Tag Archives: eyes

Eyeball Experiments

So, I’ve been experimenting, and need your input. Last week, I “finished” the little butterfly stuffies that are Christmas gifts for my kids. “Finished” is in quotes because they still don’t have faces. Just unsettling stitch markers where the eyes should be.

Obviously, I’m too late to add safety eyes (the safety of which is debatable), and buttons/beads are right out since I have a very chew-y one-year-old. I might do a bit of embroidery, or applique on little felt eyes, but that’s fussy.

There must be a better way! I’m a child of the 90s, so, I thought maybe puffy paint would work?

I pulled out an old swatch and gave it a try:

Cute, right? And promising! The paint beaded up nicely, at least at first. I let it dry, and…

Pffffft… Well, that didn’t dry as nicely as I wanted it to. It’s lumpy and flat, not nicely beaded up, like it was when it was still wet. On the plus side, at least it was really sturdily on there. No kid (even a heavy chewer) is going to get that paint off.

I added another coat of paint, in hopes that it would bead up, like I wanted it to in my dreams. And then I added another coat.

For comparison:

One coat was super-flat, 2 coats made a nice bump, and 3 coats was almost spherical. Unfortunately, all three versions were weirdly lumpy. But, I wonder if that’s a matter of the paint being kind of pearlescent. I think I’m going to go get some plain black, and try again.

I feel like this has the potential to be a great eyeball technique, but I’m not yet convinced. I think I need to do more experimenting before I commit to painting the butterflies (I don’t want to mess them up so soon before Christmas!).

Do you have any tricks for great eyes?


Maybe you’re not too good with a needle and thread… Maybe you prefer your knit toys to have big old buggy eyes… Maybe you just aren’t a fan of how embroidered faces look.  No sweat.  Try safety eyes!

They’re super easy to use, and (in my opinion) the most professional-looking than buttons or beads.  Technically they are safe (hence the name) for younger children, but I’d still be careful if you give them to itty bitty kids  who like to chew on things.

They come in two parts: the eye, and the backing.



Figure out where you want your eye, and push the eye shaft through your knitting.  (Make sure you do this before you close up and stuff your critter.)



Slide the backing on to the post, and use your muscles to push it all the way down.  They’re sometimes hard to get all the way on, but they’ll go eventually.  Be really really sure that you like where your eyes are placed before putting on the backing, because they are almost impossible to remove once they are attached.





Safety eyes are carried at most chain craft stores, but you can find a more extensive selection on Etsy and other online retailers.



Now, go fourth and give things eyeballs.  I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m being watched or something.  Eep!