I frequently found myself needing good eyeballs, either for a prop or decoration I was creating. You can easily find eyeballs in the store or online but they never were quite ‘real’ enough looking – and were expensive too. So, I decided I needed to create them myself and they had to be cheap AND easy to make.
These eyeballs cost just pennies to make and they are super easy. All you do is glue a glass gem onto a printed eyeball and cut it out. That’s it. Here is the nitty gritty…
You’ll need ‘glass gems’ – some call them cabochons – but I found them at my local dollar store. You’ll find them in the candle/flower section. They are for putting in the bottom of vases as a decorations. Look for the clear ones. I bought several bags for a $1 each. You’ll notice that some of the clear ones have that rainbow gloss (aurora borealis) on them. I found that using those tended to make the pupil hard to see. Throw away any broken or cracked glass gem.
Each bag I got had a varying number of gems in them; one had as little as 26 and one as much as 37. Go figure.
What I like about these glass gems is the shape and varying size. After all, eyeballs come in different shapes and sizes too, so that just added to the effect.
You’ll also need glue – I like ModPodge Glossy. It’s basically regular white school glue watered down. You can do that too if you can’t locate ModPodge but it’s pretty easy to find at big box stores, craft stores and online. Also, grab an old paintbrush to smear on the glue.
Lastly, you’ll need printed eyeballs. I created my own set in varying colors and blood-shottedness (my own word). You can download it here.
It’s just a .pdf file so you should easily be able to print it out full size. You can print it out on any printer but when you put glue on an INKJET printout it tends to make the print bleed and smear. LASERJET prints are definitely the best. I don’t have a laserjet printer because they are expensive, but my local office store charges less than a buck for a printout, so I just get them there (I also have them print it out on a little nicer paper, like the #28 pound paper, so it’s easier to work with).
There are 40 eyeballs on my eyeball template so you’ll probably need more than one bag of glass gems if you want to make them all.
So here we go. Place your eyeball printout on the table. Put a drop of ModPodge on the flat or back part of the gem. Use your paintbrush to smear it all the way to the edges.
Turn it over and press it down onto an eyeball (don’t worry about perfectly centering it). I love this part because you can see your eyeball emerge through the glue and you press it down.
It’s also fine if your glue oozes out the sides. You’ll cut it off later.
Glue all your gems down. Wait for the glue to dry completely. I found that turning the entire sheet and glass gems over to expose the back makes them dry faster. Then take a pair of scissors and cut the extra paper off the gem.
Get real close to the gem and just keep trimming till all the paper is off.
And there you have it! Eyeballs for pennies apiece.
If you want to get fancy, take a nail file and sand off the paper edges to make them smooth. I also paint the backs with clear nailpolish to seal the paper and to add durability, but you don’t have to go to all that work.
I’m currently working on other eyeball styles – like monster, demon etc. I’ll make the template available soon.
Here’s what I made out of these eyeballs: