Hey plush artists! In this tutorial, I’ll be going over different kinds of plastic and
glass eyes used in plushmaking.
Should you use glass or plastic eyes for your project?
+ Safe for children 3+
– Inconsistent quality (find a good supplier)
– Sometimes have different height
+ Handmade and high quality
+ Wire loop allows instant needlesculpting / sinks back into the head for a natural look (to see what I mean, check my needlesculpting tutorial here)
– Pricier than plastic eyes
– Can take longer to put in than plastic eyes
– Sometimes have small discrepencies in size due to handmade nature
Generally, I like to use safety eyes for most of my plush to make them childsafe. For special plush intended for collectors, I like to use glass because they are shinier and more lifelike, and feel higher quality.
Washers / padding
If your safety eye comes with an extra disc or washer, it’s to go inbetween the eye and the backing (inside the plush). Eye-fabric-padding-backing. It’s especially helpful in larger eyes. The washer keeps the back of the eyeball flat against the fabric. Because plastic eyes are hollow on the back, it is possible for the eye to be ‘picked’ at, and pull away from the fabric slightly without this padding.
Solid black plastic and glass eyes are readily available; they also come in clear, transparent colored, and solid colors. Clear eyes can be painted with acrylics from behind. Or if you want a solid color that you can’t find available, you can either look for round safety nose in a matching color, or paint with acrylics and gloss.
For tiny plush, and small flat felt plushies, you can glue on half-round eyes, or use bead-style or button-style eyes. There’s no long ‘stem’ of the eye that might poke through to the back of the plushie.