Creating a Flipped Box Card in Android Jetpack Compose

January 19, 2022

Just like how a paper looks when it is flipped on one side, as a developer you may like to create a card that is the same. This card may be used to display some notes or items in your app.

When using XML to design layouts, this is nearly impossible. With Jetpack Compose, there is no direct Modifier that can be used to achieve this. Canvas in Compose comes in handy here.

Table of contents


To follow along with this tutorial, you will need the following:

  • Android Studio installed on your computer.
  • An understanding of how to create and run Jetpack Compose Android apps.
  • Basics of Canvas in Jetpack Compose.
  • The Kotlin programming language’s fundamentals.

Canvas concepts

When it comes to making custom graphics in Android, Jetpack compose makes it simpler and easier. For this tutorial, we will go through some concepts that we will use to create a flipped card.

We will go through some canvas concepts in Compose, then we will jump directly to create a flipped Card.

  1. Canvas - This is the main Composable that we can use to create our custom graphics. The syntax used when it comes to creating a canvas is:
Canvas(modifier = Modifier.fillMaxSize()) {
  1. DrawScope - This is like an environment where we can do our graphics drawing.

  2. ClipPath - This removes certain regions in canvas based on a given path. To do the clipping, here is how we define the clipPath:

clipPath(path) {
  1. Path - From the current point, Path draws a straight line to another given point. Here is how we can define a path:
val path = Path().apply {
  1. LineTo - This creates a line segment from point A to point B. For the lineTo function, we pass the X and Y coordinates lineTo(X,Y).

  2. DrawRoundRect - As its name says, the drawRoundRect function draws a round rectangle.


Let us get started.

Step 1 - Creating a Compose project

Launch your Android Studio and create an empty Compose project.


Make sure you have selected empty Compose activity.

Give it the name of your choice.


Step 2 - Creating a custom composable

In this step, we will create a composable that we will apply some Canvas operations. In your MainActivity, outside everything, define a composable and name it FlippedCard.

For the Composable we will define some arguments:

  • A modifier and give it a default Modifier.
  • cornerRadius will be around our card.
  • cutCornerSize will be used to cut the top left of the card.
  • The color that our card will be in.

I decided to add a color parameter because you may want to display the cards in a lazy column in different colors. That’s when you can pass different colors to the Cards.

fun FlippedCard(
    modifier: Modifier = Modifier,
    cornerRadius: Dp = 10.dp,
    cutCornerSize: Dp = 30.dp,
    color: Long
) {

Step 3 - Creating a wrapper box

After creating our FlippedCard composable, inside it, we will add a Box that will hold our Canvas and all its operations.

    modifier = modifier.padding(10.dp)
) {

Step 4 - Working with a Canvas

In this step, inside the Box we add a Canvas

Canvas(modifier = Modifier.matchParentSize()) {

We make sure we use matchParentSize as its size other than fillMaxSize. Our Canvas needs a fixed size - a size that the Canvas knows the moment it is called.

The matchParentSize will give the Canvas size immediately after the parent has measured its size. In that case, our parent is the Box.

After creating the Canvas, it gives us a DrawScope that we can use to do our Graphics operations.


Let us create a variable that represents a Path that will go through our rectangle.

This will be our graph:


val path = Path().apply {
    lineTo(size.width - cutCornerSize.toPx(), 0f)
    lineTo(size.width, cutCornerSize.toPx())
    lineTo(size.width, size.height)
    lineTo(0f, size.height)

We make sure our cutCornerSize is converted to pixels using the toPx method. size is the size of the Canvas.

In the code snippet above:

  • The first line will take the full width and minus the cutCornerSize.
  • The second line will be the size of that which is to be removed (cutCornerSize).
  • The third line will be a line that connects from the small second line.
  • The fourth line will run horizontally, this will be complete, unlike the first line.
  • We then close our path using the close method.

Once the path is complete, pass it on to the clipPath method.

clipPath(path) {
        color = Color(color),
        size = size,
        cornerRadius = CornerRadius(cornerRadius.toPx())

        color = Color(ColorUtils.blendARGB(color.toInt(), 0x000000, 0.2f)),
        topLeft = Offset(size.width - cutCornerSize.toPx(), -100f),
        size = Size(cutCornerSize.toPx() + 100f, cutCornerSize.toPx() + 100f),
        cornerRadius = CornerRadius(cornerRadius.toPx())

Anything outside the clipPath will be cut-off.

Inside the clipPath, we draw our two rectangles, the larger one, and another small rectangle. The larger rectangle will take the size of our Canvas.

The smaller rectangle is drawn on that part of the large rectangle that was cut. We then cut half of the rectangle from the outside. We make the color of the rectangle be of the same color as the card but make it a bit darker by blending the color of the Composable with black in a ratio of “0.2f”.

For the top-left corner, we offset it so that the corner of the top end of the rectangle is not seen. For the size, we make sure it is the size of the cutCornerSize but we add the 100f because we had offset it.

Step 5 - Adding items inside the card

Below the Canvas, we can add any composables that we want. For this tutorial, we will add two Text composables inside a Column. One to represent a title and another one to represent a description.

    modifier = Modifier
) {
        text = "Compose is Awesome",
        style = MaterialTheme.typography.h6,
        color = Color.White

        text = "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...",
        style = MaterialTheme.typography.body1,
        color = Color.White

Finally, we can use our card by passing a color as its parameter.

setContent {
    FlippedCardDemoTheme {
        Surface(color = MaterialTheme.colors.background) {
            FlippedCardDemoTheme {
                FlippedCard(color = 0xff91a4fc)

In some cases, you can have a LazyColumn that uses the FlippedCard to display a list of items.


After running the project, you will see something like this:



In this tutorial, we have learned what a Canvas is, how to use a Drawscope to do graphics operations, drawing a line using the lineTo method to complete a Path, using clipPath to remove unwanted parts in our Canvas, drawing round rectangles, and finally, we used these concepts to create a FlippedCard composable. Keep exploring more about the power of Graphics in Compose.

To see a full implementation of the FlippedCard, check out this Github repository Flipped Card Demo.

Happy coding!


Peer Review Contributions by: Dawe Daniel