8 Tools to Help You Make Stunning Instagram Collages

If you’ve been following the latest social trends, chances are you’ve made an Instagram collage. No, we’re not talking paper, scissors, and glue. Think Instagram Top Nine. Or the “LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter” meme.

But brands have used the crafty artform for more than memes. Instagram collages can combine multiple photos to show off different product angles and features—or even before and after shots. Add frames and borders for a scrapbook-styled event recap. Or roundup multiple pieces for gift guides and seasonal mood boards.

All this and more can be done without papercuts and superglue snafus. An assortment of free Instagram collage apps make trimming and styling easy and mess-free.

So, feeling scrappy? Read on for the tips, tricks, and tools you need to make collages a part of your Instagram business strategy.

Download your free pack of 20 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

How to make a collage on Instagram

Follow these steps to learn how to make a collage on Instagram posts and Stories.

Feed

Here’s how to make a collage on an Instagram post:

  1. Download and open Layout.
  2. Tap on the images you plan to include. You can choose up to nine. A checkmark will appear beside each image you’ve selected.

including images in an Instagram collage

  1. Select the layout you prefer from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap on any image to edit it. Use the blue handles to resize.
  3. Mirror or flip each image according to your desired outcome.
  4. Add borders if you wish.
  5. Hit save.
  6. Share to Instagram or save to your camera roll.

Instagram collage of a cat wearing different accessories

Tip: Instagram Layout only offers basic editing features. If your photos require work, make sure to edit them first and save them to your camera roll.

Stories

Here’s how to make a collage on Instagram Stories. The lingo may be slightly different depending on the device you use.

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Tap the camera icon in the top left corner, or swipe right.
  3. Take a picture.

picture of a keyboard on Instagram Stories

  1. Open the pen tool. It’s the squiggly line icon, second from the top right.
  2. Choose a background colour. Press down and hold on the image until the colour fills over the image. Hit done.

color-filled Instagram Story image

  1. Leave Instagram and go to your camera roll.
  2. Select a photo you’d like to include and choose copy.

including a photo of a cat in an Instagram collage

  1. Open Instagram and wait for Add Sticker to appear. Tap it and place it where you’d like to appear.

Instagram sticker of a cat from the photo before

  1. Repeat until you’ve added all the photos you plan to include. Add drawings, stickers, text, or tags.

Instagram collage with cats

  1. Hit share.

Still new to Instagram Stories? Here’s how to use them.

Instagram collage tips

Mashup your social game with these Instagram collage tips.

Start with a concept

All Instagram collages should be created with purpose. Don’t collage just for the sake of it.

And they should fit into your overall Instagram marketing plan.

Before you set out to make one, consider why a collage is the best choice over a single-image post, carousel, or other option.

Your answer will lead to your collage concept. Here are a few examples to get you started:

Use a split-screen to showcase multiple options

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The countdown to routine’s powerfully botanical, long awaited day and night face oils is ON! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A limited amount of “woke glow” (day) and “golden slumber” (night) oils remain for **pre-sale and this week, all orders include a free routine pin!! So go, get that glow! **Orders are anticipated to be sent out the first week of May. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????WOKE glow: A Sea buckthorn & Rose hip tinted botanical massage for your visage. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ????GOLDEN slumber: The nighttime is the right time to rejuve your visage with neroli and rose while you doze. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ???? @modulecreativeagency Design: @venzi3 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #getwoke #wokeglow #faceoils #botanical #spring

A post shared by Official Routine IG (@routinecream) on Apr 20, 2019 at 9:52am PDT

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Some like to keep their oatmeal simple, while others get berry bold. ???? However you love to enjoy @quaker oats, your perfect bowl is yours to create. ❤️ ⁣ Click link in the bio the find the recipe that hits your sweet (or savory) spot. . . . . . #oatmeal #snacktime #oat #tastyfood #foodinstagram #tasty #yummm #yummyfood #quakeroats #oatmealrecipe #oatmeals #oatsforbreakfast #tastytasty #oatmealrecipe #quaker #snackideas #oatmealbowl #easybreakfast #enjoyfood #sodelicious #sotasty #foodsofinstagram #breakfastbowl

A post shared by Quaker Oats (@quaker) on Sep 16, 2019 at 3:10pm PDT

Show off a new collection, lineup or product options

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Coming soon—⠀ a smarter way to travel ???? •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ À venir—⠀ une façon plus intelligente de voyager ????

