The Easiest Way to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories

As the resident graphic designer in the office *flips hair over shoulder,* I have A LOT to do on a daily basis — from creating our newsletter content to making our tech backgrounds to whipping up any specialty graphics needed for stories or social. I use Photoshop to create graphics, which has a high barrier of entry — not all of our editors or interns are comfortable using that platform. Which is why the all-new PicMonkey has TOTALLY CHANGED THE GAME for our office. It’s so easy to use and intuitive, no complex toolbars or unnecessary functions. Now, I can create sleek and branded Instagram Stories templates once in PicMonkey, and anyone on the team can easily edit those templates. It’s a huge time-saver for me, so I can focus on creating more complex graphics and actually writing an article once in a while.

Here, I’m showing you how I created an Instagram Story template in PicMonkey, to show you how easy to use it really is. Follow along and then make your own! Don’t forget to hashtag them #CreativeYou so we can see all the goodness you’re creating.


Click here to get exclusive access to the all-new PicMonkey!

BONUS: If you sign up by Thursday, June 21st you can get THREE MONTHS FREE. 🎉


To start, choose “Create” from the PicMonkey home screen

  • I usually choose “blank canvas” to select from a group of pre-made sizes, like Instagram Stories, YouTube Thumbnails, Pinterest Posts, and more!
  • You can also start with a photo uploaded from your computer or choose from a pre-made design to get started.


After choosing the “Blank Instagram Stories” size from the blank canvas options, you’ll be taken to the Editor page, where you can start designing!



I start by adding a background color — in this case, millennial pink (#basic and I love it)

  • On this page, you can change the hex code to select a specific color (great option if you have brand colors you need to use).
  • Use the eyedropper tool to select a color from a photograph or other graphic you’ve uploaded.
  • Check the box next to “Transparent” to create a graphic with a transparent background — a great option if you’re cutting out the background of something to create a product collage or similar graphic.



Next, I add The Everygirl logo on top of the background color 

To add your own images or graphics into your design (like your logo), click the Overlays icon in the far left panel and then select “Add your own.”

Once you have your image in the graphic, you can resize it or rotate it using the selectors around it (circled above). Pro tip: drag from the corner to retain the proportions (i.e., not stretch the image weirdly).

Your “Layers” panel will show each element as you add them. As you can see above, I have two layers currently: 1 — The background color and 2 — The Everygirl logo.

In the “Overlay” panel, you have a bunch of options to work with. I’ll go over a few of them here:

  • Pull the slider next to “Fade” to change the opacity of your image.
  • Play with the different options under “Blend Mode” to create different effects on your image.
  • Under “Effects” you can add a drop shadow, to give your image some dimension.
  • The “Erase” panel allows you to erase certain parts of your image (more on that amazing new feature later!)

When you move your images around your canvas, grid lines will automatically pop up to help you center or align. ~Fancy~



Adding text is up next — there are tons of options to choose from in PicMonkey, which is lucky because I’m a huge typography nerd

To add text to your canvas, choose the Text icon from the far left panel and then select “Add Text.” Then start typing! You can change the font easily by just selecting your text and then clicking on the desired font. The “Text” panel is full of great ways to customize your text by color, size, weight, opacity, etc.



Think about the layout of your graphic now that you have several elements to work with — I added a photo and a block of color for more dimension.

Add a photo the same way we added the logo at the beginning. To add a block of color:

  • Click on the Overlay icon in the far left panel
  • Click “General” to choose from tons of pre-made shapes — I used the square for my block of color above
  • Use the arrows under the “Layers” panel to move the different layers — once I added my block of color, I moved it down so that the text was sitting on top of it.
  • From “General,” you can also add symbols and other fun things — I added a curved arrow to draw the eye upward and encourage swipe ups to the article!
  • Pro tip: You can modify multiple elements at once, by selecting them all — if you wanted to make all the text a light blush color, you could select them all and change the color once — a huge time saver!



When your graphic looks perfect, you’re ready to export it to your computer and then upload it to Instagram Stories. 

To save the file to your computer, select the export icon from the top menu. Rename your graphic in the space provided (so you don’t lose it in your computer files, something I have done multiple times *facepalm*) and click “Export to computer.”


YOU DID IT! Your gorgeous Instagram Story is ready to be uploaded and seen by the world. Your graphic is also saved as a file in your PicMonkey hub, so you can duplicate it as many times as you like — making it super easy to create cohesive and consistent graphics in a snap.


More things we’ve made with the new PicMonkey


Ready to try it? Click here for exclusive access!



This post was in partnership with PicMonkey, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.