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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Super-Simple Polymer Clay Doll Eyes Tutorial

I originally saw a similar eye tutorial by Susan Spinks on “the clay store . com”, and I decided to try my own version of it, simplified.

white polymer clay
acrylic paint
2 wood dowels (optional)
small paint brush (or tooth picks)
clear glaze

1- Start with some plain white polymer clay and roll two balls the same size. If you want to make several pair of eyes at once, roll lots of balls and pair them up.

2- Stick a small gauge wire into each eye, it doesn’t matter how long the wire is because you can cut it to the right size later. Stick the wire end of the eye into a chunk of clay and bake.

3- Now you’re ready to paint the eyes. There are a few different ways to do this. One way is to get two different diameter wood dowels, one for the iris and one for the pupil. The other, less exact way is to wing it (this is the technique I prefer : -)

If you are using dowels, dip the larger dowel into your desired color of paint. This will be the colored part of the eye. It could be green, blue, grey, gold, maybe purple, whatever you desire. Stamp the dowel onto the eye, and let it dry. Next stamp the smaller dowel (the pupil) with black paint in the center of the color and let it dry.

If you want to “wing it”, take your white eyeball and dip the end in your colored paint. I like to have a damp cloth next to me so I can wipe the paint off and try again if necessary. When the colored paint is dry, dip into a tiny bit of black for the pupil, or if you want more control, just paint the pupil on with a tiny brush. It may take some practice, but I really like the results I get with this technique.

You can add stripes or dots to the irises for special effects, I always add a tiny spec of white on the pupil to look like a light reflection. You can also try vertical striped pupils for cat eyes, or sideways stripes for frog eyes. Hint- I use a toothpick to paint on the stripes.

If you want glossy, wet looking eyes be sure to glaze them with your favorite clear glaze or sealer.
I used this technique, including stripes on the iris, on my ADO Broken Heart Challenge Doll:

If you try this technique and use it on a doll, be sure to send me a picture at, write ADO tutorial in the subject, and I may include it in a future post!


Anne said...

Nice tutorial on making eyes with polymer clay. And thanks for stopping by my blog! :-)

Debbie said...

I'm gonna try this and I'll send you phtots when I get it done (that can take up to days,months or years. time flys by nowadays)

Prpldy said...

Awesome tute! Thanks, I can't wait to give this a try.

Debra said...

One question here, did you bake and paint the eyes before adding them to the doll? If so was the doll baked first or "after" you added the eyes? I just wanted to know because it looks like your lids on the eyes were carved around the eyes.