5 ways to jazz up your Instagram stories

I love Instagram stories – they feel like a much more instant, real-life thing than actual posts, and it’s ace seeing how people all around the world are spending their days, and what they’re thinking about. Stories have become more and more creative as Instagram release new features and I always enjoy messing about with these and trying different things out.

Recently a few different people have asked me how I’ve done something on my story, so I thought I’d write a blog about some of the ways you can jazz up yours.

First things first, I’m not claiming to be any kind of expert at this. There are plenty of people that create all-singing, all-dancing Instagram stories that theme with their grid beautifully; mine are a total random mix of bunny videos, cups of coffee, cocktails, other people’s posts I love and various cute animals. And I have to admire people who talk to camera because it’s not something I’ve ever managed to do! Yet, at least. I just thought I would share some little features that you may or not may know about.

How to show an image preview

If you want to share someone else’s post that you love, rather than an awkward screenshot and crop job, a neat way of doing this is to go to their grid, and hold down one finger on said post (rather than tapping onto it like normal). It then appears in preview, and you can use two more fingers to screen shot. I’ve used a goofy picture of me as an example…

Instagram stories preview


How to do on-screen recording (for iphones)

I learnt this one from Abi Richards, who’s a bit of an Instagram stories pro. It’s a great way of previewing your blog, or anything else you want to want to give your followers more of a glimpse at.

Go to Settings -> Control Centre -> Customise Controls. Add the Screen Recording option, and now when you swipe up from the bottom of your screen, it appears with all the other features like flight mode and torch etc.

Then, say you wanted to preview your latest blog post, load it up on your phone, swipe up your control centre and tap screen recording. It gives you 3 seconds so you have time to swipe back up, and can then scroll as you like whilst it records. Once you’re done, just tap the red bar at the top of the screen, and the recording saves to your gallery.

If you have an Android phone, it sounds like the best way to do this is to download an app, such as AZ screen recorder or DU recorder.

How to add gifs

Instagram introduced the Giphy feature in January this year, and then promptly got rid of it because of a horrible racist gif.  But now that it’s been removed and Giphy are putting new moderation measures in place, gifs for stories are back.

Once you’ve taken or uploaded your picture, just click on the smiley face top centre, and GIF will come up alongside the other features like poll and location. If you don’t see what you’re after in the initial options, you can search Giphy for the type of thing you want.

How to make rainbow text

I learnt this one from my friend Georgie (fyi her Instagram is all about architecture and it’s beaut) Type your text, then double tap it to highlight. Hold down on one of the colours with your index finger to make the colour spectrum appear, then hold your middle finger on the text and pull both fingers along the screen.

Instagram stories rainbow text how-to

Instagram stories rainbow text

If you’re struggling with this, I find it’s easier to do one word at a time then the whole caption. This little YouTube tutorial is helpful.

Where to find story templates and how to use them

Templates are a great way to do something more with your story and tell your followers a little bit more about yourself. @theuncommonplace, @debrosse_nyc and @kelseyinlondon have some fab ones, which you can find in the Instagram stories highlights on their profiles. As with the preview tip, just hold down on the screen before you screenshot them. Then use the screenshot as your story picture and type over the top of it. The gifs sometimes work well with these too. Here’s a template I shared the other day:

Instagram stories template

So there you have it, a few little tips for jazzing up your stories. I hope it’s been a useful read, let me know your tips too!

And to finish, here’s some Instagrammers whose stories I love:

@ps.ny: The cutest dog ever and beautiful vegan food

@calliopepaperie: Fun and sassy stationery, and her stories are hilarious

@bodyposipanda: Body positivity and some seriously good pep talks


p.s. if we’re not friends on Instagram yet, you can find me here


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