The JMRI libraries contain the PanelPro application for creating simple control panels. This page describes that application, and how to use it.
PanelPro provides two separate ways to create control panels.
The Panel Editor lets you draw a panel exactly the way you want it, and then animate parts of it to show the status of your layout and let you click to control it.
The Layout Editor provides tools for drawing your layout while constructing the logic for signals, etc. It constrains how the panel appears a little, but it can save significant time when first bringing your layout up.
Many people use both, with the Layout Editor creating schematic panels to handle the actual configuration for signals and Panel Editor providing exactly the appearance desired.
Rodney Black's CATS application is another tool for creating modern-style control panels.
A panel is one or more background pictures, on which are drawn icons to represent turnouts, sensors and signals on the layout. You can build the background from small icons (left above), or provide a detailed drawing that you created in a drawing program (right above).
You can use these tools to configure quite complicated panels for large layouts.