How To Make An Icon From A Picture

Last Updated on May 7, 2019

Ever wondered how create an icon from your own images? well scartissue’s is going to show you exactly how to do that in this GIMP tutorial.

Getting Started

The first thing that must be done is to find a picture. I found one on google with a nice camera. To use it

click here.

Step One

Okay, once you open a picture, right-click on the first layer and select “Add Alpha Channel.”

Step Two

Insert a Quick Mask (or press Shift+Q). The screen should turn red. Now, use the eraser tool and erase the red over the camera.

Then press the Quick mask button again (or Shift+Q) and you should see the camera selected.

Step Three

Go to “Select>Invert” (Or press Shift+I). Now everything but the camera should be selected. Press delete. Now you should only see the camera surrounded by black and grey squares.

Step Four

Now go to “Image>Canvas Size…” a pop-up should come up. Next to the “width and height” boxes, click on paper click and make it break. Then change the width and height to a size that shows the camera well. Make sure that the final width and height are the same number.

P.S. don’t forget to change the x and y offset as needed.

Step Five

Right-click on the layer now, and select “Layer to Image Size.” The layer boundary (the black and yellow line) should now be the same as the canvas.

Step Six

Now you MAY change the colour of the camera to get a better effect. To do this, go to “Color>Colorize… and mess with the settings until the camera looks good.

(These are the settings that I used)

Making It into an Icon

Step One

Whenever you make an icon, if you have it bigger then 256×256, you will have five final layers. What you must first do is copy the first layer.Then select the Scale Tool (or press Shift+T), and shrink the image to 256×256.

Step Two

Now go to “Image>Fit Canvas to Layers” now the canvas should match with the layer boundary.

Step Three

Paste the copied layer and then go to Layer>New Layer…” (or press Shift+Ctrl+N). Then select the Scale Tool again (or press Shift+T). Shrink the pasted layer to 128×128.
Repeat this step three more times, shrinking the image then to 48×48, 32×32, and 16×16.

Step Four

Now look through the layers (you should have five), and see if any of them look blurry. If they do, select the layer and go to “Filters>Enhance>Sharpen…” and sharpen as necessary.

Step Five

Now go to “File>Save As…”(Or press Ctrl+Shift+S) and save it in your desired folder as camera. Don’t forget to set the extension as .ico
A pop-up should come up asking whether or not to compress the 256×256 layer. Check the box and click Save. (Compressed PNGs are supported by Vista’s, because Vista has a zoom feature. But since Xp doesn’t have this feauter, compressing it makes the larger icons work in Vista, and the other icons work in XP.)


Now you have a very real camera icon!