need to draw around these or even make a feature of them.

The deal with having a template means you can resize and shape the backgrounds to accommodate the fixed features of the iPhone screens. For example you can make sure that bricks


or wood planks


correctly hit the image right to accommodate the overlaid numbers, title bar and slider on the lockscreen.

The same goes for the home screen. If you know the location of the screen elements you can make a set of shelves in a 3D program (like Blender 3D) like these gorgeous ones from Deviantart.


But of course, if you know where the icons will be, you can add drop shadows or glows around them on the background wallpaper.


Obviously, the glow won’t slide with the icons, but when “at rest” the home screens look much cooler and individual.


The best way to get your new screens into your phone is to drop them into Dropbox or some other kind of Web-based file transfer site and then navigate to the site on your phone and save the picture.


After that, all you need to do is go into your wallpaper settings and add the new graphics.


Making your own iPhone lock screens and home screens is easy, but making templates first makes it oh so much easier and enables you to tailor your result to the shape of the screen.

Brick Texture by Grzesiek on Flickr, Wood Texture by FoxStox on Deviantart, iPhone 4 shelves by vishalpandya1991 on Deviantart

Phil South
Phil South

Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He's designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.

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