Google just announced that starting today Gmail users can customize their inbox with their own background images.

Screen shot 2011 04 14 at 9.20.19 AM Google adds custom background image themes to Gmail

While there have always been a ton of themes and colours to choose from within Gmail that customizes one’s user experience, adding this feature adds an even more personal touch to a user’s inbox. As of today, users can now add their own background images by going to the “Themes” tab and choosing “Create your own theme.” There, users can select background images for the main area and the footer, as well as altering the appearance of text and links.

Clicking on the “Themes” tab brings up all of the available themes, and the customization choice is the last one at the bottom right of the screen. Once a user clicks on it, it opens a new window so that they can start to tweak their theme.

Screen shot 2011 04 14 at 9.41.59 AM 500x241 Google adds custom background image themes to Gmail

Gmail users can modify everything from text and link colours in every aspect of your inbox, as well as the background of text boxes and the borders surrounding them.

Screen shot 2011 04 14 at 9.39.40 AM 500x538 Google adds custom background image themes to Gmail

Images can be uploaded from a user’s computer or they can be taken from their Picasa account. Once a user has uploaded an image from their computer, however, it is automatically placed in their Picasa Drop Box folder. That may be something that some users just don’t want, so they’ll have to go into Picasa and get rid of them — doing so doesn’t impact the customized theme.

Screen shot 2011 04 14 at 9.33.24 AM 500x497 Google adds custom background image themes to Gmail

Once a user saves their theme, they click on the “Close” button to exit the window and their inbox is updated almost instantly. If they’re not happy with what they’ve done, they can always rest their theme back to the default appearance by click on the “Reset” button.

The customization screen does take some getting used to, but once a user starts to really think about the inbox layout in Gmail, they can do pretty much anything they want to make the experience of using Gmail a more personalized one. Overall, a welcome addition by the Gmail team.