How to Create a Snapchat Filter

Want to make your own filter? Follow these tips

An image of a smartphone screen showing a Snapchat filter.

Lisa Lake / Stringer / Getty Images

Snapchat filters (also called geofilters) put graphic image and text overlays on top of your photo or video snaps. Default filters are already built into the app, but you can make a Snapchat filter of your own featuring the images and text that you want for more customized snaps.

Snapchat filters can be created on the web at Snapchat.com or from within the app. You have a few more design editing and customization options on the web, but the process is quicker and easier on the app. We'll cover all the ways to create your own filter on Snapchat.

Snapchat filters that you create are not free. Cost per filter varies and can be as little as a few dollars to $100 or more depending on the size of the area the filter covers, the popularity of the location and how long your filter is set to be accessible.

How to Create a Snapchat Filter on the Web

Navigate to Snapchat.com in a web browser and select Create from the top menu followed by the yellow Get Started button on the next page. Then select Filters from the Creative Tools.

Screenshot of Snapchat.com, highlighting Create and Filters button

You'll be taken to the filter making tool where you'll see a smartphone-shaped preview area in the center plus editing features on each side. Now you can start designing your filter.

Option #1: Upload Your Own Filter Design

If you already designed your filter using a third-party tool like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you can select the yellow Upload button to select the file and import it into the Snapchat previewer.

Snapchat.com's Upload button to send your own artwork

Before you do, make sure that your file:

  • is saved as a PNG file format;
  • has a transparent background;
  • has dimensions of 2340px (height) by 1080px (width); and
  • is under 300KB in size.

Option #2: Create Your Own Filter Design in Snapchat

If you want to design your filter from scratch using Snapchat's filter making tool, you can use the editing features to do so.

Pick a theme design: Select the the default theme on the left side to see a dropdown list of themes like Game Day, Weddings, Birthdays and more. Next, select a design in the grid below to see a preview of what it looks like.

Customize your theme design: You can click on any part of the design to edit it. For example, if we click on the text portion in the design shown above, we can drag and drop it around to a different area, select the corners to adjust the size or even select the trash icon to delete it.

Additional editing options for the selected design element also appear on the right side. With the text still selected, we can change the typeface, alignment, color and shadow.

Snapchat.com's custom filter creation options, highlighting Fall Vibes theme and Text options

Change the color scheme: The Color option in the top right allows you to change the colors of the theme design. Simply select Color and choose a color to transform the color scheme of the overall design (including the text and graphics).

Add your own text and elements: Beside the Color option are Text and Elements options. Select Text > +Text button to add additional text to the filter and use the editing features that appear on the right to customize it.

Select Elements > yellow Upload button to select a file to import and add to your filter. For example, you could upload a smaller image graphic as a PNG file with a transparent background to drag and drop into the bottom left corner of the filter.

You can also select the blue Log in link beneath the Bitmoji graphic to connect to your Bitmoji account and start adding Bitmoji characters to your filter.

When you're happy with your filter, select the yellow Next button in the bottom right.

Set Your Filter Time Period

Use the calendar to select the days that you want your filter to be available and decide whether you want it to be a one time event or a repeating event using the options to the right.

Sccreenshot of Snapchat.com's filter active date options, with a calendar and type of Event

If you select ONE TIME EVENT, your filter can only be made available for a maximum of two days starting on the day that you've created it up and up to four days later. If You select RECURRING EVENT, you can have it recur daily or weekly.

You can also select the times of the day that you want the filter to be available, the time zone and the days of the week for recurring weekly events. Select the yellow Next button when you're done to move on to the location page.

Set Your Filter Location

Your filter can only be accessible from a specific geographical location and is always accessible to the public. This means that you can't pick and choose the friends you want to be able to use the filter. Anyone snapping from within the boundaries of the location you set for your filter will be able to use it.

Enter the address of your location in the address field and select the correct one from the dropdown menu. A default square fence (known as your Geofence) will appear around your address location. You can select any circular point and drag them to reshape or expand your Geofence.

When you're finished, select the yellow Checkout button in the bottom right of the screen. Snapchat might ask you to confirm that your Geofence is properly in place.

Snapchat.com's geofilter location map, highlighting search field and active geographic location of filter

If you want your filter to be accessible to only a specific group of people, try setting your Geofence to the smallest possible size (20,000 square feet) and positioning it in your ideal location as accurately as possible. This doesn't guarantee that strangers won't see or use your filter, especially if the area your filter covers includes public venues or space, but it will certainly help minimize it.

Checkout and Pay for Your Filter

On the checkout page, you'll see your order summary. You might want to select Log in if you're not logged into your account already, although it's not necessary to complete your order.

Enter your email contact, filter details and payment information in the given fields. At this time, Snapchat only accepts payment by credit card.

Check the checkbox that says you've read Snapchat's Privacy Policy and select the yellow Submit button to have your filter reviewed and published.

Payment screen on Snapchat.com for custom filters, including Submit button

How to Create a Snapchat Filter on the App

Open the Snapchat app on your iOS or Android device and, if necessary, sign into your account. Tap your Bitmoji or profile icon in the top right corner of the screen to access your profile.

Next, tap the gear icon in the top right to access your settings. Then tap Filters & Lenses > Get Started! > Filter.

Filters & Lenses, then Filter buttons in Snapchat app

Choose a Theme Design and Customize It

Select a theme from the What's the Occasion? tab followed by a theme design. The theme design will load as a preview. You can tap the X in the top left to go back and preview other designs.

Try tapping on different elements of the design in the previewer, such as the text, to pull up some editing options. (Not all elements can be edited, such as certain image graphics.) You can also tap and hold your finger down on elements to drag and drop them to different areas, or pinch your index and thumb finger on them to expand and contract their size.

Tap on the T icon in the top right to add your own text or the sticker icon to add emojis.

When you're happy with your filter design, tap the green checkmark button in the bottom right.

Filter checkbox when finished on Snapchat app

Set Your Filter Time Period

On the following tab, tap Start Time and End Time to select a time period for your filter using the scrolling dates and times at the bottom.

Unlike setting your filter time period from Snapchat.com, doing it from the app allows you to set it for a period longer than two days. You can't however select recurring events like you can on Snapchat.com.

Tap the green Continue button when you're done.

Set Your Filter Location

On the location tab that follows, use the field at the top to type in an address and select the correct one that automatically appears in the dropdown menu. You'll see a default square fence appear at your location. Tap any circular corner to drag and drop your fence into the shape or size that you want.

Tap the green Continue button when you're done to go to checkout.

Checkout and Pay for Your Filter

On the final tab, you'll see your order summary for your filter. If you want to complete your purchase later, you can click the X in the top right to save your order and return to it another time.

Optionally tap Add Geostory to create and name your Geostory event. A Geostory is simply a story collection at a specific location that anyone can add stories to while at the location.

If everything looks good on your order summary, tap the green Purchase button to submit your filter for review and pay for it.

Three mobile Snapchat app screens showing Continue and Purchase buttons to complete creating a Filter