how to create a word search

How to Create a Word Search in Canva [Plus a Template!]

I'm so excited to teach you how to create a word search in Canva – for free! – using my word search template. Actually, a student of mine created this template and said we could use it, so I created a video outlining exactly how to do just that!

How to Create a Word Search for Free

Using Canva is 100% free, and I even have the perfect word search template to get you started!

Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I earn a commission when you make a purchase through them. 🙂 Click to learn how to increase your affiliate earnings on your own blog.

I didn't cover the research phase in this video much, but knowing what you're going to choose for your theme is important. You don't want to just throw a bunch of random words in there, right?

If you need ideas for themes, I have a few… feel free to use them or come up with your own!

Ideas for Word Searches

Use sites like Enchanted Learning for free word lists. You can then drop them into Jasper and reword everything, so it's not like anyone else's list.

Literacy: weekly spelling words, vocabulary words, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, homophones, Fry's 100 first word list (broken up into 10 different word searches), words by grade level, words from certain books!

History: historical events, presidents, famous, world history

Science: inventors, inventions

Geography: states and capitals, continents, countries and capitals

Can you tell which subject is my favorite? LOL I love Language and Literacy! I despise Math but you know what? A Math word search would be pretty awesome! And educational. 🙂

You can also do holidays, seasons, and really anything your heart desires! Need more ideas? I found this Pinterest account and love it!

Tips for Creating Your Own Word Search

Start with a list of words you want to use. If you don't have a list, try websites like Spelling City or Vocabulary City or even Teachers Pay Teachers, to see what others have created. A word of warning: NEVER COPY someone else's idea exactly! It's just not okay. Use their idea as inspiration. The amount of words you have in your word search will depend on the grade level your students are at. You can do a simple word search for kindergarteners with 10 words, or a more advanced word search with lots of backwards and diagonal options and 30 words, for older kids.

Stick with a theme. Whether you're using this week's vocabulary words or creating a Santa and Reindeer themed word search, sticking to a cohesive topic makes sense.

Proofread. While I found it hilarious that my word search had the word “FART” in it, make sure you aren't accidentally dropping other “f” bombs in the word search. Print it out and go over it with a fine-toothed comb. I have my kiddos do this step for me! My eyes start to cross after I've stared at my own word search for more than a few minutes LOL

Check and double check. Create your answer key first so you can ensure you created the word search correctly. When I did my first word search, I accidentally removed a few of the letters while I was adding other words… it was a mess. Took me more than an hour to fix the whole thing. If you follow my video tutorial, you'll prevent the issues I had.

Word Search Generators

While I'm not a huge fan of word search generators for my creations, if you're designing a word search for personal use, they're fine. Commercial use word search generators, well, I haven't found one I love yet. Feel free to link one in the comments if it allows commercial use and is affordable!

  1. The Word Search Maker
  2. The Teacher's Corner – this generator lets you make shapes!
  3. A to Z Teacher's Stuff
  4. Super Teacher Worksheets
  5. Discovery's Puzzle Maker

Have questions? Leave a comment below and I'll answer!

If this post helped you, inspired you, or heck, even if you read this far… please take a moment to choose one of the pins below and PIN IT on Pinterest!

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  1. Good afternoon! Thank you for sharing this! Is this word search template okay for commercial use when modified? Thank you for any information that you can provide me with.

    1. Sadie Smiley says:

      Yes, ma’am! Thanks for asking!

  2. Danielle Maynard says:

    This was just what I was looking for thank you so much!!!

  3. Britney Chambers says:

    I’m in love with this app

  4. Thank you so much for creating this template!! So so helpful! <3

  5. This is wonderful! Thank you so much – and thanks to your student for creating it! It will be so helpful for me.

  6. Dalen Pointer says:

    Thank you so much for this post! Just want to make sure – Can you use the word search maker in Canva for commercial use if you have the pro account?

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