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How To Make Custom Instagram Highlight Story Cover Images

/ / Blog, Direct Sales, Direct Sales Meeting, Instagram, Social Media

Instagram is a great way to market your business, whether it’s to a younger demographic or even Gen X’ers who are new to expanding their online social media beyond Facebook.

But, along with other must-have basic Instagram marketing, creating Instagram highlight stories is your best bet to get more visibility and engagement. 

You might be wondering, which do I do first, the Instagram story image or the highlight?

You want to start by making the images.

Then you’ll go on and make the Instagram highlight.

We’ll walk you through how to make the image for the Instagram highlight story using one of our favorite design tools, Canva. Canva is free and best of all it’s super easy to use.



How to Make an Instagram Story Cover Image

Step 1: Open your Canva account and type “Instagram Story” into the search bar and scroll to the bottom.

step 1 open canva search instagram story

Step 2: Click on the template for “Instagram Story” when it appears. Now you’ll have the perfect sizing for your Instagram Story highlight cover.


Canva Instagram create story highlight

Step 3: Next, on the left-hand side, click on “ELEMENTS” from the sidebar and then click “GRAPHICS” or “ICONS”.

Canva Instagram story icons graphics

Here you will be able to search through different illustrations to choose icons for your Instagram Story highlight covers.

There are plenty of options including free icons and paid icons. Alternatively, you could create text-based highlight covers using Canva’s text options.


Step 4: After you have chosen the icon you want as your custom Instagram Highlights cover, simply choose a background color that matches your brand. You can change the color of the icon as well. We made ours white against a brand color.

Make sure the icon isn’t so large that parts of it will be lost during Instagram’s circular cropping. We find that a 400 x 475 image in the middle works nicely.

Canva Instagram highlight story image size

Step 5: Save the image to your phone directly or add to your Google drive and then download the image to your phone.

Step 6: Go back to Instagram, and post it as a new Story. To do that, just go to your home feed and swipe left. When you’ve chosen the photo you want to use as your icon, be sure to pinch the screen to zoom out as much as you can. This will ensure that parts of your icon aren’t cropped off when you use it as your cover.

Step 7: You’ll need to add this image to the Highlight so it becomes eligible as a custom Highlight cover. To do that, from your profile, just tap and hold on the Highlight you want to customize and choose “Edit.” You’ll land on a screen like this:


instagram highlight story

You’ll see the option to choose which Stories are in or out. If you swipe right, you’ll see your Story Archive. Slide over and select your icon if it’s not selected already. You’ll want your custom Instagram Highlights cover story at the end so people don’t miss the actual Highlight.

Step 7: Swipe back to the “Highlighted” tab. You should see that the Story with your icon is included at the end. Tap “Edit Cover” and choose your icon using the slider on the bottom. You can pinch and drag to zoom and position the icon before you finalize the cover. When you’re finished, just tap “Done.”

How To Make a New Instagram Highlight

Step 1: Tap the button in the bottom-right to go to your profile.

Step 2: Tap the “+” button to make a new Instagram Story Highlight.

You’ll be taken to your Instagram Archive, where you can see all of your past stories.

Step 3: Choose which Stories you want in this Highlight by tapping the circle in the bottom-right corner.

Step 4: Tap “Next.”

Step 5: Choose a name for your Highlight.

Step 6: Normally here you would pick out your custom Instagram Highlights cover. Skip over that for now and just tap “Add.”


Congratulations! You’ve made your first Instagram Highlights.


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