IG stories give you 10 seconds to grab your audience’s attention. If you’re not using GIF stickers, chances are your audience is tapping onto the next post. Why? Because these fun animations catch your viewer’s eye just long enough to view the post in its entirety.

While creating a picture or video has become second nature, making a GIF isn’t so easy. You’ll need a GIF maker application and a way to get it onto your post. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a GIF sticker with Kapwing, a free web app. Kapwing makes it easy to design a GIF sticker and add to your post. Here’s how it works:

  1. Start with a Story
  2. Design a GIF Sticker
  3. Upload to Instagram

1. Start with a Story

Start by creating your story on Instagram and then download each photo or video. At this point, it doesn’t matter what you create, just save the stories for easy access later. Before we cover how to create the stickers, think about the objective you want to accomplish. Here’s a few examples to draw inspiration from:

Attention Grabber

The attention grabber draws your viewer in for a closer look. When you see this sticker type, you’ll take a second look at the story which keeps your attention for a bit longer. It doesn’t have to be arrows. It can be anything that makes your particular audience make a double-take like a meme or stunning picture.


The call-to-action is self explanatory. This type includes any message that asks the viewer to engage with the story. Whether that’s to click a link, answer a poll or just to watch the post for longer. Call-to-action works best at the end of a story when it makes sense for the viewer to take the next step.


Branding stickers help your audience identify your posts from the crowd. If you have a powerful brand like Apple, viewers will notice the sticker and pay attention because of their connection with the brand. It’s best to use this type when you’re spreading awareness about a project or company you want to promote.

2. Design a GIF Sticker

Now that you have an objective, it’s time to create. In this example, I’ll design a call-to-action for my viewers to click the link in my bio. Although you may choose a different objective, the design process will follow similar steps.

First, open the Kapwing studio and click to upload your story. If you have more than one, choose which posts need a sticker and repeat the following steps. Next, upload a picture to use for the sticker or click ‘Elements’ and choose a default shape. If your picture has a background you’d like to remove, click ‘Erase’ and use the eraser or magic wand.

When you add images and elements, Kapwing gives you the option to animate these layers. To do this, click on the layer and open the ‘Animate’ tab on the right side menu. Depending on the layer type, you’ll have 5-6 animation styles to choose from. These will help your sticker pop off the screen and draw in attention.

If you want to give extra context or emphasis you message, add text. Click ‘Text’ from the top and write a short message between 1-5 words. This works especially well for call-to-action stickers so your audience knows exactly what to do next.

Once you’re satisfied, click ‘Settings’ in the top right and make sure the output is set to default. If you change it to GIF, Instagram will not display the animations once it's posted.

Finally, click the ‘Export’ button in the top right, wait for it to process and download your stickered stories. Make sure your stories save to a place that’s easy to access from your mobile device.

3. Upload to Instagram

The last step is easy. Just pull up Instagram and open your camera roll where you saved the stories. Post each story in order and you’re on your way!

Once it’s live you’ll be able to stop your viewers from scrolling past your post and draw them towards your brand. If you found value in this guide, be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page for new tutorials. And, check out the related articles to keep learning:

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