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Make Custom Instagram Highlight Covers in PicMonkey

Instagram highlight covers are the little circles that hang out right underneath your IG profile bio. They are a great way to both save and categorize your stories, plus creating custom highlight covers can make your brand look super polished.  Not only is it a perfect way to showcase your brand and entice your followers to engage with your content, but it’s also pretty easy to do. In this article we’ll show you a couple ways that you can make custom Instagram highlight covers in PicMonkey, show you some examples of great highlight cover designs, and walk you through how to add your custom cover to Instagram.

You can use one of the images from your story as the cover. Or you can make a custom one in PicMonkey and upload it to an existing story.

How to make a custom Instagram highlight cover in PicMonkey

  1. Start with a blank canvas that’s set to Instagram Stories dimensions (1080 x 1920 pixels).

  2. Choose a background color or add your own custom hex code.

  3. Head to Graphics and choose an icon from collection or add your own.

  4. Customize your graphic.

  5. Click download to computer to get your design out of PicMonkey and into Instagram.

1. Start with a blank canvas

From the PicMonkey homepage, scroll down to the Collage Layouts and Blank Canvases section and click the link that says See all blanks. From there you’ll be taken to a page where you can choose your blank canvas size. Scroll down and select Instagram Story Highlight Cover to open the canvas in the editor.

2. Choose a background color

From the Background Palette, click on the rainbow circle to choose a background color for your canvas. If you have a branded hex code you want to use, enter it in the text box and click Apply. Otherwise, use the color picker to choose your background color.

3. Add a graphic icon

Go to the Insta Story Highlights graphics set, or browse all graphics

Choose from our collection of thousands of icons or click Add an image at the top of your canvas top add your own icon.

4. Customize your graphic

Change up the color of your graphic or add effects (scroll down to see our tips below!) from the Graphic Palette. To remove a color from your graphic, select the circle containing the color to remove on the palette, then click the Transparent box. You can also rotate, flip, or resize your graphics up or down.

5. Export your Instagram highlight cover

Click the Download at the top of the editor to save your cover to your computer, then move it over to Instagram when you’re ready.

How to add your custom Instagram highlight cover to Instagram

  1. Email your design to your phone, or grab it from Hub in the PicMonkey app.

  2. Open the Instagram app, click the story you want to add the cover to.

  3. Click More in the bottom right corner.

  4. Select Edit Highlight and then click Edit Cover.

  5. Click the image icon and select your highlight cover.

  6. .Center your image within the circle.

  7. If you’re happy with how it looks click Done.

If you want to change your highlight cover in the future, just repeat the steps above.

Create highlight covers on the free PicMonkey mobile app

In addition to making highlight covers on your desktop, you can also make them on the free PicMonkey mobile app.

Watch this video to learn more:

Get the PicMonkey Mobile App!

Design custom highlight covers that reflect your brand

The cool thing about custom highlight covers is that they can bring your unique branding to your Instagram. In the mood board above you can see the company’s logo, colors, fonts and so forth that inform the design and grid layout of its Instagram page. Each of the icons carries over a brand color making for a professional, and stylish, look.

Instagram Highlight Cover Design Inspo

Make a statement with outlined text

The @i_weigh IG account uses outlined text in their highlights about not being ashamed. It’s a powerful statement and the text treatment helps to highlight that. The image stays on-brand by using the same pink as the other highlight covers.

Get the look on Highlight your text and from the Text palette, go to the Effects tab and add a drop shadow. Turn the Distance slider down to zero and make sure the Horizontal blur and Vertical blur sliders are set to the same distance. Play around with the Fade and Intensity sliders until it looks how you like.

Go for drama with a drop shadow

On Bumble’s account they have a variety of great, branded highlight covers. We’d like to draw your attention to the one labeled “First Moves!” The text has not one, not two, but three drop shadows and it really does give it a sense of movement.

Get the look on Create a drop shadow around your text and make sure your Horizontal blur slider is turned to zero. Duplicate that text and change the colors of the text and the drop shadow. Get the two text elements lined up slightly off-center and you got it. Italicize both text elements for some extra movement.

Delight with funky designs

On our IG page (ohheygurl, give us a follow @picmonkey) we’ve got subtle design elements going on right underneath our text. They’re only slightly darker than the background so they add interest without distracting from the copy.

Steal the look on From the Graphics tab, head to the Design category to find oodles of tasteful, interesting elements. Place them slightly off-center from your text, then in the Graphic palette use the eyedropper tool to select the exact color of your background. Click the color circle on the palette to open the color spectrum and then select a slightly darker shade of that color.

Mask text and graphics for a beautiful, dimensional look

Masking is when an image peeks through another image or text. It’s a quick and easy way to immediately add visual interest, like the State of Alaska Tourism Office did on their Instagram page.

Get the look on Add your text and graphic elements to your canvas and arrange them how you want them to look. Tap Command or Control A to select all of the elements and then head to the Textures tab and apply one texture to all the elements. The end result is beautifully cohesive.

Pump up the party with some ombre

Betches also used a mask over their Instagram highlight cover icons, but theirs is ombre and it’s fabulous. The beautiful rainbow of colors really pops of that simple black background.

Get the look on Highlight your text or icon (whatever element you’re using) and had to the Effects tab. Scroll down to ombre and select your colors. Adjust the Direction and Fade sliders and your ombre is ready for showtime.

Stand out with bold icons

Netflix is keeping things simple by sticking with their red and black brand colors for the highlight covers, giving their bold icons rooms to shine.

Get the look on Stick with a dark, rich background color and keep any icon you plan a clean white.

Subscribe to PicMonkey to make wow-worthy images today!

Tanya is a copywriter at PicMonkey, a company that has greatly improved her life by allowing her to Zombify her friends and Santa-ify her enemies. A native Seattleite, she dreams of one day being a contestant on The Price Is Right.