How to Create Instagram Story Highlight Covers

Want to learn how to make cute Instagram Highlight Covers in five minutes or less? Keep reading...

Last December, Instagram started automatically archiving your stories with the option of creating Stories Highlights, which are collections of past stories that show up across the top of your Instagram profile. You can make highlights based on topics that are relevant to your business or brand and it can be a great way to have new profile visitors get to know you past those squares in your grid.

With Instagram being such a visual platform, it makes sense that people now want to create a cohesive look for their story highlights, just as they do for the rest of their profile. Luckily, there’s a super easy and quick way to do this that doesn’t require a ton of technical skills.

Insert one of my very favorite tools as a social media manager and blogger - Canva! This is a free tool (though you can upgrade to a business account) that allows you to quickly make all kinds of graphics appropriately sized for tons of social media sites or other marketing materials.

Here’s how to quickly create Instagram Stories Highlight covers:

Step 1: Open up Canva and click “Create a design”

create a canva design social media

Step 2: Select “Pinterest graphic” or customize the dimensions of your document to something like “1080 X 1920”.

Step 3: Select a color by clicking on “Background” on the left hand screen.You can choose from their color palette or if you have a custom color you’d like to create, select the “+” at the top of the menu and either drag the color drop to find the color you’d like or if you know the color code you can type it in. Note: If you have a business account, you can upload your brand colors for easy reference. 

background color canva

Step 4: If you want text to be on your story highlight, select “Text” and write out the word you’d like. Be sure to make the text pretty large since the highlight covers are very small (so small text will be extra hard to read).

canva add text to instagram story highlight cover


If you want a graphic, select “Elements” and search for the graphic or object you’re looking for. Try to think in advance about all of the graphics you want so you can make sure each one matches and creates a cohesive look.

Step 5: The document saves automatically, so once you like the look of your design, click download.

Now you can test how it looks by uploading it to your Instagram Story. Once it’s uploaded, hit the the “Highlight” button and wah-la! If you want to tweak the look of it, simply go back to Canva, make your changes, download and then upload again to Instagram until you have your highlight covers perfect.

You can also watch this super quick video for another breakdown if you’re a visual learner. I show how to choose different color backgrounds, customize text, etc. 

Hope that helps. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or reach out to me at!

Happy Instagramming!