How to Create a Seamless Carousel Instagram Post with Canva

Carousel Posts are one of the hottest trends on Instagram right now.

With Reels getting most of the attention from the algorithm and Instagram pushing video content, many creators notice that their regular posts get less reach than the past years.

Still, there is one type of post format that gets enough engagement to make the algorithm notice: Carousels.

The swipe through posts are a great way to reach your ideal audience if you don’t want to hop on the Reels bandwaggon or just want to diversify your content.

The best thing about it? You don’t have to be a Adobe Photoshop pro to design viral-potential Instagram carousels. You can do the same with Canva for free.

This article will show you step-by-step how to design a seamless carousel post in Canva.

You could just create five single posts in Canva. But what we want to do in this post is create a carousel with seamless transitions in between the slides.

The full Canva design can look like this:

This is how your Instagram carousel design will look before cutting it into slides

One design that will only later be split into the single carousel slides. This way we create the seamless effect of all slides being connected and give the user a great experience when swiping through.

Create a New Design in the Correct Size

In your Canva dashboard, go to Create a Design and select Custom Size.

Create a new custom-sized design in Canva

In Instagram, you can add carousels with up to 10 single slides. The general formula for figuring out how big your initial design needs to be, is:

Width: 1080px * Number of Slides – Height: 1080px

Or, for portrait sized carousel posts that take up more space in your feed (recommended):

Width: 1080px * Number of Slides – Height: 1350px

As a shortcut, here are the Canva design sizes for carousels with 2 to 6 slides:

  • 2 Slides: 2160 x 1080px (or 1350px)
  • 3 Slides: 3240 x 1080px (or 1350px)
  • 4 Slides: 4320 x 1080px (or 1350px)
  • 5 Slides: 5400 x 1080px (or 1350px)
  • 6 Slides: 6480 x 1080px (or 1350px)

Now that you’ve got your design artboard in the correct size, we can start designing.

Use Canva Guides + Define Rulers

Canva lets you add purple guidelines to your designs. This feature comes in really handy when desinging seamless carousels.

When creating your carousel, you need to know where one slide ends and the next one begins.

To enable guides, in your design click on File (in the top left corner) and then tick both Show Guides and Show Rulers.

Now you can drag a ruler with your mouse key pressed down onto your design. This works either from left or from the top. For carousels, we’ll need to drag them in from the left.

Add a ruler guide every 1080px to mark the borders of your carousel slides.

Tip: To perfectly align content on the slides, use a rectangle, draw it to fit one slide (between two guides), send it to the back and lock it. Now you can drag your content around and it will show you if it’s centered.

Here are a few designer tips you can use to make your seamless carousel super engaging and inviting for people to swipe through until the end.

  • Make your title slide pop – it’s the first thing people see of your carousel, so make it scroll-stopping with big titles, memes or a clever hook
  • Place interesting elements right on the intersection of two slides to create an overlapping effect that makes people curious
  • Use large photos or gradients as a seamless background
  • Create different layouts for the different slides to make your carousel more interesting
  • Use the last slide for a call-to-action to direct people to your profile or the link in your bio
Click here to discover over 100 Canva templates for carousels, ready-to-use!
Don’t know where to start with creating carousels? Get 100+ done-for-you templates you can easily customize in Canva!

Step 3: Split your Instagram Carousel Design, ready to post

Once your design is ready, you have to download the full design and split it into single posts.

Go to the Instagram Grid Maker, and click on the Upload an Image button.

Select your carousel graphic and upload it into our tool.

Now you only need to set Columns to how many slides you want to have and Image Cut to Carousel.

Click the Split Image button and the Grid Maker will cut your carousel into equal slides.

Your Instagram carousel slides are ready to download

You now have six individual slides cut out of one seamless carousel graphic.

All you need to do is upload them to Instagram as a carousel.

Ready to get started with your first seamless carousel? 👇

You know what takes 100 hours to finish? Not your Instagram carousels anymore! With our done-for-you Canva templates you create multi-slide posts that educate, engage and entertain – in a few minutes.

Perfect for coaches, experts, educators and course creators:

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Read more about Canva and Instagram:

Other Articles you might find helpful:

11 Responses

    1. Hello Camilla! The most likely reason why you keep getting an error message may be that the image file you’re uploading is too big. Please try reducing the file size first and then retry.

  1. hello! I’m having problems posting images on Instagram, as the app automatically crops the image as if zooming in, damaging the desired seamless carousel effect. How can I resolve this? Are there specific measures? Thank you.

    1. Hi! The image sizes / ratio Instagram accepts is either square (1080 x 1080x) or portrait (1080 x 1350px). There’s a tiny icon in the app when you uplaod the images to choose the protrait option, which means IG will not cut it!

  2. How many slides can you have in a carousel on instagram ?
    Will instagram reproduce a slide carousel of slides prepared in Canva and start at the first slide and go through continuously until the final slide as one continuous series showing one slide after the other sequentially
    and will instagram reproduce each individual slide at the timing prepared for each slide as on Canva and until the final slide

  3. I really appreciate the detailed steps and design tips, especially using guides and rulers for precise alignment — this was all incredibly useful. I also appreciate the tip about placing interesting elements on the slide intersections to maintain engagement. I am wondering if Canva can also help with incorporating text effectively across multiple slides? When I’ve tried to do that in the past, I’ve had some issues with readability. Thanks again for this post — I’m really happy I discovered your website.

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback! So glad this post was helpful for you.
      You can do the same with text, although it’s a bit trickier. I can write a tutorial on that, noted!

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