Cover image for Making Reddit Style Picture Cards with Bootstrap

Making Reddit Style Picture Cards with Bootstrap

ara225 profile image Anna Aitchison ・3 min read


Ever noticed the little photo titles at the top of Reddit's front page? I really love the look of these, so I decided to build something similar into my site for the links to my projects. They're not quite perfect for this as they only really let you do one link but none of my projects are hosted right now (not job hunting) so this isn't a big deal for me.

I've made a couple of changes to the design to make it work with my site. I'm using Bootstrap (currently 4.5.0) on my site, so I wanted to build them them to work with that. I also wanted them to have a bit more box shadow and increase it when hovering over them to make it obvious they're clickable, and make sure they're responsive.

If you'd rather skip the tutorial/explanation, you can find a complete example here here You can also see the version on my website here


Here's the HTML outline I came up with:

<section class="container-flex" id="projects">
    <div class="row">
        <a href="#" target="_blank" class="col-md-4 col-lg-3 col-12 project-card-wrapper">
            <div class="col-12 project-card">
                <div class="project-card-content">
                            Project Name
                        Short description

It's a simple design with the tiles being columns in a row inside a full width container. This works really well as it allows you to have a completely arbitrary number of tiles with them wrapping if they need to. I've also used Bootstrap classes to enable the columns to resize responsively. I had considered using Bootstrap's cards and their card layout options, but, as Bootstrap themselves say, these layout options are not yet responsive. Each column has a col-12 column inside it containing the content, as this enables the cards to have nice regular spacing between them.


Creating this effect without either editing the photo to add a gradient or putting up with illegible text requires layering some stuff over the image. Reddit did this using the actual image as the background for the a element and a partially transparent gradient as a background image on the ::before pseudo element and I've done the same with a few small tweaks. There's a full breakdown of the styles below if you want to understand it better.

Section element

Neither of these styles are compulsory, but they help to make it look good.

#projects {
    background-color: #DAE0E6;

Outer Column

This simply ensures that there's vertical spacing between the columns when they wrap - the one thing that the row doesn't handle.

.project-card-wrapper {
   margin: 3% 0%;

Inner Column

Styling for the ::before pseudo element. It utilizes a simple gradient made up of black with varying degrees of transparency as the background.

.project-card::before {
    background-image: linear-gradient(0deg, #000, rgba(0, 0, 0, .8) 25%, rgba(0, 0, 0, .6) 50%, rgba(0, 0, 0, .4) 75%, rgba(0, 0, 0, .2));
    background-position: center;
    content: "";
    border-radius: 8px;
    bottom: 0;
    left: 0;
    position: absolute;
    right: 0;
    top: 0;

Styling for the card itself. Defined a small box-shadow to make it stand out from the background. Have to define the min width and height because the card gets malformed otherwise (no background images).

.project-card {
    box-shadow: 0 2px 5px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.16), 0 2px 10px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.12);
    margin-top: 2%;
    background: rgb(255, 255, 255) url(YOUR_IMAGE_URL) no-repeat scroll left center / cover; 
    min-width: 12em;
    min-height: 15em;
    border-radius: 8px;

A small increase on box shadow when hovered over to make it clear it's clickable.

.project-card:hover {
    box-shadow: 0 8px 15px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5), 0 4px 20px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.49);

Card content

Simple styles to place the text in the right place and ensure it stands out against the background.

.project-card-content {
    color: white;
    opacity: 1;
    position: absolute; 
    bottom: 0px;

Posted on by:

ara225 profile

Anna Aitchison


I post about problems I've overcome, things I've learnt and stuff I've made. This tends to be mainly either posts/tutorials about little design elements/widgets I've made or stuff about AWS.


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