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Tutorial: Stylish buttons

Written by · Created on May 25, 2007, last updated over 10 years ago CC BY-NC License
Stylish buttons


Buttons are pretty nice for many things in the web. As long as you dont use them too much they can give your website a good look. In the following tutorial, we're going to make some cool and stylish looking buttons. At the end you can colorize them with a very simple technique.

Tutorial details

  1. 1

    Open a new file. 120×30px. Black background.

  2. 2

    Create a new transparent layer.
    - Selection / All (or just press CTRL A)
    - Selection / Shrink: 3px.
    - Selection / Rounded Rectangle.

  3. 3

    Now choose any fore- and background-color you like. i.e.: FG #ab6000 and BG: #f88c00. Fill this new layer with the standard gradient. (Take the Gradient-Tool and draw a gradient from top to bottom), so that the brighter color is seen at the top.

  4. 4

    Still let the selection active! Create a new layer, fill it totally white. Go to Selection / Shrink: 1px and remove the selected part. A 1px border should remain.

    -Selection / None

  5. 5

    In the layers dialog set the layers mode to “Soft light”. Transparency / Opacity to 60%. The layers look like this now.

  6. 6

    Now choose the Text-Tool (T). Write any text you like, choose white as color for this text.

  7. 7

    Move the text a little to the right and choose the paths-tool (B).

    - Add a new empty layer.
    - Do a path as seen in the picture.
    You can end the path while holdig CTRL down and clicking the point of your beginning.

  8. 8

    After that press ENTER to become a selection out of the path. Fill this selection with any color brighter that your background. I.e.:##ffcb4b.

    - Selection / None to get rid of the selection.

  9. 9

    Duplicate the layer and move the duplicate a little bit to the right.

  10. 10

    Now we’re doing the glossy part of the button.

    Activate the colored gradient layer. Right click it in the layers dialog and choose “Selection from Alpha”. Click the layer at the most top – then add a new layer on top of it.

    - Selection / Shrink: 1px.
    - Press L to active the Gradient-Tool.

    As gradient choose the 4. one from the drop down menu (named “Color to transparent”). Click in the top are of the button and move your mouse a little to the bottom. When holding CTRL while drawing the gradient it helps you to get an exact horizontal gradient.

  11. 11

    Now if you want you button in any other color do the tutorial again, haha. Damn no, I’m just joking ;) If you want to test some other colors do this:

    Above all layers create a new empty one, fill this layer with the color you want to test. Select “Color” in the layers mode drop down. And instantly your buttons color has changed. You can also try gradients!

    Tip: You can only use the base color tones. Fades to grey don’t have any effect.

    Your buttons could look like this:


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over 4 years ago

This is such a cool button. I scripted it to automatically quickly create a button.

devvv member for about 15 years devvv 1475 comments
over 4 years ago

Glad, you like it :-)

AllstarSeaworthyofNBC member for about 5 years AllstarSeaworthyofNBC 4 comments rated this topic with 5/5
about 5 years ago

I made it. This is how i made it look like.

waynebunch member for over 9 years waynebunch 1 comment rated this topic with 5/5
over 9 years ago

Very nice, thanks for that.

Jay Trapella
about 12 years ago


over 12 years ago

Ok!^^ I think that i will translate it in march, anyway i'll write here when it's done, with the link too!

redforce member for about 15 years redforce 230 comments
over 12 years ago

Of course, we'll be glad if you translate the tutorial! As stated above, it is licensed by a Creative Commons license so you may use it for any non-commercial use as long as you credit this page. Please let us know the URL of the translated tutorial so we can put a link on this page.

over 12 years ago

Hi! Congratulations for this tutorial^^ I followed it and i'm very satisfied!
Will you agree if i translate this tut for an italian gimp forum? Obviously i will credit this page! ;)
Make me know!

Amyk13 member for about 14 years Amyk13 5 comments
almost 14 years ago

Yes! I did it, look at my button!

devvv member for about 15 years devvv 1475 comments
about 14 years ago

you could maybe enhance the glossy part when you mouseover the button ;)

about 14 years ago

I like it! But how would you make it look like it's being clicked?

about 14 years ago

Great tutorial. I did the gradient at the end from the top of the image not the button and down about 15px. I think it turned out well.

And Amyk13, set the color of the gradient to white, and use the FG to Transparency setting. Also, for me anyways, it's Alpha to Selection.

Amyk13 member for about 14 years Amyk13 5 comments
about 14 years ago

I don't understand stepp 10