5 STEPS TO YOUR NEXT $10K: YOUR STRESS-FREE MARKETING ROADMAP

JOIN THE MASTERCLASS

Instagram Puzzle Feed 101: How to create an Instagram collage in Photoshop

Instagram, oh Instagram. How I love you so. But, if you show me yet another cookie-cutter feed comprised of aspirational photos and very little creativity, I think we’re going to have to end this. Sorry. It’s not you; it’s me. I’m simply craving a little more excitement. That’s why, today I’m sharing how to create an Instagram puzzle feed grid (often referred to as an Instagram collage).

ICYMI: The Instagram puzzle feed is the hottest thing to post on Instagram in 2019.

I’ll admit that I also once went through the white, clean-looking feed phase. And the bright colour phase. And the VSCO filter phase. And the funny quotes phase. If I stumbled upon a perfectly planned feed with on-brand colours, I used to hit follow quicker than you can say #instacrush.

But times have changed. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that it takes a little more than some pretty flowers and a white background to get more Instagram followers these days.

Enter, the Instagram puzzle feed (or Instagram collage grid). The perfectly planned feed’s handsome cousin from overseas. This one takes high-maintenance to the next level, but, boy is it nice to look at.

(PS. Have you downloaded my free Instagram cheat sheet yet?)

So, how do you create an Instagram puzzle feed?

Creating an Instagram puzzle feed (or Instagram collage) is a lot easier than you think.  The puzzle feed instructions in this post require Photoshop, but you could easily swap it for Canva + the Instagrid app (or try one of our pre-made Canva Instagram templates).

FREE PHOTOSHOP TEMPLATE

Instagram Collage Photoshop Template

7 Savvy Strategies to Ignite your Instagram


envelope

The quickest way to create an Instagram collage in Canva

I’ve put together a pre-made Canva Instagram puzzle feed template, so that all you have to do is drag-and-drop your images, change the colours and fonts, and voila! A beautiful Instagram collage in under 10 minutes.

Shop the template now.

Here’s a sneak preview of the Instagram collage template (and some examples of how you can update it for your own brand look and feel):

Instagram grid template Canva

Click here to purchase the pre-made Canva template.


How to create an Instagram puzzle feed grid in Photoshop

Download my blank Instagram feed Photoshop template for free

(Note: You will need Adobe Photoshop installed on your computer to open this. This template is for creating an Instagram collage from scratch – if you’re looking for a drag-and-drop Instagram collage template, I recommend you purchase this Canva Instagram puzzle feed template)

FREE PHOTOSHOP TEMPLATE

Instagram Collage Photoshop Template

7 Savvy Strategies to Ignite your Instagram


envelope

Step 1: Create a mood board for your Instagram Puzzle Feed

If you have a good idea of your brand colours and aesthetic already, you can skip this step. If you don’t, then this step is non-negotiable. What you really want to get clear on is your brand imagery, colours and general vibe. Is your brand full of florals or is it clean-cut and neutral? Is beachy or is it earthy? I give you full permission to go wild on Pinterest.

Step 2: Download some stock photos, patterns, brushes and any other graphics that fit your brand

Unsplash is my dirty little secret – shhh, don’t tell anyone! Completely free stock photos that don’t suck. Spoiler alert: you’re about to lose ~4 hours of your evening browsing through their amazing photos.

If you’re after some higher-end, styled stock photos, you can’t go past Styled Stock Society. Their photos are next level and guaranteed to help your brand sparkle. Creative Market also has a wide range of stock photos that won’t break the bank.

And, when you’re finished with Unsplash, head over to Creative Market to download other graphics and brushes to jazz up yo’ feed. They’re not free, but they’re reasonably priced.

Step 3: Set up a PSD file 3000px wide by 5000px high.

(Skip this step if you’re using the free Instagram grid template above)

This will create 15 images in total. If you want to create more in one go, be my guest. Once you’ve set up your PSD file, you’ll need to add grid lines so you can see where each square is.

In Photoshop CC on a Mac, you can do this by going to the View menu > Show > Grid.

Then, go to the Photoshop CC menu > Preferences > Guides, Grids & Slices and enter the settings you see below. This might be slightly different depending on your version of Photoshop and your operating system.

Instagram puzzle feed grid template

Step 4: Pick one main image per square and add them all to the PSD

If you’re after a more minimal looking Instagram collage, you could choose one image for every two squares. If you’re after a more crowded look, choose more than one image per square. You get the gist.

Step 5: Arrange the images to look cohesive across your puzzle feed

You might need to replace some images here if they don’t quite fit in with the others. Resize them, rotate them, change the order. Crop them into different shapes. Erase parts of the image. Whatever fits your brand.

Step 6: Decorate your Instagram collage!

This is my favourite part. Go nuts! Add illustrations, quotes, borders, handwriting, icons… anything that fits with your brand vibe.

Step 7: Slice your image

If you’re not using our downloadable Instagram grid template, you’ll need to create slices in your image. You can do this by selecting the Slice tool. At the top of your screen, change the settings to fixed size, 1000px x 1000px. Then, click in the top left-hand corner of each grid square in your PSD to create a square slice.

Step 8: Save your tiles

To save the slices into separate images, go to the File menu > Export > Save for Web. In the window that opens, click Save at the bottom of the screen. Ensure that in the next window that pops up, your export is Images Only and not Images + HTML.

Step 9: Upload your puzzle feed into your favourite Instagram scheduling tool

I recommend Planoly for planning and scheduling your puzzle feed as it allows you to plan out the look and feel in advance, and you can see how it’s going to look on Instagram before you post it.

How can you make your across-the-grid Instagram collage look amazing?

  • Balance busy images with simple ones and solid blocks of colour.
  • Don’t overthink it! Simple is almost always best.
  • Have fun decorating your image at the end, but don’t go overboard and complicate it too much.
  • Stick to a limited colour palette. Usually, this would be your brand colours.

Good luck!

FREE PHOTOSHOP TEMPLATE

Instagram Collage Photoshop Template

7 Savvy Strategies to Ignite your Instagram


envelope

Save time and purchase the Instagram collage template in Canva.

I’ve put together a pre-made Canva Instagram puzzle feed template, so that all you have to do is drag-and-drop your images, change the colours and fonts, and voila! A beautiful Instagram collage in under 10 minutes.

Here’s a sneak preview of the Instagram collage template (and some examples of how you can update it for your own brand look and feel):

Instagram grid template Canva

Shop the Instagram puzzle feed template now.

You might also like: Best Instagram Templates of 2018

Pin this?

Instagram puzzle feed how to

January 8, 2019

READ MORE

7 tips to simplify your social media marketing

READ MORE

5 signs you’re overcomplicating your marketing

READ MORE

7 things to stop doing on Instagram right now

Copyright 2018 Steph Taylor
Terms of Use
Privacy Policy