There’s no denying that Instagram’s new Stories feature is getting a lot of engagement (at last count, over 200 million users). As Snapchat numbers decline, bloggers, photographers, marketers and big brands are using the “behind the scenes” feature in a multitude of creative ways.

Now that you’ve mastered the basics (check out Part One of this series if you need a refresher) it’s time to add some color and flair to your new story.

Unlock the Whole Color Palette

Are you tired of the text and brush? Are they not suitable for your brand? Well dear friend, I’m about to show you how you can access the whole color palette in Instagram Stories, and decorate your Stories with whatever hue your heart desires.

Step 1:  Open Instagram Stories in your Instagram app by swiping your finger from left to right from the home screen.

Step 2: Capture a photo or video (tip: read Part 1 of this series to learn how to upload images and videos from your camera roll)

Step 3: Select the paintbrush function or text (Aa) from the top of your screen

Step 4: At the bottom of your screen you will see all of the default color swatches. Hold your finger down on one of these for 2 seconds (it doesn’t matter which one you choose) and the full color wheel will appear

Step 5: Keep holding down your finger on the screen, swiping it to the left or right until you find your perfect hue.

Turn Your Live Photo Into a Boomerang

If you have an iPhone, you’ll probably be familiar with the ‘live photo’ function. To view a live photo in your camera roll, simply hold down your finger on the photo and you’ll be able to see 1.5 seconds of motion and audio your phone lens has captured before and after the image was taken. This function is available on iPhone versions 6 and above.

The great news is, you can now turn this live photo into a Boomerang in your Instagram Stories.

To to do this:

Step 1:  Open your Instagram app on your device and from the Home feed, swipe your finger from left to right to open Instagram Stories.

Step 2: Tap your finger onto the middle of the screen and (in one motion) drag it down the screen. This will reveal the photographs or graphics that have been added to your camera roll in the past 24 hours.

Step 3: Select your live photo from the camera roll

Step 4: Hold your finger down on the photo for 2 seconds. The screen will now display the words Boomerang and the function has now kicked in.

Step 5: Add your text, stickers and filters, then click the white arrow (bottom right of your screen) to publish.

Tip:  If you have edited the photo in a third-party app prior to uploading it to Instagram, the live feature will have been removed from the snap.

Increase (or decrease) Your Text Size

Play around with the sizes of your texts to add interest and contrast to your Stories:

Step 1:  Once you have taken captured a story, create a text overlay (Aa in the top right of our screen)

Step 2: Type your text

Step 3: To the left of your color swatches you will see a white circle with the text aA. Click this button, and slide your finger up and down the scale to increase or decrease your text size.

Tip: Add interest and playfulness to your text by pairing multiple text sizes together.

Add Light Leaks to Your Stories

If you’re a huge fan of A Beautiful Mess’ photo editing app, A Colour Story, chances are you’re as obsessed with their light leak effect as I am (#guiltyascharged). Though this function isn’t technically available in the Stories editing tools, there is a hack that I’m going to share with you:

Step 1:  Capture your image and click the stickers button in the header

Step 2: Scroll through the list of emojis until you come across the sparkles emoji (3 sparkling stars)

Step 3: Add this emoji to your photo, then using your fingers, increase the size of the emoji until it is almost transparent

Step 4: Position the emoji in one of the corners of your photo to replicate a light leak.

Create A Solid Color Block

If you want to share text (and emojis) instead of a photo or video, there’s an easy way to create a solid color black without manually coloring in the entire screen with the paintbrush tool and your finger.

Step 1:  Open your Instagram app on your device and from the Home feed, swipe your finger from left to right to open Instagram Stories.

Step 2: Capture a photo or upload one from your camera roll.

Step 3: Select the paintbrush tool, then choose your desired color from the palette

Step 4: Hold your finger down on the centre of the screen for 3 seconds, until the screen turns into a solid color.

Step 5: Add emojis, stickers and text, then publish!

Author: Kate Wilkinson

Kate Wilkinson is driven to show fellow creative entrepreneurs how to grow their business quickly and easily. Through her easy-to-action strategies, Kate wants you to build a creative business that rocks.

When she's not blogging you'll find Kate whipping up a feast for friends or mixing a stiff drink in her beach shack.

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