A post shared by Frank And Oak (@frankandoak) on Jun 7, 2019 at 7:55am PDT

Encourage feedback and engagement

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Back from summer! ☀️Which flavor fits your mood? #Lays #Mood #BackToWork #BackToSchool

A post shared by Lay's (@lays) on Sep 10, 2018 at 12:30pm PDT

Create a step-by-step, how-to, or before and after

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No chip clip? No problem. Keep your favorite holiday #leftovers fresh with this trusty technique. ???? #Lays

A post shared by Lay's (@lays) on Dec 26, 2018 at 10:00am PST

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By @pikeproperties ・・・ ????️Every once and awhile we decide not to tear down a home, but instead, give it new life. This was one of those cases. ????⁠ . . . . . . . . . #beforeandafter #hometour #dekarasyonfikirleri #design123 #hgtv #evdekorasyonu  #southernliving #architecturaldigest #designinspo #evdekorasyonu #traditionalhome #luxuryhome #luxuryhomes #cottagestyle #exteriordesign #menwithstyle #decorinspo #renovation #dreamhome #charminghome #beautifulhomes #classy #interiorinspo #slhomes #designbuild #interiordesigner #hometours #lakehome #fixerupper #saturdaymorning

A post shared by REAL REMODELS (@realremodels) on Feb 18, 2020 at 8:39pm PST

Use multiple visuals to drive a narrative

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The term “dinosaur” has developed a negative connotation, often describing something that is out-of-date or unable to adapt. In reality, these creatures were marvels of speed, size, power and versatility, and they can teach us a great deal about our world, says paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara. They reigned unchallenged for 165 million years — what do they reveal about our past, and what can they tell us about our environmental future? “To be a dinosaur is to belong to a staggeringly successful group of animals whose reign across time may never be matched by humans or any of our mammalian kin,” Kenneth says. To learn more about why we should study and respect dinos, visit go.ted.com/dinosaursmatter. Illustration by @mike_lemanski

A post shared by TED Talks (@ted) on Oct 24, 2017 at 11:52am PDT

Choose the right mix of images

A good Instagram collage should never overwhelm the viewer. The choices you make should always be in the interest of communicating a message or idea as clearly as possible.

There are some instances where high volume is called for—say, to convey the size or diversity of a community. The rest of the time, use images sparingly and intentionally.

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Every skin color is celebrated in this series of stunning portraits by artist and photographer Angélica Dass. Titled “Humanae,” the collection of simple portraits — featuring precisely-matched Pantone backgrounds — shows humanity’s true colors are far from black and white. “Humanae represents a sort of mirror for those who cannot find themselves reflected in any label,” she says. See more of Angélica’s gorgeous portraits and hear how she is challenging our thinking about skin tone and ethnic identity at the link in our bio. Image courtesy of @angelicadass

A post shared by TED Talks (@ted) on Dec 19, 2019 at 1:28pm PST

Stick with simple visuals that have a clear focus. Images that are too detailed or zoomed out lose impact when paired with others and reduced in size.

Avoid color clashes by creating a complementary palette. If that’s not possible, try adding tints or treatments to make photos match.

When all else fails, or to set a mood, go black and white.

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Regard ???? Sortie le 16 février ????

A post shared by Jeanne (@jeannedamas) on Feb 13, 2020 at 4:58am PST

Brush up on your visual content skills with these 12 tips.

Style your collage

Sometimes a simple mashup of images is all you need. But there are times when a little more “zhuzh” is called for. And there are several ways you can kick your collage up a notch.

From vintage film borders to florals and punchy graphics, here are a few examples.

