Don’t Reinvent the Wheel (Part 3) – Silverlight Styles and Themes

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Don’t Reinvent the Wheel (Part 3) – Silverlight Styles and Themes

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It’s time for another installment of .NET Zone’s “Don’t Reinvent the Wheel” series. This week I have aggregated a list of great (and mostly free) Silverlight themes and styles you can download and use in your projects today. The great thing about controls in XAML is that be default they are lookless, which means that you can use styles, themes and templates to make a control have practically any appearance imaginable.

Next week is Microsoft MIX10 conference, and developers will most likely get their hands on a fresh release of Silverlight 4. Whether that release will be a beta/RC or RTM remains to be seen. Regardless, these resources can be used in your apps today. If the resource targets a specific version of Silverlight, it has been indicated. Enjoy!Simple Styles

Simple Styles for Silverlight

Created by Robby Ingebretsen : Free

A demo is available on the site. Robby’s description of the styles:

Simple Styles are a set of styles and (more importantly) control templates that are designed to be a starting point for creating your own custom templates. The idea is to include all of the essential elements of the template and no extras. It’s a stripped down version of the control template, presented in full color (well, two colors) for your tweaking pleasure.

Silverlight Glass Basic Theme

Created by Codestart.net : Free

Designed for use with Silverlight 3 and the controls in the July 2009 Silverlight SDK. More info from Codestart.net:

Very effective look of glass made controls. Semi-transparent with rounded shapes, highly animated and easy to restyle.

Blackspike Theme for Silverlight 4 Blackspike Theme

Created by Felix Corke : Free

This theme works only with Silverlight 4 because it uses the new Implicit Styles feature. However, Felix also has a version of the theme available for Silverlight 3 here.

Dave’s Glossy Controls for Silverlight 2

Created by Dave Craw : Free

These are a set of control templates designed for Silverlight 2, but they should work just as well with Silverlight 3. Dave’s thoughts on the customizing these control templates:

…customizing the color of the controls is tres easy, and doesn't require you to have any knowledge of control templates. 

Silverlight Toolkit ThemingSilverlight Toolkit Themes

Created by MS Silverlight Team : Free

I highlighted some of the controls available in the Silverlight Toolkit a couple of weeks ago. The toolkit also contains 11 free themes along with the ImplicitStyleManager which will be baked into Silverlight 4. Here is the description of the ImplicitStyleManager from CodePlex:

Encapsulates an attached behavior that propagates styles in a framework element's associated resource dictionary to its children. The class also provides attached properties that allow the resource dictionary to be loaded from an external source.

Microsoft Expression Gallery Themes

Created by MS Community : Free

The Microsoft Expression Gallery has an entire section devoted to themes for Silverlight and WPF. Here are just a couple examples of the what is available.

Retro Theme for Silverlight Navigation Application (by Tim Heuer)

The Silverlight Navigation Application project template is available with the Visual Studio Tools for Silverlight 3. This theme is designed to be used with projects created from that template.


Cool Blue Theme for Navigation Page and All Controls (by Tim Fischer)

This theme is designed for use with Silverlight 3. Tim’s description:

This theme provides a consistent look for navigation templates and all Controls found in the control toolkit.

Cool Blue


Created by XAMLTemplates.net : Commercial

The site sells Silverlight & WPF themes as well as XAML-based icon sets for a relatively low price. If you, like me and many other developers, are still working on your UX design skills, cannot find a free template/style to meet your needs, and cannot afford to hire a designer, these templates might be an option for your organization.


Created by Nukeation Studios : Commercial

Reuxables is another nice commercial option for WPF and Silverlight application themes. They also have free versions of their Inc and Metal themes called Incy and Metallic.

Inc ($49)


Metal ($99)



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