7 design tools for Instagram you can use for free

Ever watched a video of a photo retoucher in action? It’s mind boggling how they’re able to work so fast. Their designs always look AMAZING and they make it look easy! They take a photo from 0 to 100 in 15 minutes. But let’s face it…editing a Instagram photo can become a nightmare without the right tools. And unless you’re a Photoshop pro it can become a headache really quick.

Don’t lose hope…

There’s a whole wide world of simple design apps out there. And all of the ones listed here are FREE. Check them out below…


1. Canva (Desktop)

Free Instagram tool #1

Need to mock-up some graphics fast but don’t have the time to learn how to use Illustrator…look no further. Canva is the perfect tool to pick up and go. There are hundreds of templates you can choose from. As a plus, you can upload your own photos easily and integrate them with their free elements. You can opt for paid elements however it’s going to cost you…usually $1 per element.


2. PicMonkey (Desktop, iOS, Android)

Free Instagram tool #2

You want it all…and you want it now! Look no further. PicMonkey is the all in one tool you’ve been looking for. Its smart functionality allows you to edit your photos in great detail, make minor touch ups, create stunning layouts or make collages. An added plus, PicMonkey allows you to overlay your own fonts, this is a major win as it allows you to align designs using your brand of font. Photo cropping and resizing is also relatively pain-free. Unfortunately you’ll have to pay for access to the premium editing tools and designs. Side note: the platform can be slow if you’re working with super high-resolution files.


3. Pixlr (Desktop, iOS, Android)

Free Instagram tool #3

Need top quality photo editing? Say no more, Pixlr has your back. There’s a HUGE range of filters, borders and stickers to fancy up your posts.


4. BeFunky (Desktop, iOS, Android)

Free Instagram tool #4

BeFunky is similar to PicMonkey in that it has a whole bunch of tools that you can tap into. I’ve used this a number of times and let me tell you it’s fast, it’s simple and does the job. I’ve created a huge number of designs and haven’t found the need to upgrade to the premium version yet.


5. PicCollage (Desktop, iOS, Android)

Free Instagram tool #5

I love a good collage…and PicCollage delivers. You can create amazing collages across a range of platforms (iOS, Desktop and even Amazon!). There a number of borders, stickers and additional elements to touch up your work…but be wary some of the nicer elements tend to cost moolah. As an added benefit you can edit your photos from directly within the app. This means you don’t need any extras to edit your photos before creating your collage.


6. Instagram Layout (iOS, Android)

Free Instagram tool for non-designers #6

Source: Forbes

Ah Instagram…why couldn’t you just build this into the app! Nevertheless, Instagram layout is a super basic collage tool that does exactly what it says…creates layouts!


7. Snapseed (iOS, Android)

Free Instagram tool for non-designers #7

Want to give your photos a little touch up before you load them up? Look no further Snapseed is all you need (rhyming intended!). Snapseed is the gold standard of mobile photo editing….that’s no surprise given it’s a Google product. Its simple autocorrect feature allows you to edit your photos fast and easily.

As with all editing apps less is more. You can get bogged down by downloading all the apps and end up forever stuck in app analysis. My advice: Just pick one app for editing and one to make collages or one that does both (e.g. PicMonkey or BeFunky) and run with it for a while. Get to downloading and spruce up those Instagram posts!

Got any other apps you’d recommend? Comment below so I can add them to the list.

As always…don’t forget to like, comment and share!



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  • Jess Sandford

    A color story!

    • Ria

      Thanks for the comment !

  • Aadhya C Gowda Aadhya

    This is amazing post.I have gone through it, u have explained 7 designing tools for non designers good thing about the article is u have explained with the images but there is some other tools or there for non designers.we written one article 12 designing tools for non designers explained with the infographics have a look on these