How to Make a Puzzle Feed Without Photoshop

Puzzle feeds have been all the craze lately after @juniperoats on Instagram shared her tutorial with I have honestly seen them everywhere since then, emerging slowly. If you have no idea what a puzzle feed is, here's @juniperoats ' feed: 



I decided to put my own spin on the puzzle feed craze by only doing a background image that connects with all 9 squares. Most puzzle feeds have pictures, colors, and other overlays that connect. Here is what mine is going to look like as of writing this post:  


As you can tell it's slightly different than the norm, but I'm obsessed with it. 

Most people I've talked to use Photoshop, but I was determined to find a way to do this without it. It took 3 apps, and a lot of trial and error, but I've totally simplified the process and did all the hard work for you. Here's how to create my style of puzzle feed without photoshop. 


The Apps you'll need for creation:  

  • Canva
  • 9 cut (or similar grid app)
  • picsart  

*it is extremely important that you follow the steps carefully. For example when I first tried this, my background graphic wasn't the best quality, so when I tried to create the whole thing on Picsart, the text and other overlays turned out pixelated. By using canva for your text and pictures AND THEN pics art for overlays, you'll avoid the pixelation. I also want to note that there are probably other ways to do this, but this is the method that I found that worked first and best for me.

Creating your background image or layout

Step 1: First you'll want to open up Pics art. This app is super simple to navigate, and I've even done a tutorial on my YouTube on how I make my graphics. It'll give you a good idea on how to start.

Start by pressing the new image button and clicking edit. It'll then ask you if you want to select an image, or you'll have color options. This is totally up to you if you want a picture or colors. I personally started with a white background.  


Then I added stickers and colors to create my image. This is the part where you get creative. Experiment with different color blocks or patterns. Most people use a series of textures. I can't really guide you through this part, so I'll leave some feed inspiration throughout the post. You are ONLY adding the background colors and images at this point ! 

Step 2: Head over to canva 

This is where you will add any text or images you want to add on top of your background images. 


Canva now has a website and app so you can choose what works best for you. Canva is a really easy design tool that I use for literally every single graphic I've ever made for anything.  

The nice part about this is, since you already have the background saved, you'll be able to use it over and over again to create a continuous feed. Adding pictures and text later just let's you customize it. 

Once you're finished adding images and text, you might be done. If not, save, and keep moving forward. 

Step 3: If you want to add logo overlays or patterns or literally any finishing touches head back on over to Pics art


I realize this is a lot of picture saving and app switching, but for now this is the only method I could find where I kept the quality of the images at the highest they can be. When you edit a picture too much with too many overlays  (especially if you keep reusing the same one over and over) it'll start to distort and become pixelated. By putting it into canva first and then adding overlays, you're preserving that original quality.  

Now you can add other images like product shots, logos, patterns, textures, Etc. Without them being fuzzy.  

Step 4: Save your photo and upload it to 9 cut



This will be the final step in creating your puzzle feed. Like I said I used the 9 cut app, but you can use any other app that will turn your picture into a grid for Instagram. Make sure you select 3 X 3 and it will crop automatically. 

Step 5 Bonus round: upload to preview app

I use Preview app to plan my feed. This allows you to see what the puzzle will look like on your feed before actually uploading it. I have been obsessed with Preview and everything it has to offer. You'll be able to see if everything looks cohesive and it helps you easily make changes.