Instagram and Snapchat stories have made video overlays very popular over recent years. Adding stylized text, frames, transparent images, and other details can allow you to convey your message in creative and eye-catching ways. But what if you want to add your own, or want to make a video with this style for another platform? Instagram and Snapchat provide a variety of great themed, topical, and exciting visual overlays, but what if you want to use something that you can’t find?

It can be difficult to add your own transparent video overlays without downloading large or expensive video editing software. In this article I’m going to walk you through the steps you’ll need in order to find & create your own video overlays and apply them to your videos! I’m going to be using a free online tool called Kapwing to add my overlays. Kapwing requires no app download and gives you the functionality of a high-powered video editing software. You’ll need just 4 steps to add your video overlays:

  1. Find Your Video and Overlay Files
  2. Upload Your Video to Kapwing
  3. Add Your Overlays
  4. Publish & Download!

Step 1: Find Your Video and Overlay Files

First, you’ll need to know where you can access your video. If it’s a video you recorded yourself, or one that you have downloaded onto your device, make sure you can find it in your file browser!

And if you want to rotate a video you found online, just copy its URL! You can use videos from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and pretty much any major video sharing platform on the internet! Just right-click on the video while it’s playing and select “Copy Link.” Now you’ll be ready to upload your video!

Copy the link to download the internet's best videos


For your overlays, you'll probably want PNG files. A PNG is a special kind of image that can be any shape, so it can work like a sticker for your video overlay! If you want to find PNGs, just add “transparent” or “PNG” to a Google Images search, or wait until Step 3 and search for images in the Kapwing Studio.

If you’d like to turn a normal image with a solid background into a PNG overlay for your video, you can use a tool called “instant alpha.” Some very common applications provide this tool, like Preview, PowerPoint, and Keynote! Instant alpha allows you to cut out sections of a photo and save an image as a PNG, so you can make transparent overlays of your favorite pictures.

Turn a picture into a PNG in Preview!

Step 2: Upload Your Video to Kapwing

Uploading your video to Kapwing is just as easy! First, go to Kapwing.com and click “Get Started.” This will take you to the Kapwing Studio, where you can use all of Kapwing’s photo and video editing tools in one convenient place.

To upload a video from your computer, phone, or tablet, you can select the button that says “Click to upload” and find the file you want to edit in your file browser. You can also find the video in your file browser and simply drag & drop it into the Studio window!

Singin' a Studio Song


And if you want to upload a video you found online, click on the field that says “Paste an image or video URL.” Now, right click (or just tap one more time if you're editing on your phone or tablet) on the field and select “Paste.” Kapwing will work its magic and upload your video to the Studio.

Step 3: Add Your Overlays

Now comes the fun part! To add overlays that you have already found online or saved on your device, click “Upload” in the bottom toolbar. If you want to use an image that you’ve saved, choose “Click to upload” and find it in your file browser. And if you want to use an image that you found online, copy the image link and paste it in the URL field!

If you don’t have your overlay yet, choose “Images” from the bottom toolbar. Here you can search for images while you work in the Studio. To find your perfect overlay, try adding “PNG” or “transparent” to your search terms.

Kapwing Kitten serenading the office


Once your overlay has been uploaded to the Studio, you can make all your edits! You can add, stylize, and animate text, which is really useful for this type of video! You can also resize, rotate, and trim your video, or add shapes, audio, and filters!

Step 4: Publish & Download!

Once you’ve added all your video overlays and edited your video to perfection, it’s ready for processing! Just click “Publish” in the upper right-hand corner of the Studio window. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your video will be ready to download in no time.

Your overlaid video is just a click away!


When your video is finished processing, click “Download” from the right side of the screen. If you’re using a mobile device, you’ll need to download the very small Kapwing mobile app from the App Store. The app doesn’t require any login – it’s only meant to help you download your videos! To download your video on your phone, just copy the URL of the download page and paste it into the URL field in the Kapwing app. Now your video is ready for you to share anywhere!

Remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media – we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to check out the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.