When Instagram Stories launched in 2016, the feature was seen as a camera-first format for simple, full-screen images overlaid with text, and maybe a voting button or quiz. Over the years, Stories has exploded, showcasing more stylized looks with multiple images and sleek graphics.
Collages are having a moment, in Stories, and for good reason: They're a great way to show different angles on an idea, summarize an event, or give an overview of something you'll dive into more deeply in swipe-up content. Perhaps best of all, your followers can absorb more of your juicy content with less taps.
We're gonna show you how to create a gridded collage for Instagram Stories, and then we'll create the same Story as a freeform collage from a template, all in PicMonkey.
Follow along in PicMonkey — if you want to give it a shot, you can make a free account and tinker with all the fun tools and assets (graphics to die for! textures to live for!). You'll need to start a free trial in order to export any images you make.
How to make a photo grid Instagram Story collage
For a gridded collage, you'll be using PicMonkey Collage, which gives you easy drag-and-drop photo management, and super flexible cell-resizing if you wanna fiddle with the layout you've chosen. Handily, you'll have all our photo editing effects and tools at your fingertips as well. For a deeper dive, check the Collage tutorial, but this walk-through should get you going.
Pick the collage size and layout
Click Create new button in the top toolbar, choose "Blank canvas," and then you'll be able to choose the size you want. Scroll down to find Instagram Story, click it, and then click the Collage tab in the blue column on the far left. You'll see a slew of perfectly sized layouts in the browsing panel on the left.
Add stock photos or upload your own
Click the Photos & Video tab in the blue column on the far left. You can choose photos from our Unsplash and iStock by Getty stock libraries, or click the Add photos or video button at the top of the panel, and choose some from wherever you store your photos. Once you've selected photos, they'll appear in the Uploaded tab above the search box.
Now comes the fun part: you just drag your photos and drop them into cells in the layout. When you drag a photo and hover in between two cells, a blue bar will appear — release your mouse and a new cell will be created, instantly resizing the surrounding cells.
Add text to your collage
PicMonkey's text tools are peerless — tons of control, great effects, and dead-easy if you want perfect styling without the hassle. Click the Text tab in the blue column on the left. You can choose one of the text layouts that appear in the browsing panel, or click the Add text button up top, type your text into the text box that appears over your collage, and choose your fonts and effects in the text palette to the side.
When you like what you've got, click Download in the top toolbar, and your share-worthy design is on its way.
How to make a freeform collage from a template
PicMonkey's templates library is a gold mine of luxe, ready-made designs that you can simply click and replace with your own images and text. If you're looking for freeform collages with overlapping images or looks like torn paper and film frames, these beauties are what the doctor ordered.
Choose an IG-sized collage design in Templates
Click the Templates tab in the blue column on the far left. In the search box, type "Instagram story collage." Click a design you like from the ones that appear in the browsing panel.
Replace images in the template
Right-click any image you'd like to replace, then click Replace image and choose an image from wherever you store your images. You'll also be able to nab any image from our stock libraries — tons to choose from.
Add your own text
Click the text in the design to replace it with your own, or click the Text tab to give you allllll the controls in the Text palette and an assortment of text layouts you can choose from instead.
Click Download in the top toolbar to send this beautiful Instagram Story collage to its rightful place in Instagram superstardom.