How to create gorgeous Instagram Highlight covers

Promoting yourself on Instagram is one of the best ways to get new customers or blog readers in a relatively quick way. However, it is essential that you stick to a solid Instagram strategy, post consistently, be active regularly, and to have an organized and professional-looking profile. 

Today, I want to guide you through the topic of Instagram highlights as part of your Instagram strategy. You’ve probably seen them above the feeds of other accounts; those beautiful, colorful icons. But what exactly are they for and how can you best use them and create them for your own blog or business?

At the end of this post, you’ll find my Instagram highlight covers templates as a free download! Don’t forget to download them to make it way easier to create your icons! 🙂

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee-drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra. So it’s a win for everyone! Please note that I won’t link any products I don’t believe in or don’t resonate with my blog site. Thank you!

What are Instagram highlight icons?

Instagram highlight icons are the icons you see just below your profile text and just above your Instagram feed. When you click on these icons, you can see old stories that the user has stored here. This is extremely useful, because Instagram stories only last for 24 hours, and by using Instagram highlights you can keep showing interesting stories to your followers without an expiration date!

Instagram hoogtepunt icons

You can choose to only save stories without creating covers, or you can choose to give the highlights covers that match the branding of your blog/company. This way, you can showcase your corporate identity even more on your profile, and it gives an organized, and professional look. 

Why are Instagram highlights and highlight icons an important part of your Instagram strategy?

  • It allows you to show expired, but interesting stories to followers who have not seen these stories yet;
  • Gives a clean, professional look to your account;
  • Helps your followers navigate to your blogs, services, information about you, prices, and other useful information;
  • The link sticker allows you to quickly direct your followers to your other socials and website.

Also discover: how to gain new followers on Instagram without following back

How to create your own Instagram highlight icons in Canva?

Don’t have an account in Canva yet? Then first start by creating a trial account, and start adding your branding colors to your brand kit. No worries, you can try Canva for free and the free version is sufficient for creating cool highlight icons for Instagram! 

Step 1

Start with the “Instagram Story Highlight Cover” template in Canva. Click on “Create a Design”. Search for the template in the search bar.

Create a design - Canva

Step 2

Select your design and then click on the rainbow-colored icon in the upper left corner to set a background. Next, choose a background color for your first highlight cover. 

Achtergrond kleur instellen Canva - Instagram hoogtepunten

Step 3

Place an icon or text in the exact center of your design. You can adjust this by clicking on “Position” and then “Middle” and “Center”.

Positie aanpassen in Canva - Instagram highlight icons

Tip: if you click on ‘Elements’ in the menu on the left and then enter for example “icon time” or “icon food” as a search term, you will find all kinds of icons that you can use for your designs. 

Step 4

Download your design. Click on “Download” in the top right corner, choose “png”, choose the pages you want to download and click “download”. 

This is how simple it is to make your own Instagram highlight icons! 🙂 You’re already done with the creation part!

How to post your highlight icons on Instagram?

Step 1

Open Instagram and click on the round icon with a “+” that says “New”.

Step 2

Select a few stories that you want to show to your followers in this highlight and click “Next”.

Step 3

Give a name to your highlight and click on “Edit Cover”.

Naam geven aan hoogtepunt icoon Instagram

Step 4

Click on the image icon and upload your Instagram highlight icon, then click “Done”.

Instagram hoogtepunt icons - Omslag instellen

Your 1st highlight icon is a fact! You can go ahead and add more icon covers plus stories. By the way, you can always update your highlights later on and add new stories to them. 

Also interesting for you: 5 ways to earn money with Canva!


How many stories can you add per highlight?

You can add up to 100 items per highlight. 

How many highlight buttons can you create?

There is no limit to this. At least, this is what I can find about it, I have never tried this myself. My advice: keep it to a maximum of 5 highlights, because that is the number your followers can see without scrolling. When you add more than 5 highlights, at least one highlight won’t be visible right away, which is a pity when there are important highlights to be seen in it. 

Can you change the order of your Instagram highlights?

The only way to adjust the order is to edit your highlights in the order you want them to appear. The highlight that was last edited will appear on the left after editing.  

Can you see who views your Instagram highlights?

Unfortunately, no, you can’t see this. On a positive note, this means other people can’t see it when you’re watching their highlights, too! 😉

Can you change the order of the stories in your highlights?

The stories in your highlights are now displayed in the same order as you posted them. You will see them from old to new. If you would like to show the highlights in a specific order, you can choose to repost the stories first in the order you have in mind and then add them to your highlights after 24 hours. 

Download the free templates here!

Could you use some help creating your own Instagram highlight icons? I’ve created some free templates for you in Canva that you can download when you sign up for my newsletter. 

Don’t worry, I only send emails with cool tips about blogging and social media marketing + some great offers. I’m not the spammy type!

Click here to download your Instagram Templates!

Final Thoughts

Creating and uploading your own Instagram highlights icons isn’t that hard at all, and having them will instantly boost your account! Hopefully, the tutorial in this post has made it even easier for you to create them! If so, don’t forget to share this post with your followers on social media. 



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