How to Create Instagram Stories Highlights Covers (+ Free Icons!)

Instagram Stories Highlights covers are a great way to keep your Instagram profile on-brand and take your Instagram aesthetic to the next level!

Since your Instagram Stories Highlights are located directly below your Instagram bio (aka front and center on your profile!) you’ll want to make sure that they stand out and grab people’s attention. 

And if you can make your Instagram Stories Highlights pop, they are an awesome way to share important information about your brand with both your old and new followers.

A great way to do this is by creating cohesive Instagram Stories Highlights covers (think of it as the album cover for your Highlights) that align with your business and Instagram branding! Here’s how to do it:

instagram stories highlights covers

How to Create Instagram Stories Highlights Covers

To help you easily create your own highlights covers, we’re sharing free Instagram Stories Highlights icons that you can customize to fit your profile!

Whether you want a cute plant icon or more business-related icons like a store, newsletter, or computer, we have you covered with 36 different covers and 12 unique icons!

Simply enter your email below to download the icons:

 
Want to customize your Instagram Stories Highlights covers to match your own brand colors? No problem! Just follow our step-by-step tutorial using Canva to create your own. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the icons:

Note: For this tutorial, we’re going to be using the desktop version of Canva. However, you can also create Instagram Stories Highlights covers in the Canva app. To create covers in the app, choose the “Your Story” template to ensure you’re using the correct dimensions.  Otherwise, follow the steps below.

How to Customize Your Instagram Stories Highlights Icons and Covers:

Follow these steps to customize your Instagram Stories Highlights covers using our free icons! If you’re a photoshop pro, you probably already know what to do.

But if you aren’t, we’ll be using the free Canva tool.

Note: For this tutorial, we’re going to be using the desktop version of Canva. However, you can also create Instagram Stories Highlights covers in the Canva mobile app.

To create covers in the app, choose the “Instagram Story” template to ensure that you’re using the correct dimensions. Otherwise, follow the steps below:

instagram stories highlights covers

Open Canva and select “Create a design”

instagram stories highlights covers

Select the Instagram story template (1080px by 1920px) under “Social Media.”

instagram stories highlights covers

Next, download our free Instagram Stories Highlights icons! If you haven’t downloaded the icons yet, just enter your email here:

 

Now you can add your new icons to Canva.

Simply open the “Icons Only” folder from the .zip file, pick out the icons that you want to use in your highlights, and then drag them onto your Canva design (this will save them to your Uploads folder).

instagram stories highlights covers

The next step is to pick the color or background of your Instagram Stories Highlights cover. To do this, click “Background” on the left menu and then click the “+” button to add your brand colors. (You can also use a pattern for your cover background, it’s totally up to you!).

instagram stories highlights covers

Now you can add your icon (or text) to your highlight cover.

Start by clicking an icon from your “Uploads” folder on the left (Canva will automatically place the icon onto the center of your design). Now click and drag the corner of your icon to resize it.

instagram stories highlights covers

If you’d like to add text to your Instagram Stories Highlights cover, just click the “Text” option on the left menu, selecting a font at the top of your design, and type out your message.

instagram stories highlights covers

Note: Make sure that your icon and text are centered on your cover! Canva will show guidelines to alert you when your icon is centered.

Once you’re happy with your design, click “Add New Page” directly below to create your next Instagram Stories Highlights Cover.

instagram stories highlights covers

You can change your background color or pattern (if you prefer) and add a new icon. Repeat this process until you’ve created all of your Instagram Stories Highlights covers.

Once you’ve created all of your Instagram Stories Highlights covers, download them to your computer and then transfer to your phone.

Before you can begin setting up your Instagram Stories Highlights, you’ll need to make sure Instagram Stories Archive is on. To do this, open your Instagram settings, select “Story Settings,” and make sure that “Save to Archive” is toggled on.

instagram stories highlights covers

Now you can add your covers to your Instagram Stories Highlights.

Option 1: Add a Cover to a New Highlight

After you’ve selected the stories for a new highlight, you’ll be prompted to choose a title and select your cover photo.

instagram stories highlights covers

You can either choose a thumbnail from one of the stories in your highlight — or you can upload an image from your camera roll!

Tap “Edit Cover” and then tap on the photo icon to upload a design you created earlier.instagram stories highlights covers

From here you can pinch and drag your cover to make the icon bigger or smaller. You can also edit the title of your Instagram Stories Highlight by clicking in the “Name” field and typing a new title.  

Option 2: Add a Cover to an Existing Highlight

If you want to update the cover photo of an existing highlight, start by opening the highlight and tapping the ellipsis button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Select “Edit Highlight,” “Edit Cover,” and then tap on the photo icon to upload a design you created earlier.

instagram stories highlights covers

And that’s it!

 

3 Tips for Instagram Stories Highlights Covers

Using branded highlights covers keeps the look and feel of your Instagram profile page consistent with your brand’s style and Instagram aesthetic.

You want to make sure that you’re not only sharing information your audience is interested in, but that your covers are designed to complement your overall look!

Here are 3 tips for Instagram Stories Highlights covers:

Tip #1: Create Instagram Stories Highlight Covers that Match Your Brand Aesthetic

Just like your regular Instagram feed, incorporating your brand colors and other brand assets into your covers is an excellent way to make your highlights stand out from the crowd.

Fitness account @blogilates does a great job of this. The color of their highlights is perfectly in line with their overall branding. Even the icons they use matches with their Instagram aesthetic!

instagram stories highlights covers

But your Instagram Stories Highlights covers don’t need to be too complicated! You can forego the use of icons and stick to simple branding elements like colors and fonts like @chillhouse.

instagram stories highlights covers

Tip #2: Keep Your Instagram Stories Highlight Covers Relevant and Descriptive

If you’re using Instagram Stories Highlights to draw attention to your latest offerings, such as seasonal collections and new arrivals, or to share sales and other promotions, you need to be smart about how you categorize and describe your highlights.

Take @goop for example. The wellness brand uses highly descriptive icons in their highlight covers that leave little question about what’s inside.

instagram stories highlights covers

Also, @bof does this well by creating covers that clearly express the content within their highlights.

instagram stories highlights covers

Tip #3: Get Creative with Your Instagram Stories Highlights Covers

Creating highlights covers that are consistent with your brand’s look and feel doesn’t mean that you can’t get a little creative!

Check out how @classpass uses a variety of styles in their Instagram Stories Highlights covers:

instagram stories highlights covers

What’s so great about ClassPass’ covers is that even though they span several different styles (including icons, photos, screenshots, and more), the look is still consistent with their overall brand.

@herbivorebotanicals does a great job of this as well. Despite using several different highlight cover styles, they still clearly reflect the brand’s overall style and essence.

instagram stories highlights covers

Creating Instagram Stories Highlights covers is a quick and easy way to revamp your Instagram profile and highlight your awesome stories!

So putting some time and effort into creating high-quality highlights covers can help you increase brand awareness, attract new followers, and showcase your most valuable Instagram Stories content to new visitors.  

Want to learn more about using Instagram Stories to reach more of your ideal audience, get more followers, and make more sales? Sign up for our free Instagram Stories for business course!

Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Writer at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day exploits on Instagram @benjaminchacs.