How to Make Round Icons

By Filonia LeChat

Whether you use your computer daily for work or for pleasure, the standard preset icons included with your package may become boring after a while. If you use icons for gaming, online chatting, message boards or forums, make your own for a custom, personalized way to introduce yourself to the Internet. Consider round-shaped icons to really stand out, whether on your desktop or in an instant messenger window. You can make your own round icons for free by using a basic drawing program included with your PC, Microsoft Paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Paint

Step 1

Open Paint and click the “Image” menu at the top of the screen and then click “Attributes.” Icons are usually very small files; the Windows XP recommendations are that icons be no larger than 48x48 pixels each. Type in your preferred dimensions and click the “OK” button.

Step 2

Click the “Image” menu again and verify whether there is a check mark next to “Draw Opaque.” If there is, click “Draw Opaque” once to remove the check mark. This enables you to have a transparent background (even though it won’t look like that on the screen) so your round icon shows up. Otherwise, an opaque background would give you a white square around your icon.

Step 3

Click “View,” then “Zoom,” then “Large Size.” This won’t increase the size of your icon; it just gives you more room to draw.

Step 4

Click the “Circle” tool on the Tools palette on the left side of the screen and then choose the last brush head, which looks like a filled-in rectangle with no border. Choose a blue color from the Color Picker on the bottom of the screen.

Step 5

Drag a circle shape, filling up most of the white box with your cursor. It will fill with color. Choose a different blue color and draw two smaller circles near the top of the large circle; these are eyes for your blueberry.

Step 6

Click the “Pencil” tool and choose a red paint color and then draw a smile or mouth. Click “File” and then “Save As.” Name the file “Blueberry” and choose “GIF” for the Save as Type option. GIF extensions are the only ones that support transparent backgrounds, so your icon can remain round. Click “Save.”

Step 7

Open a new file and set the dimensions. Click the “Circle” tool again, but choose the top brush head, the outlined rectangle. Choose a bright, neon paint color and then drag a circle onto the white box.

Step 8

Click the “Line” tool and choose the middle brush head. Draw the three inner lines of a peace symbol in the middle of the circle.

Step 9

Click “File” and then “Save As.” Name the file “PeaceSign” and choose “GIF” for the Save as Type option.

Tips & Warnings

  • Other ideas for round icons include sports balls (basketball, softball, soccer ball), smiley faces, checker pieces and peppermint candies.
  • You can make round icons in other programs. The Photoshop graphics software included with Adobe’s Creative Suite can produce round icons. When you open Photoshop, just click “File” and then “New” and be sure to set your background to “Transparent.” This will ensure that your round icon shows up without a square white opaque backdrop. Save your file as a GIF every time.

References & Resources