How do I make and use custom icons?

Step by step guide showing how to create custom icons and attach them to your Make Your Own playlists

Make Your Own Cards

You love Make Your Own cards, we love Make Your Own cards. They are a great way to get more great audio into the hands of our kids, which is what this is all about. And the icons you can attach to each track make the audio come alive in quite a special way!

Using Custom Icons

What's even cooler than choosing icons from our boring old list is making and using your own custom icons! There are several ways to create your own icons, and these are all shown in detail below. But whichever way you choose, they all then get uploaded in the same way, so let's start there, with some simple steps to follow in all cases:

1. While making or editing a playlist in your MYO library, tap the icon image next to a track (a broccoli in the case below!)

MYO Icons 1

2. Tap the My Icons heading at the top and then the UPLOAD ICON button at the bottom

MYO Icons 2

3. You will be taken to your standard mobile or computer folder library, from where you can find the image you want to use

MYO Icons 3

4. Select any image and confirm by tapping DONE or OPEN or ADD (depending on which device you are using)

MYO Icons 4

5. The image will upload into the My Icons section and you can tap on it to select it for that track


Your image  will be automatically cropped and scaled to 16x16 pixels, if it is not already, so you do not need to do this, although you may get better results if you prepare your image beforehand. 


Below are some specific tips for five different ways to make great icons for Yoto Player!

1. Find icons online 

This is the easiest way to get some really cool looking icons. Simply search online for icons and download them to your phone or computer so you can add them to playlists using the numbered instruction above.

Here are some tips to follow:

  • Size: Yoto Player has a 16x16 pixel display, so use this size of icon for the best results
  • Formats: anything but .ico basically. So png / gif / jpg / tif / svg are all good
  • Dark pixels: Black, or very dark, pixels will show up as nothing on the Yoto Player display, you will just see the colour of the outer surface of the Player, so something like a pair of black sunglasses as an icon will probably look like a barely recognisable blob in real life.

Some links to third party sites where you can find 16x16 icons:


Please let us know if you find a particularly good source of icons and we can share the links here.

2. Create icons from your photos (EASY VERSION)

This is really cool. You can turn photos on your phone (or PC) into icons for Yoto in seconds! Simply follow the numbered instructions at the top of the page and choose a photo from your mobile phone gallery when given the option.

By default, the Yoto icon upload process will crop your photo and convert it to 16x16 pixels. This may work just fine, but if you want more control, keep reading for some pro tips...

3. Create icons from your photos (PRO VERSION)

If you want to have a little more control over the way your photos are converted to icons, you can use a number of third party apps to very easily get some impressive results.

Our tips:

  • The best app we have found for this is 8Bit Painter (link for iOS UK, and iOS US, and link for Android). 
  • Take some photos, and imagine how they will look at 16x16 resolution. You will want to take shots with high contrast colours and bold, graphical compositions
  • Using 8Bit Painter, create a new icon at 16x16 size
  • Import the photo you wish to use, cropping the image to create exactly the composition you want
  • Tweak any parts of the image to make it look better on Yoto Player, using the hand paint features. Remember that black pixels will appear as nothing, so you can use black to create areas of transparency in the final icon on the display
  • Export the finished icon (you can save it as larger than 16x16 if you wish since Yoto will downscale large images when you upload them) to your phone or PC, ready for upload into your custom icon library, using the numbered instructions above.

4. Draw your own icons on paper (great for the kids)

The personal favourite way to make icons for this support article scribe, since it can involve the kids and get them drawing and creating!

There are lots of ways to do this, but this is the way I do it:

  • Get some graph paper and mark out a 16x16 square
  • Draw some icons with the kids
  • Take a photo of the finished picture using your phone
  • Use the 8Bit Painter app (see links above) to import that photo using the steps in (3) above

Photo Icon on Yoto

5. Draw your own icons on screen (great for us big kids

And finally, use any of the third party pixel making apps out there to make icons from scratch. This is a good way to make cool graphic icons that really stand out on the Yoto Player.

PixilArt is a good app for making icons in this way, and they have a mobile app as well as a desktop one (links here). And here is a demo using PixilArt:

Pixilart Demo



For more info on Make Your Own cards, see our main overview page here.