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Select the image you wish to use and crop it to a square (it doesn't need to be 100x100 yet). If you like, you can move this step to the end, and crop just before you resize.
Choose "Promote Background Layer" and then duplicate Raster 1 layer. Select "Raster 1".
Adjust Brightness/Contrast (Adjust-->Brightness/Contrast-->Brightness/Contrast). Set Brightness to Around 75 and Contrast to around 70. Feel free to play with the settings (it will give you more/less intense final results).
Desaturate your image (Adjust-->Hue and Saturation-->Colorize). It doesn't matter what your hue is set to so long as the saturation is set to 0.
Adjust the Gamma Correction (Adjust-->Brightness/Contrast-->Gamma Correction). Make sure the settings are linked, and set them to the lowest level possible. Feel free to play with the level positions (it will give you more/less intense final results).
Select"Copy of Raster 1". Set the layer properties to "Multiply".
Resize your image to 100x100. Add a black border to Raster 1 using the paintbrush. Merge all layers, save your image, and you're done!
You can adjust the Multiply layer's visibility to make the colours more washed out. You can do the same thing by adjusting the Brightness/Contrast settings.
If your image is too dark, play with the Brightness/Contrast settings for the Raster 1 layer.
For another subtle variation, duplicate Copy of Raster 1 and set the layer to "Overlay". Try dragging this layer to different positions in the layer stack and changing its visibility for different looks.
Playing with Curves and Histogram Adjustment levels on the Copy of Raster 1 layer can also yield positive results.
Other LJ Icons made with this tutorial:
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