Frames can lend a nostalgic vibe or photobooth effect to a series of photos. They can also bring order and clarity to a mishmash of images.

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Hotel room dreams and the small luxuries of travelling alone: waking up whenever you want to, not having to wait to get into the bathroom, no work schedule to follow, no one asking when you’re going to be ready or questioning the decision to spend half the day in a bathrobe ???????? (And before you say anything: I *adoooore* travelling for both work, with boyfriend, family and with friends – but boy does it feel luxurious to do it for yourself sometimes too ????)

A post shared by Carin Olsson (@parisinfourmonths) on Aug 28, 2019 at 7:08am PDT

Textures and shapes can add both dimension and cohesion.

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The System: Fewer pieces, more possibilities. #FindYourSystem

A post shared by EILEEN FISHER (@eileenfisherny) on Feb 1, 2020 at 11:06am PST

Patterns can add flair and intrigue to a series of images.

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“I didn’t realize how much I was used to and valued utter anonymity.” #MrsMaisel star @rachelbrosnahan gets candid about the price of fame at the #linkinbio.

A post shared by Glamour (@glamourmag) on May 27, 2018 at 8:39am PDT

Text boxes can cover everything from product info to positive comments.

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Thanks for sharing your goals with us. New decade, new priorities. We’re on board. – #aritzia #2020 #newyear #goals

A post shared by Aritzia (@aritzia) on Jan 8, 2020 at 4:01pm PST

Add stickers and tags

Stickers and tags make your Instagram Stories and posts engaging and shoppable. And collages are no exception. At their best, collages can even unlock new ways to use these features.

If your collage features multiple influencers, partners, or fans, be sure to tag them. This can drive more engagement to your post or campaign.

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The last project Jake requested and worked on was, coincidentally, a special one. He wanted to do a “catalog” that was all about our riders. We brought the Burton team in to tell their own stories, pick their favorite photos, and put their creative fingerprint into the content. This was always Jake’s vision: let the riders lead the way. It’s now live for all to enjoy. Hit the link in our bio #RideonJake

A post shared by Burton Snowboards (@burtonsnowboards) on Dec 5, 2019 at 7:58am PST

For collages that feature gift guides, roundups, or multiple products, shoppable tags let people learn more about the item that catches their eye. Instagram allows you to tag up to five products per post, so make the most of it. For now, only one product sticker can be added to Stories.

Download your free pack of 20 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

Download the templates now!

Brands have used stickers in Instagram Story collages to great effect. French jewellery designer Louise Damas uses the poll sticker to see which pieces people like best. Netflix uses it for viewers to vote for the best dressed participants of The Circle.

Instagram story collage from Louise Damas

Instagram story collage from The Circle

Mix it up with multimedia

Instagram collages can bring images, video, music, and text together in a single post.

Doing this well can be tricky, though. Posts with too much media can come across as jumbled or chaotic.

It all comes back to having a strong concept and clear message.

Dove uses a collage to break beauty stereotypes with a grid of changing portraits. Notice how only one image changes per frame, and at a speed that allows viewers to take everything in.

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We’re breaking beauty stereotypes around the world with @girlgaze and @gettyimages ???? but we couldn’t do it without the amazing women and non-binary individuals in front of and behind the camera ???? As the world’s largest stock photo library to shatter beauty stereotypes and create a more inclusive vision of beauty, Project #ShowUs is making waves ???? And we’re so happy to have been awarded the Silver Glass Lion for Change at @cannes_lions Festival of Creativity – an award that celebrates ideas that challenge gender inequality and make a positive impact on the world ???? So far, over 7000 of our images have been downloaded in over 40 countries and counting, by 938+ companies… This is just the beginning and we can’t wait to see more ???? #Dove #RealBeauty #ShowUs #CannesLions #Unstereotype #CannesLions2019 #Change

A post shared by Dove Global Channel ???? (@dove) on Jun 26, 2019 at 7:29am PDT

Coachella’s “you might like” series combines a visual with a video to provide a snapshot and soundbite of artists its followers might like. The framing of the campaign is super slick and straightforward.

