Anyone who has used Snapchat has probably had fun trying out the different filters that do everything from adding kitten ears to strangely distorting pictures and videos. Have you ever stopped to wonder where these filters come from, or how you might make one, yourself?

Think about the branding potential if your business or organization were to create its own Snapchat filter. The possibilities are endless! It’s easier than you might think to create your own, do-it-yourself Snapchat filter, and here’s how it’s done.

The Basics of a DIY Snapchat Filter

First, it’s important to note that what we call “filters” in Snapchat are technically called “Geofilters.” The reason for this is because Snapchat filters are just background or foreground image modifications that apply to certain areas of an image or video for a set period before being gone forever. Such is the nature – and a lot of the allure – of Snapchat.

There are two different kinds of Geofilters: community filters and on-demand filters.

  • Community filters are free for pretty much anyone to create. They’re a great fit for schools, churches, or community groups. The only downside, though, is that branding or logos are prohibited.
  • On-demand filters are paid filters that allow you to use branding and logos for a set period. For the purposes of this how-to, we’ll be focusing only on the on-demand filters.

Let’s Make Your First DIY Snapchat Filter

Your initial step in making your first on-demand Snapchat filter is to set up an account with Snap, here. While you’re at it, it might be helpful to go over their guidelines here.

Why? Well, you could try to wing it and make a filter that might get rejected, or you could do a little homework and save yourself the potential disappointment. We recommend the latter.

Here are some of the more important bits of information contained in the on-demand Snapchat filter creation guidelines:

  • Keep the filter dimensions to 1080 (wide) x 1920 (high) pixels.
  • Try to modify a modest portion of the image so that the user has plenty of real estate for their images and videos. Less is more, here.
  • Create something fun and whimsical! Snapchat’s main user base likes nonsensical, silly themes and graphics. So, don’t be afraid to make it colorful, goofy, or downright funny.

Once you’ve arrived at the right filter design using the above tips, it’s time to create a graphical image to upload to Snap. One of the more common tools for doing this is Canva, which allows users to make high-quality images with transparent backgrounds, which is ideal for use with Snapchat. Even if you don’t use Canva, be sure you save your filter image file with a transparent background, if possible.

A Few Final Steps to Creating Your DIY Snapchat Filter

Once your image file is ready, you must complete a few final steps before you’re ready to go:

  • Upload the image to Snap.
  • Select the dates and times it will be used.
  • Create your Geofence. There’s a useful tool on the Snap website for this.
  • Pay Snap. The minimum is $5.

And that’s it! After you’ve submitted everything, you’ll get an email from Snap announcing the approval of your filter. Now you can go forth and Snap. Have fun!

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