It depends, are you looking for common icons such as computer and trash in that case try this:
To show or hide common desktop icons
1. Open Personalization by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type personalization, and then click Personalization.
2. In the left pane, click Change desktop icons.
3. Under Desktop Icons, select the check box for each icon that you want to appear on the desktop. Clear the check box for icons that you don't want to appear, and then click OK.
If you right click on any application you can select Send to>Desktop which will create a desktop shortcut.