In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a sleek pair of headphones, using of Pen Tool & Blending Options. Some simple ways of using the Layer Styles to create some great shadows & a realistic sense of 3Dimension. Showing you some interesting ways of using the Gradient Overlay option to create a metal effect.

Final Preview

Step : 1

Just  open a 512 px  by 512 px document with a white or transparent background.Start with create the superior part of the headphones.
Open the Pen Tool to make a shape like the one shown below 1a(Image). If you think it’s hard  to make a good ellipse, activate Snap from the View Menu (Shift + Command + Semicolon key). Set up two guides to mark the center of the canvas, and create the shape like in 1b(Image).

Step : 2

Grab the polygonal lasso tool (L) from the toolbar and cut on both sides parts of the shape like shown in 2a(Image). Via–Layer Cut the 2 parts , resize them same like in 2b(Image), and name the layers : ‘resized-right’ and ‘resized-left’. In the ‘headphones’ main layer-group, place the two new layers in the back.

Step : 3

Select the ‘head layer’ and ‘duble-click’ on it to bring up the Layer Style window. Like in  3a(Image) add Satin and Gradient Overlay to add some shadows, and some Inner Shadow to create a concavity effect.

Step : 4

Now select the ‘resized right’ layer and double click to bring up the blending mode again . Add some shadows again, set the Inner shadow to give some concavity around the edges  and Gradient Overlay to give it a pipe-effect. 4a (Image)

You deselect Use Global Light to any lightings you make and try to imagine all the shadows. Most times when you have small objects like the ones in (Image)4a, the Use Global Light option confuses the shadows for the other objects in a negative way.

After this, just copy all the effects from the ‘resized right’ layer to ‘resized left’ layer. Drag the ‘Effects’ holding ALT from one layer to the other

Step : 5

Enhance the shadow effect on the ‘head’ layer, select a Soft Mechanical Brush, 0% Hardness, 14px Master Diameter and on a new layer named ‘head-overlay’ [layer that has to be on top of “head” layer] draw some lines like in 5a(Image). After that just select the Overlay option and you got some nice shadows. 5b(Image).

Step : 6

Now let’s make the headphones a bit more comfortable .

Create a new layer  ‘head-sponge’ under the ‘head’ layer. With Pen Tool make a shape like in 6a(Image) and fill it with 50% grey. Bring the Blending Mode Window up again and set the following Options: 6b (Image).

Step : 7

Now Let’s add some leather texture on our sponge.

Download this image and place it on the document, naming it layer ‘texture’.Scale it down proportionally until it’s slightly bigger than you need it 7a (Image). Command-click the “head-sponge” layer to select its pixels then add the selection as a mask to the texture 7b(Image).

Add Image > Adjustments > Black and White with Preset set at Maximum Black 7c(Image). Then on “texture” layer add Overlay 7c(Image).

Step : 8

let’s now make the actual headphones.Because both ear-pieces aplly the same techniques, i will show you how i made one of them. Create first a folder under the first folder (“Headphones”) and name it “right-earpiece”. Start by drawing some shapes with Rounded Rectangle Tool and Ellipse Tool and cut them according to the following :

Step : 9

Adding effects! We will add Inner Glow to create the outer highlights, Inner Shadow to simulate highlights on the edges and various styles of Gradient to create a further 3Dimensional effect and point out the shadows better.

I guess you got the point of how blending Options should be used to create some nice, realistic shadows. You apply the same techniques to the other shapes. Remember that the following are shown for you to see how the final image was done, but try to personalise the steps a bit so you can see the final differences ( this tutorial objective is for you to understand the simple ways of Blending Mode). Therefore

On “shape5” – set the Inner Glow to: Blend Mode > Screen, Opacity: 75%, Noise: 0%, Gradient:White to Transparent

On “shape6” – Inner Shadow: Opacity 60%, Angle 72 degrees, Distance and Size to 4, Gradient Overlay: 100% Opacity, Gradient: Black to 50% Grey.

On ‘shape7’ – Inner Shadow, Opacity 80%, Distance 1px, Size 0px, Angle 72 degrees. At the Gradient part, try to make the ‘metal’ effect just like in ‘shape4’.

Step : 10

Add a further shadow effect,

Step : 11

This is a separate Step just to point out that you just Duplicate the ‘Headphones’ folder and reverse it by clicking on the folder > Command + T > Flip Horizontal .

You now have a headset!

Step : 12

Create a folder named ‘Handles’. Begin by creating the following shapes 12a(Image).

Step 13

Adding the final effects now!

Step : 14

Now just like the earpieces, select the ‘Handles’ folder, and duplicate it like shown in a previous step.Click on the folder > Command + T > Flip Horizontal .

Step : 15

All you have to do now is to joint all the layers you did until now.15a (Image)

Step : 16

We’ll just add a final shadow just for the sake of presentation.

First select all the folders like in (16a) and press ‘Command + E’.

Step : 17

Select the imagine you just made > Command + T > Click Right > Distort , like in (17a). Then aplly the following effects : 1. Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. / 2. Filter > Blur > Radial Blur. 17b(Image)

Step :  18

Now just add a cable for your headphones and that’s all ….Finally ! 🙂


You can ‘pimp’ your headphones with some golden texture or diamonds , or whatever. Hope you enjoy it, and also learned something from my tutorial!.


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