Canva: A How-To for Instagram Stories

Canva: A How-To for Instagram Stories

Canva is a very simple and FREE graphic design software, perfect for beginner graphic designers or even the experienced. Canva allows you the freedom to make your design from a variety of templates, platforms, and all the extras that you will need.

As mentioned, Canva is a free tool to use, so in order to make an account just enter in an email and password and you’re good to go.

Once logged in, Canva will direct you to the “home” page and prompt you to “Create a design”. There will be a wide variety of premade templates with the correct dimensions for social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – as well as templates for documents like resumes, posters, presentations, and more.

Today we will be specifically discussing Instagram stories.

Instagram stories are a fun, relatively new, trendy way to market your brand. Canva allows you all the creative tools you will need to create an eye-catching and engaging Instagram story.

To create an Instagram story in Canva, start by selecting the Instagram story template under “Create a Design”.

From there it will bring up a blank sheet in the correct dimensions of an Instagram story (1080x1920px).


On the left-hand side you will see a Design Navigator. The first tab in the navigator is for templates. Canva provides some pre-designed templates which are available for you to use and edit for your specific design. Or use them as inspiration for your own!

These templates are organized into categories based on themes or styles.


Another great feature of Canva is its selection of stock photos. Canva gives you access to a large collection of stock photos which you can implement appropriately into your designs.

Using photos is a great idea for Instagram stories, Instagram is all about photography, so implementing these into your story designs will ensure intriguing content. Although, be mindful when using stock photos that you are using appropriate images that are fitting to the context of the design.

For any feature you want to add to the story, drag it directly onto the design and you will be able to format, change the size, rotation, format, color, etc. – this applies for almost everything in Canva!


The next tab is Elements. In the elements tab there are grids, charts, frames, shapes, and more!

Grids allow you to input pictures into a predetermined layout which can be beneficial for organization in your design – and also give some guidance as to how your photos should be laid out in a pleasing way.

Charts are also available to make in the Elements tab. Although you might not be using this very much for stories, as they only last about 15 seconds and it might be hard to comprehend a chart in this short of time.

Using a frame on a photo can help enhance the creativity of the design. Drag the frame you would like to use for your photo into the blank design and once it is in place, drag in your photo and it will adjust to the frame.

Shapes, gradients, lines, and some other fun features are available in the Elements tab. Adding these fun features can take your Instagram story to the next level. Get creative, but don’t go too crazy! Once these elements are dragged into the design, you can go ahead and layer them with other icons, change the color, size, and more!


Text is an important element in Instagram stories. If you are going to add text, make sure your font is appropriate to the context of the story and pleasing to the viewer. For your business Instagram story, it is important to showcase your brand accurately, so using the same fonts, colors, and themes as your business branding will help achieve brand consistency. This goes for everything you implement into the Instagram story!

When incorporating text, KEEP IT SIMPLE. Nobody wants to read a novel in 15 seconds. Get to the point of what you want to share and make sure it is easy to read.


This part is pretty self-explanatory. If you wish to add a background to your story, simply drag the color or texture you wish to the design. For a simple way to change your background color, just click the automatic white background, and on the top of the design select the rainbow and change the color to what you wish.


The last and one of the most beneficial tabs is Uploads. Here you are able to upload any photos from your computer and insert them into the design. This is super ideal for the customization of your design.


Remember, they are called Instagram stories because there can be multiple slides across a period of time. So, don’t feel like everything you want to share needs to be all in one story – it can be spread out among multiple. Being able to click through a variety of chronological stories is pleasing to the consumer and they are more likely to engage with and interpret the content.

Just remember to be creative, consistent, and make it interesting!

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