Reusable Custom Card Widget

1. Create Dog Card Widget

We need a widget to nicely display the information in our Dog class.

First you'll make a card that looks like this:

dog card

Create a new file caled 'dog_card.dart`.

In that file, make a new, blank stateful widget. It should take a Dog in it's constructor.

For the time being, all this will do is display the name of a dog.

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
import 'package:we_rate_dogs_example/dog_model.dart';

class DogCard extends StatefulWidget {
  final Dog dog;


  _DogCardState createState() => new _DogCardState(dog);

class _DogCardState extends State<DogCard> {
   Dog dog;


  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return new Text(;

In order to make this appear, let's modify the build method in main.dart

// main.dart

  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return new Scaffold(
        appBar: new AppBar(
          title: new Text(widget.title),
          backgroundColor: Colors.black87,
        body: new Container(
          child: new DogCard(dogs[1]),                                  // new

Refresh your app and you can see that it's wired up now. Time to build the card.

2. Dog Card UI

There are two main parts to this card. The image, and the actual Card that sits under it.

First, make that image.

Add this getter to you DogCardState class:

// dog_card.dart
    // A class property that represents the URL flutter will render
    // from the Dog class.
  String renderUrl;
  Widget get dogImage {
    var dogAvatar = new Container(
        // you can explicity set heights and widths on Containers.
        // otherwise they take up as much space as their children.
      width: 100.0,
      height: 100.0,
        // decoration is a property that lets you style the container.
        // It expects a BoxDecoration
      decoration: new BoxDecoration(
        // BoxDecorations have many possible properties
        // Using BoxShape with a background image
        // is the easiest way to make a circle cropped avatar style
        // image.
        image: new DecorationImage(
           // Just like CSS's `imagesize` property
          fit: BoxFit.cover,
          // A NetworkImage widget is a widget that
          // takes a URL to an image.
          // ImageProviders (such as NetworkImage)
          // are ideal when your image needs to be laoded or can
          // change.
          // Use the null check to avoid an error.
          image: new NetworkImage(renderUrl ?? ''),

    return dogAvatar;

In order to see this image, you'll first need to tell the Dog class to get that image from the internets.

In your dog card, add this to your DogCardState class:

    // State classes run this method when the state is created.
    // You shouldn't do async work in initState, so we'll defer it
    // to another method.
  void initState() {
    // IRL, we'd want the Dog class itself to get the image
    // but this is a simpler way to explain Flutter basics
  void renderDogPic() async {
    // this makes the service call
    await dog.getImageUrl();
    // setState tells Flutter to rerender anything that's been changed.
    // setState cannot be async, so we use a variable that can be overwritten
    setState(() {
        renderUrl = dog.imageUrl;

Now you have a dog avatar, that's properly getting the url to render.

In order to get overlap look of the card, use the built-in widget Stack.

The Stack widget lays out it's children relative to it's edges.

In other words, it's CSS's position, top, bottom, left and right properties.

Within a stack, you can wrap children in 'Position' widgets, but you don't have to.

  • Position wrapped widgets are outside of document flow, to use web development terms. They'll be at positon [0,0] by default -- the top corner of the Stack widget.
  • Non-wrapped widgets aren't positioned. They stay in normal 'document flow', laid out as a column of widgets by default.

This is how the stack is going to start:


  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    // Start with a container so we can add layout and style props:
    return new Container(
      // Arbitrary number that I decided looked good:
      height: 115.0,
      // A stack takes children, with a list of widgets.
      child: new Stack(
        children: <Widget>[
          // position our dog image, so we can explicitly place it.
          // We'll place it after we've made the card.
          new Positioned(
          child: dogImage,

Refresh your app, you have a picture of a dog in the top corner.

Let's create the Card and lay that out:

// dog_card.dart in DogCardState class
Widget get dogCard {
    // A new container
    // The height and width are arbitrary numbers for styling
    return new Container(
      width: 290.0,
      height: 115.0,
      child: new Card(
        color: Colors.black87,
        // Wrap children in a Padding widget in order to give padding.
        child: new Padding(
          // The class that controls padding is called 'EdgeInsets'
          // The EdgeInsets.only constructor is used to set
          // paddings explicitly to each side of the child.
          padding: const EdgeInsets.only(
            top: 8.0,
            bottom: 8.0,
            left: 64.0,
          // Column is another layout widget -- like stack -- that
          // takes a list of widgets as children, and lays the
          // widgets out from top to bottom
          child: new Column(
            // these alignment properties function exactly like
            // CSS flexbox properties.
            // The main axis of a column is the vertical axis,
            // `MainAxisAlignment.spaceAround` is equivelent of
            // CSS's 'justify-content: space-around' in a vertically
            // laid out flexbox.
            crossAxisAlignment: CrossAxisAlignment.start,
            mainAxisAlignment: MainAxisAlignment.spaceAround,
            children: <Widget>[
              new Text(,
                  // Themes are set inthe MaterialApp widget at the root of your app.
                  // They have default values -- which we're using because we didn't set our own.
                  // They're great for having consistent, app wide styling that's easily changable.
                  style: Theme.of(context).textTheme.headline),
              new Text(,
                  style: Theme.of(context).textTheme.subhead),
              new Row(
                children: <Widget>[
                  new Icon(
                  new Text(': ${} / 10')

Almost there. One more thing you need to do to complete the DogCard UI. Add a bit more styling to the main widget in the build method:

// dog_card.dart in DogCardState class
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return new Padding(                                                                                                 new 
    padding: const EdgeInsets.symmetric(horizontal: 16.0, vertical: 8.0),
      child: new Container(
        height: 115.0,
        child: new Stack(
          children: <Widget>[
            new Positioned(top: 7.5, child: dogImage),