In today’s Photoshop Tutorial tip from the quick tips series, we’ll learn how to create a Magnifying Glass icon you’ll be able to use for an app, an illustration or as an icon.

By Supercolor, on September 28, 2012, under Photoshop Tutorials

Final Result Preview


Step 1 – THE New Document and Background

Let’s Start by opening Photoshop and create a new document, I choose 500x500px with a transparent background. Next fill the background with white, go to Edit – Fill – White.


Step 2 - Magnifying Glass Shape

Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and create a perfect circle with black. Next on the bottom of the circle shape create a triangle using the Pen Tool (P). Place the shapes like you want then select both shape layers, right click and select Merge Shapes.


Step 3 – Effects

In this step we’ll add some layer style on the Magnifying Glass shape. Go to Layer – Layer Style or double click on the layer in the layer window.


Step 4 – Glass Lens

Let’s create the glass effect of the Magnifying Glass, select the Ellipse Tool (U), create a perfect circle on a new layer, I choose to create it in red just so can see it better, the colour doesn’t matter. Then let’s apply some layer styles to it, when you applied the layer style change the fill of this layer to 0% and rename it Glass.


Next select the Pen Tool (P) and create a few shapes in white to reproduce the reflection, place the layers you created in a new group named Reflection and change the fill of the group to 50%.


To finish the lens, make a selection of the Glass circle layer, select the Shape layer we created in Step 2 and create a Layer Mask on it, this will complete the glass effect.


Step 5 – Example

Just to show you an example, I used a map of New York, place it in front of the Background layer, then duplicated it, I made the duplicated map layer a little bit bigger with the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) then applied to same layer mask we created in Step 4 so the bigger map just appears under the glass area.



Here we have a nice Magnifying Glass icon you’ll be able to use on any project or just as an icon. Feel free to share your creations or leave a comment.