Make your own eyes

You can make your own eyes for dolls, it is not expensive and gives a nice effect. You can use the eyes in air drying clay or polymer clay.


What do you need?
  • Fimo porcelain color
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Acrylic paint black
  • Fimo gloss varnish (not a water based varnish)
  • Thin paintbrush (number 0)
  • Lemonade straw
  • Toothpick

Make a little ball of fimo porcelain and cut it in half. Form two equal sized eyes, round or oval shaped. If you like you can make more eyes in pairs in different sizes. Cure the eyes in a preheated oven at 250 Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
Take a straw and use a watercolor pencil to color one end of the straw, you have to moisten the point of the pencil a bit first.
Use the straw to make a print on the eye as an extra help for painting the iris. It doesn't have to be a very clear print, as long as you can slightly see the contour line.
Use the same watercolor pencil to draw a thicker line. Moisten the pencil point a little first.

Moisten the paintbrush and paint over the line and to the middle of the iris. When the wet brush touches the pencil line it turns into watercolor, you can spread this very easy over the iris leaving a transparent color. Make sure that the contour line stays visible, don't remove too much paint from this line.

You can add more color, a lighter tone or another color, in the middle using a watercolor pencil.
Blend this with the other color using your moist paintbrush. Don't make the brush too wet.

When the paint is dry you add a layer of Fimo glossy varnish. Try not to rub the iris too much with your brush because this can cause bleeding of the paint. I usually dip the brush in the varnish and let a drop of varnish fall on the iris. This will fixate the watercolor when dry. Varnish the eyes again after the first layer is dry.

Use a thin paintbrush and add a dot of black acrylic paint in the middle of the iris for the pupil. If it is not in the middle you can wipe it off and start over again. The iris will be protected by the varnish, so you can try again and again 'till it's ok. You can also use a wooden toothpick for correcting the pupil.

Let the paint dry and finish the eyes with a layer of fimo glossy varnish.

At this picture you see 3 pair of handmade eyes. There is a tape measure in CM in the picture so you can see how small they are. The first pair of eyes have an iris of 5 mm (0.2 inch) in diameter. I used some pearl-ex powder on these eyes when I painted the iris, it gives a nice pearly glitter.

The eyes can be used in a polymer head, cure the head with these eyes at 215 Fahrenheit. The varnish however can sometimes get a little soft again in the oven. To be on the safe side you better place the head flat in the oven, so the eyes are in a horizontal line and no varnish can pour out.

After curing the head and cooling off you need to add another layer of varnish to the eyes.