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Turn on something new this weekend, so you know what not to miss in April ????

A post shared by Coachella (@coachella) on Jan 31, 2020 at 5:07pm PST

Try advanced collaging techniques

Collages may be a good way to cram things into a single post. But there’s no reason you should limit yourself to one. Expand an Instagram collage into a multi-post carousel or Story. Or, spread it across your feed.

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The latest collection of Jake Burton’s personal lineup of snowboarding products, Mine77, is available now. This winter gear is a comprehensive representation of rider-driven ideas and tweaks to performance driven hardgoods and softgoods. A significant selection of travel-worthy luggage completes the offering. Check it out before SHE GONE! Link in bio | #mine77 #themineisours #RideonJake

A post shared by Burton Snowboards (@burtonsnowboards) on Nov 27, 2019 at 10:28am PST

Instagram collage from Frank and Oak

Learn how to use individual images to make a larger one, and other Instagram hacks.

Keep feed aesthetics in mind

Technically, your Instagram feed is already a collage of every post you’ve published. Adding a collage post into the mix can look busy, unless you’re strategic about it.

Make sure your Instagram collage fits in with your feed aesthetic. If you often use certain Instagram filters or presets, a collage should be no exception. Use it on the collage too.

Plan ahead with a content calendar, like Hootsuite Planner, so you can see how the collage will look next to other content before you hit post.

Just because you’ve spent extra time on a collage doesn’t mean you should spend less time elsewhere. Keep the Instagram algorithm’s ranking signals in mind before you post.

8 Instagram collage apps

Use these Instagram collage apps to speed up your workflow and add some pizzazz.

  1. Layout

As the official Instagram collage app, Layout has you covered for your basic collage needs.

Add up to nine photos and position them in different layouts. Save posts as squares, which means they’re good for the grid, but not always ideal for Instagram Story collages.

For photo editing and fancier templates, check out the options below.

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My #mirroreffectmonday post using #layoutfrominstagram. I started a separate account @tacocat_redivider to post only #mirroreffect images. I seem to enjoy mirroring people, cars and cameras. Street scene in front of #yeefungtoysociety building on East Georgia, Chinatown Vancouver #carsofchinatown #mirroredcar #shotoniphone5s .

A post shared by Take Kayo 嘉陽宗丈 (@bigheadtaco) on Sep 14, 2015 at 7:14pm PDT

Download: iOS and Android

  1. Unfold

Unfold is one of the most popular Instagram collage apps available. In fact, the app is so popular that brands like Tommy Hilfiger have even created branded templates on the platform.

A plethora of customizable options are available for both posts and Instagram Stories. And new layouts, for special events or trends, are regularly added into the mix. It’s free to use, but monthly members have access to a wider range of stickers, fonts, and features.

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Happy Pride Month! Introducing the PRIDE collection, available for a limited time only ????️‍????

A post shared by Unfold (@unfold) on Jun 12, 2019 at 1:12pm PDT

Download: iOS and Android

  1. Canva

As a design tool, Canva can be used to create Instagram collages—and much more.

The app offers free templates for posts and Stories, with tools that allow you to edit photos and styles. Styles range from graphic heavy to more photo friendly. If you’re looking for collage concepts—the Canva library is packed with ideas.

Canva Pro membership offers additional features, including more logo and branding options.

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Who loves using our grids? A quick and easy way to collate all of your favorite snaps! #canvatip #canva

A post shared by Canva (@canva) on May 15, 2019 at 3:48pm PDT

Download: iOS and Android

  1. A Design Kit

From the creators of A Color Story and Filmm, A Design Kit brings creators a kit and caboodle of free Instagram collage tools. Think cute and crafty, these templates, brushes, and stickers veer toward bright and playful.

This tool is good for posts and Stories, with a monthly membership available.

