How to make plastic buttons with Photoshop

Software Used: Photoshop 6.0

Level: Intermediate

Use this tutorial to make all kinds of plastic button with Photoshop.
Get a basic idea with this tutorial. Use your brilliant imagination and
create wonders!

1) Open a new document in 600 x 600 pixels.

2) Select the Type tool and select any Dingbat font like Webdings,
Wingdings etc. Select any shape of your choice. Make the font size to
400 (or go get any of those royalty free dingbat fonts from out there)


Layer -> New -> Layer. Now take out the Pen tool and create any
cool looking shape of your choice. You will need some practice to get
good results from the Pen tool. You can make any shape of your choice
with the pen tool. With the Pen tool create a work path. After that
right click and from the menu that pops up select Make Selection. Click
OK. (i.e. use the default settings with 0 pixels as option) Now use the
fill tool and fill the selection with any colour. Press CTRL + D (to

3) In this tutorial I have used the Type tool with Font: Webdings (), size: 400 and press 7.

4) Layer -> Rasterize -> Layer

5) Layer -> Layer Style -> Blending Options and use the following options:

Blending Options

Bevel and Emboss


Color Overlay (Select any color of your choice here. I used #FFA200)

Stroke (Select a darker/lighter color than the one above. I used #DFD23C).

Some Advanced Tips

Tip 1: Different Styles

Try giving all sorts of different parameters while you do the Blending
Options. Try giving as much different parameters you like and you’ll
end up with different results. You can try a unused effects like Inner
Glow, Drop Shadow, etc. See what you’ll come up with.

Tip 2: Lighting Effects

After you are done giving plastic effects. Create a new layer. Now take
the Pen tool or the Lasso tool and choose the area where you want the
light to fall. Use the Paint Bucket tool and fill the selection with
white. Now go to Blending options and decrease the Opacity to a needed
value (depending upon the strength of your light). In a similar way you
can use black to define surfaces where light doesn’t fall that much.

Tip 3: Text

Use the Text tool and write something if you are going for making buttons for your website.

Tip 4: Save Styles to save time!

If you wish to use this effect over and over again. In the Styles
Palette ( Window -> Show Styles ) click the Create New Style and
click the arrow button and Save Styles. So you have just to click the
particular style to get that effect.

Tip 5: The Dingbat

There are tons of dingbat fonts out there on the web. Search and find a good one which has the characters that match your needs.

Tip 6: Giving different colours to different parts.

Make use of the Magic Wand tool () or Lasso () or Selection or Pen tool ().
Select a portion of the image (that you want different colour for).
Right click and select Layer via Cut and then apply the same effect but
use different colors.

Here are some effects that I could come up with:



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