How to Create Custom Instagram Highlight Story Covers

If you want to make your Instagram story highlights stand out and keep your feed on-brand and aesthetically beautiful, use custom story covers.

Instagram story highlights appear under your bio. They are a fantastic way of keeping your story content in front of your audience and also collating the information you share in stories, into different topics.

For example, let’s pretend you’re a creative blogger. You could have separate highlights for:

  • Latest blog posts

  • Newsletter signups

  • Tutorials

  • Behind the scenes snippets

  • Your portfolio of work

Each highlight can have it’s own cover.

The good news is, now (unlike days of old), you don’t have to post your custom cover to your Instagram story first. You can choose it directly from your camera roll.

I’m often asked in my Instagram workshops how I add these covers, so here’s a quick tutorial.

My own custom Instagram story highlight covers

My own custom Instagram story highlight covers

How to Create Custom Covers for Instagram Highlights

There are tools such as Canva with ready made icons that you can use. Or an app such as Wordswag which will enable you to create really nice text based story highlight covers.

However I like to go completely custom and create mine in Photoshop.
Jump to Step 4 if you already have your covers and just want to upload them to Instagram.

Step 1: File Size

The image size for Instagram stories is 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels or importantly, a 9:16 ratio.

Step 2: Add Icons

In Photoshop, I created one file and have different icons and backgrounds on different layers.

I use vector illustrations that can easily be resized without loss of quality. However PNG files with a transparent background are also perfectly suitable.

If you can’t create your own vectors or PNG images, Adobe Stock, Creative Market, Envato Elements and The Noun Project have some really good graphic icon resources. Note: they aren’t free. However I must say, I’m happy to pay for resources because I’m less likely to see the same icons being used elsewhere!

One file with different icons and backgrounds on different layers in Photoshop.

One file with different icons and backgrounds on different layers in Photoshop.

Step 3: Create a Set & Save

I use the ‘Save For Web’ option in Photoshop and save my covers as JPEGs to Dropbox, which I have connected to my phone.

Noteworthy tip: When designing your custom story highlight covers, make sure they work as a set. In Photoshop I sit the files next to each other to make sure all of the icons are similar sizes, the colour palette is on-brand and the set feels cohesive.

Make sure your set of custom Instagram story highlight covers work as a cohesive set of images.

Make sure your set of custom Instagram story highlight covers work as a cohesive set of images.

Step 4: Download your new covers to your phone

Time to grab your phone. Once your new Instagram story highlight covers are on your mobile device’s camera roll, you can upload them to Instagram.

How to create custom Instagram story highlight covers : Save your custom Instagram story highlight covers to Dropbox (or similar) so you can easily access and download them to your phone camera roll | Georgie St Clair | The Content Designer

Step 5: Go to your Instagram profile page

Click and hold the highlight with the cover you want to change. A menu will appear.

Step 6: Select Edit Highlight

Step 7: Click the ‘Edit Cover’ text

Step 6

Step 6

Step 7

Step 7

Step 8: Click the camera roll icon

Step 9: Select the custom cover you have just saved from your camera roll

choosing-custom-highlight-instagram-covers.gif

You can reposition and zoom into the image, but if you have set up your covers cohesively in your app or editing software, you shouldn’t need to do this.

Click done until you are taken back to your profile. Voila!

If you found this useful, tag me on Instagram @georgiestclair so I can see your custom Instagram highlight covers. I’d love to see them.

Or if you are looking for more Instagram advice? Read this simple no nonsense guide to using Instagram hashtags. More tutorials coming soon !


Pin For Later


How to create custom Instagram story highlight covers | If you want to make your Instagram story highlights stand out and keep your feed on brand and aesthetically beautiful, use custom story covers | Georgie St Clair | The Content Designer