Hi there. This is a really fast tutorial. In only seven steps you’ll learn to make a paperclip icon. You will only need the Rounded Rectangle Tool, the Direct Selection Tool and the Gradient Tool. Also you might learn some basic stuff about working with grids and strokes.
Estimated Completion Time: 20 minutes
Number of Steps: 7
This is what you’ll be creating:
Create a 256 by 256px document. First turn on the grids: View > Show Grid (Ctrl + “). Now, you need a grid every 10px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid enter “10″ in the “Gridline every :” box and “1″ in the “Subdivisions” box. Next, turn on the snap to grid option: View > Snap to Grid (Shift + Ctrl + “). All these options will ease your work.
Now, let’s create the paper clip. Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create a 60 by 240 shape. To increase/decrese the roundness of your shape hit the up/down button (while you click and drag). Fill this shape with none and add a 8pt stroke (for the moment use any color you want). Select this shape, go to the Appearance pallete, click on Stroke (the text) then click on the Align Stroke Center and on the Round Cap buttons. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A) select the bottom anchor point (the one highlighted in image #1) and hit the delete key.
Reselect the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create a 50 by 180 shape (place it as shown in image #1). Use the same properties shown in step #1. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the top anchor point then hit the delete key.
Once again select the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create a 30 by 160 shape (place it as shown in image #1). Use the same properties shown in the previous steps. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A) select the bottom anchor point (the one highlighted in image #1) and hit the delete key.
Select the hightlighted anchor points (with the Direct Selection Tool) and move them a few pixels up (as shown in image #2).
Select all these shape and go to Object > Expand. Select the resulting shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder pallete. Rotate this new shape 45° then make it bigger (pick the Selection Tool, select the shape, hold Shift + Alt then resize it as shown in image #4).
Next, let’s add some colour. First, select the shape and fill it with R=224 G=224 B=225. Add a new fill (from the drop down menu of the Appearance pallete) and use the gradient shown in image #2. Reselect the shape and add the Inner Glow shown in image #3. Finally add the Drop Shadow effect shown in image #4.
Now your paperclip icon is done. Here is how it should look like: