How To Create Custom Instagram Highlight Covers

Hello, my pretties, and Tuesday to you!

Well, you voted (a unanimous YES btw), so I’m spilling the beans on how I created my own Instagram highlight covers.

So, with this new Insta highlight craze comes another opportunity to customize your profile and stand out from the crowd, which is awesome, but also a little stressful, am I right?

I mean, it’s hard enough to stand out on Insta these days because there are literally a billion+ others trying to do the same. Lately, though, I’ve been drawn to pages of those who have taken the extra time to customize their highlight covers. IDK why, but I think it’s just so cute and adds such a unique touch to your profile.

Now, I’m not sure about you, but I’ve come across many a blogger/influencer with super cute personalized covers and have wondered how exactly they created them. Granted, I’m aware most of them utilize graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop, but I figured there had to be a way around that.

Confession: I don’t use Photoshop. I’ve played around with it here and there, but I’m just not savvy enough (nor do I currently have the time to become savvy enough) to justify paying for the program. If I need custom graphics, I usually resort to the talented graphic designers of Etsy, which is exactly where I started this witch hunt.

I poked around on Etsy for a few days looking for custom Instagram highlight covers, but, truthfully, I just didn’t really see any that wowed me enough to pursue contacting the seller. This is also a newer trend, so I didn’t expect there to be too many options, which there weren’t. The designs were just mehh. They all sort of looked the same, and, quite frankly, bored the shit out of me.

After a while a lightbulb came on. You know that phrase, “If you want something done right, do it yourself” – yep.

I remembered utilizing a site when I was in college to create custom graphics for a project called Canva, and I figured I might be able to whip something up there.

I was right.

Now, if you’ve never used Canva before, you will need to start by creating an account. It’s a free account, btw, but you’ll need to create one.


 Once you’ve created your account, you can start designing. Click on “Create a design” in the left navigation panel. Then, in the upper right corner, click on “Use custom dimensions”.




When entering your custom dimensions, you will want to use 1080 x 1920 px and then press the “design” button.



Your page should now look like this:




From here you can add a custom background using either your own image or a shape/image from Canva.

In this case, I am going to upload one of my own images as my background.

To do this, you will click on the “Uploads” tab in the lefthand side panel. Then, you will click the green “Upload your own images” button. From here you can select images saved on your computer.


Once you’ve uploaded the picture of your choice, adjust the size until it covers all of the white space on your template.





Next, navigate back to the lefthand side panel and click on the “Elements” tab.

Once in this tab, click on “Shapes”.




Now, go ahead and scroll down until you come to the circle options. Then, select the circle of your choice and drag it to the center of the template.

Canva is awesome because whenever you drag a new image onto your template, the grid guides become visible so you can see the exact center.

When you’re satisfied with the size and spacing of your circle, you can go in and adjust the color(s) to your liking as well.

Now, in my case, I know the exact color code for the shade of pink I prefer when working with anything blog related, so I just typed it in the color code box. Howeverrr, if you’re not an OCD psycho like me, you can just play around with the color wheel until you find a color you like.




Next, we’re adding text, which is totally optional. Personally, I just like the look of a little something extra in my Insta story highlights.

If you don’t care about fluffing up your cover with text, skip ahead to STEP 6.

However, if you’re into being extra, bear with me here while we navigate back to that lefthand side panel and select the “Text” tab.



Scroll through the text templates and select the template of your choice (if you don’t want to use a text template, you don’t have to – that’s just my preference because I like the pre-formatted fonts and spacing).

Then, place the text on your highlight template.

Now, I like my text above or below the circle, but you do you. Go crazy, live your best life, place that shit wherever you want.

For the purpose of this tutorial, though, I’m placing the text below the circle, mmkay? OK.



Once, I have my text where I want it, I’ll delete the portions of the template I don’t want. For instance, here I will delete the 1st and 3rd lines of text completely. Buh-bye.

Then, I’ll highlight the line of text I want to keep and replace it with the title of my highlight cover (i.e. I’ll highlight “Ice Cream Party” and type in “Foodie Moments”).

You can adjust the text color, spacing, size, etc. as well if needed.




After you add your text, it’s time for the fun part…selecting a highlight image!

Navigate back to that lefthand side panel and click the “Search” tab (or upload your own images).

Type in whatever image you are looking for (in this case I’m going to type in “ice cream”). Canva has a huge range of images to choose from – some free, some not so free. The price is indicated on the bottom righthand corner of the image.



Once I find an image I’m feeling, I’ll place it in the center of my circle and resize it to my liking.

You can even change the color of some of the images. I decided to change the color of this image to black so it is consistent with my template theme.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 11.02.29 AM.png


Since, I’m the queen of unnecessary, I took my image search a step further and found a brush stroke to add behind my text – which I also changed to my favorite shade of pink. You know, because why not?

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 11.08.19 AM.png




Once you have your template looking just the way you want it, click on the “Copy this page” icon next to your template. This will make an exact modifiable copy of the template you just created.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 11.08.29 AM.png


Once you’ve created a copy of the template, you can delete the image and text and replace them in order to create your next cover – like so:

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 11.09.29 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 11.13.24 AM.png


Keep repeating these steps until you’ve created however many highlight covers you need.


When you’re completely finished designing, it’s time to download your designs.

Navigate to the top righthand corner of your screen to the turquoise “Download” button.

You’ll want to download these images as PNG files.

Make sure you select “All pages,” and then click the green “Download” button.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 11.13.51 AM.png


If you selected any images that were not free, you will be prompted to enter your credit card information to pay for them. Here, the ice cream image, lipstick image, and brushstroke were $1 each.

Unless you’re planning to utilize these images again in the near future on Canva, you would want to select the “Just pay $ USD” option as opposed to the “Special offer” option at checkout.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 11.14.40 AM.png


After you’ve paid, you should be able to find your templates in your computer’s downloads folder.

Save the templates to your computer, and you’re ready to rock n’ roll.

You can now add these images to your Insta story and use as highlight covers.

+ + +

Hopefully you were able to follow along and are able to create some super cute Insta highlight covers.

If you like these “how to” tutorials, give this post a like, and comment below to let me know which other tutorials you’re interested in seeing.

Until next time, babes.


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Kaitlin + LS

Nine-to-fiver by day, blogger by night, and avid tea spiller always. Join me here on LS as I share my tips, tricks, travels, and personal style inspo.

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