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It’s strange to have finally fallen in love with reading. A year ago I rarely read and now it’s one of my favorite retreats. I’m still considering if i should make an official #bookstagram account, but til then, here ya go!⠀ ⠀ This month I was inspired to read The Girl on the Train & The Last Black Unicorn by @ladybookers. Excited about that new reading group! ⠀ I also finally read The Picture of Dorian Gray as part of the @mjudsonbooks reading challenge for 2020! I was familiar with the story, but pushing myself to read that chapter on fabrics and jewels… ???? whew! But it did encourage me to read more classics!⠀ ⠀ What’s your top recommended book right now?⠀ ⠀ Ratings: ⠀ Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: 3⭐️ — I figured out the twist way before it hit⠀ ⠀ The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: 4⭐️ — this one really makes me want to take on more classics⠀ ⠀ Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino: 5⭐️ — well worth the read if you grew up with the early internet⠀ ⠀ The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell: 4⭐️ — my first Lisa Jewell & exited for more!⠀ ⠀ Do You Mind If I Cancel by Gary Janelli: 4⭐️— Do you mind if I snicker about the Royals & George FOREVER?! ????⠀ ⠀ Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: 5⭐️— this is going to be a great Hulu drama! ⠀ ⠀ The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish: 4⭐️ — Tiffany’s life is just as wild as you’d imagine⠀ ⠀ Educated by Tara Westover: 5⭐️ — I felt conflicted at the beginning but was proud by the end.⠀ ⠀ Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell: 4⭐️ — plan to reread in the fall to see if I can stretch it to 5! ☺️⠀ ⠀ Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberland: 4⭐️ — A few author’s quirks bugged me but I absolutely loved this story⠀ ⠀ All in all, a really great start to the year. I highly doubt I’ll reach this number every month but January is a year in itself. ⠀⠀ What was your favorite January read?!

A post shared by Stephanie Ava???? (@stepherann) on Jan 31, 2020 at 6:03am PST

Download: iOS

  1. Storyluxe

As its name suggests, this Instagram collage app specializes in the Story format. More than 570 photo and video templates are available with backdrops, filters, branding, and styling tools. Available for free or monthly subscription.

Storyluxe Instagram collage

Download: iOS

  1. Mojo

Mojo bills itself as a video stories editor for Instagram. New templates and fonts are added monthly to its library of more than 100 templates. Each one is 100% editable, so you can brand and tailor as you see fit. Did you accidentally shoot your video in landscape? No problem. The makers of Mojo have several fixes for the common video orientation hitch.

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Not sure how to make your landscape videos shine in your portrait-sized stories? ????Here are a few mojo templates that make landscape videos look great! You also can use the "fit" option on landscape media to make them appear entirely on the screen – works for all templates! ???????? #mojoapp #themojoeffect

A post shared by mojo (@mojo.video) on Jul 3, 2019 at 1:21am PDT

Download: iOS and Android

  1. SCRL

With access to Unsplash’s 30,000+ photo library, SCRL makes it easy to create Instagram collage layers. These stock photos can add high production value to your content without the high costs.

This app especially excels in panoramic carousels. In other words, you can use its tools to unfold a collage across a series of posts. This is a popular approach for wardrobe capsules, event recaps, and narrative concepts.

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@calandaly "????GRATS LIZZO????@lizzobeeating" #scrlgallery⠀

A post shared by SCRL Gallery (@scrlgallery) on Feb 8, 2020 at 9:04am PST

Download: iOS

  1. Magisto

Magisto is a video editor that lets you create video collages or photo slideshows. The free app includes thematic templates, access to a music library, as well as filters, effects, and stabilization fixes.

Professional and Business plans offer access to a vast stock photo and video library.

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Today's #featurefriday goes out to one of our OG community members – @eatdrinkandbemyra. Thanks for sharing this awesome video with us using our Selfie editing style. We love the playfulness of this video, how you tied it back to your brand at the end, AND utilized our business card feature. Who else is ready to *hug life* after watching this? Happy Friday y'all! #magisto #storiescomealive

A post shared by Magisto (@magistoapp) on May 17, 2019 at 11:33am PDT

Download: iOS and Android

Looking for more Instagram apps? Here are 17 that will take your posts to the next level.

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