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 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

As a starting point, you can use this free carousel template:

Free Seamless Instagram Carousel Template for 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.

Simplify your Social Media Marketing with the Template Membership

If you want to create more carousels for Instagram, you will love our Template Membership!

You’ve seen Canva’s free templates (and, let’s be real, also the paid ones) all over the place on Instagram and want your brand to stand out from the rest. Right?

→ Discover more than 2,000+ unique and engaging Social Media Templates (+ carousels!) in our affordable Canva Template Membership:

Canva Template Membership for Social Media Templates for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok and more
Do you want more Canva Templates to level up your social media content? Check out the Template Membership!

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