Saturday, January 10, 2009

Flamboyant Googlie Eyes

I have a friend who has a thing for googlie eyes, that may possibly be a little on the obsessive side. That being said she was telling me how frustrated she was that there really isn't much variety in googlie eye styles, so I decided to try and make her some customized ones.


  • To start I purchased three different sizes of eyes to experiment on 10mm, 15mm, and 20mm.
  • small angled blade
  • tweezers
  • model glue/tacky glue
  • glitter
  • confetti
  • acrylic/enamel paint
  • small brushes

Opening The Eye

Using a small angled blade I inserted it in the side of the eye as close as I could to the white backing as I could get, and slowly slid the blade down the side. I had quite a few mishaps at first with the blade working it's way up the side until I was closer to cutting along the upper edge of the clear plastic. Once I got a little better at it though I was able to get the blade to separate the clear and white plastics giving me a cleaner opening.

Once you have an opening large enough to get the pupil out, I recommend using a pair of tweezers to do so, it allows you to get away with a smaller opening.

Pupil Mods

The first set I did I coated the pupil with the model glue, covered the surface with glitter, and patted it down until I had an even coat. That worked out alright, I just had to clean up the pieces that hung over the edges. Once once I was satisfied with it, I again coated the the eye with the model glue to help hold the glitter on the pupil.

Next I tried painting it, the acrylic paint worked alright but it took several coats to become opaque. Nail polish though worked really well, you can usually get it cheaper than model paint, and when you're done you can paint your nails to match. I'm thinking of attempting to paint the pupils to look like animal eyes next, but I need to get some good closeups so I can try to make them at least a little bit accurate.

I also tried replacing the pupil with confetti and/or glitter. I think it worked out pretty well, the one thing being that the confetti is much lighter than the original pupil so it doesn't move around as much.

The Eye

I haven't tried too much with the casing yet, but there are eyes with an eyelid painted on them available so I picked some of those up and used it as a guide to apply the model glue and then dipped them in glitter, and added another coat of model glue for a blingy eye. I also used the model glue to secure confetti to the white backing, by applying it to the confetti and then using tweezers to pick it up, insert it, and center it.

I'm thinking of using felt as an alternate backing and then it would be easier to use the eyes on sewing projects. I'd also like to get some doll making eyelashes and do some more glittered eyelids.


Ok, so this part is pretty easy, just insert whatever it is you've descided to use in the eye and glue the opening shut. Originally I also used model gule for this but the type I have has a very low viscosity so while it was great for detail work, almost all of the first eyes I made ended up with nonmoving parts because the glue seeped right through the opening. I found that using tacky glue which has a much higher viscosity, worked much better. I pinched the sides of the eye on either side of the opening and used a small paintbrush to apply the glue along both sides of the gap then pressed it closed and brushed some more glue along the seam.