instagram-story-highlight-covers (1)

How To Easily Create Instagram Story Highlight Icons

Today, I'm going to show you how to create those cool Instagram story highlight icons and make custom covers for your brand. 


Instagram story highlight icons are a great way to save Instagram stories and highlight them on your profile permanently.


They are great for adding more depth to your Instagram account.  You can use these custom covers to share tips, how-to's,  special offers, testimonials an intro about you and much more.


Create Custom Instagram Story Highlight Icons Using Canva




First of all, if you don't have a Canva account, you'll want to create one. It's absolutely free.  If you're not familiar with Canva, once you dive in, you'll soon find that this is a great tool to quickly create graphics for your social media post and other things as well.




To create a template for my Instagram story highlight icon, I like to use the  "Instagram post" template in Canva. That's usually a good size for what I'm trying to accomplish.


Next, create your background color by choosing one of the colors from the default palette, or you can click the plus sign and add a custom color code.


canva-default color-palette


I choose to use a custom color for this example.  Once you have your background color selected, you can now search for an icon that matches the title.  I'm creating an icon for testimonials, so I'll search for a chat bubble to represent that.


Canva offers a ton of free icons and it's a much better option than going to Google and copying a file that might have copyright restrictions.


Next, make sure that your icon is centered.  Don't go too large because it won't size correctly when you go to Instagram.




Once you are happy with your results, click "Download". The next thing you should do is upload the design to your phone.  I have an iPhone so I'll simply airdrop my design.


The next step is to open your Instagram app and create a story.   In order for this to work, one of the clips in your story has to feature this icon.


You can also add small text or emojis to this clip, just be sure not to get too close to the design because parts of the text may be cropped into the icons when you're done.




Once the clip is posted,  click on "Highlight" > "New" and the type a name for your custom cover.  I'll type "Testimonials" for mine. After that click on "Add".


Now that you've added your custom icon you can choose to either view it on your profile or click "Done". 




That's how easy it is to create custom Instagram story highlight icons for your Instagram account. Especially when you use a tool like Canva.


If you have any questions for me, leave a comment below. If you've got a tip you'd like to see or something you're struggling with, leave me a comment and I may create a video or post about it.




  1. Liz on March 30, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Thank you for sharing how to do this! I am behind the times as fare as Instagram covers go and learning how to do it seems really important to keep up. This was great and i’ll be using it to get me started. Thanks!

    • Tonya - Your Marketing Lady on March 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Great! I’m glad that you’ll be able to use this to kickstart your Instagram story highlight icons.