I’m sure the cool stuff you can do with screenshots, icons and backgrounds are only limited by your imagination (and windows) but here’s one I just did.

Here is the desired effect.

Here is the desired effect.

*looks pretty cool*. Now for those of you who can’t guess how I did this in photoshop, I will briefly run you through it.

I screenshot the background (printscreen). I paste it into photoshop. Might I add, at this point, that you do need the actual file of the image saved in a place where you know where it is. For the sorry souls who use the windows backgrounds, the can be found in the WINDOWS folder in the C: drive. You may have to change the folder options to show hidden files and folders to find this.

Anyway, paste into photoshop (file>new, size:clipboard). Select the magic eraser tool. I’m not sure for other versions of photoshop, but you should be able to right click the normal eraser tool to find it. Select the ‘contiguous’ check box at the top of the screen, and click everywhere, the goal being, to erase the whole background. You don’t need to be too fine about it, everything that is left is being blurred so either it will disappear or you will have some parts of the background slightly shinier than the other bits (this is visible in my attachment).

Once you’ve erased most of the background, specifically around the icons (take care not to erase the actual icons), you can duplicate the layer by right-clicking it and selecting that option. On the first layer, apply filters>blur>motion blur at 45 degrees (you can choose length to taste), then on the second layer do the same thing at -45 degrees. This makes a sort of criss-cross kind of sparkly outline. You can change it to how you like, (of course) for example, you could change the opacity of the layers, or change the colours – whatever. This ‘tutorial’ is solely inspiration to do whatever you like with your icons.

Back to the point, you need to copy the original background into the background of the blurry icon picture you’ve made. You can do this by opening the file and selecting everything, then copying it and pasting it into the other picture. You may need to stretch the image to fit the screenshot. If it’s not selected already, click ‘show transform controls’ at the top and grab the handles to suit…the size of the image. You can save the file as a png and go to the containing folder, right click the file and click ‘set as background’. And there you are.