Saturday, December 8, 2012

Tutorial: Making glass like polymer clay eyes

Making glass like eyes from polymer clay

The method I use + alternatives explained

Did I say something about posting a review?... I have got to stop predicting which posts I'll be doing! Hope you don't mind getting a tutorial instead. This tutorial will be showing you how to create glass like polymer clay eyes to use for your dolls/sculptures or even charms :)
You can buy glass eyes from various websites but they can be quite expensive and I honestly don't want to pay that much! So I thought, "why not make some eyes myself?"..

I don't use these eyes for all my dolls (actually I havn't used them for more than a couple of babies so far. I'm not going to use them for my portrait dolls - I prefer painting those on instead, but I love these especially for babies because then you don't need to worry about painting something that fine and delicate.

Materials needed:
-White and black polymer clay
- Polymer clay in the color of the eye (iris)
- Liquid clay (preferably fimo deco gel)

The method shown is just the way I prefer doing it - I will be explaining a few alternatives to creating eyes as well.
This tutorial will show you how to make the eyes I used for my 'Sour Zombie cupcake pendant', if you want to use them for miniature dolls there are some steps you can skip as you won't need as many details for such a small scale.

Hope you'll enjoy the tutorial :)

*Dette er trin for trin anvisninger til at lave realistiske glas-lignende øjne til dine dukker, skulpturer eller andre polyler projekter. Du kan sagtens bruge Fimo/Cernit til at lave flotte dukkeøjne, fremfor at bruge penge på glasøjne*

1) - Start out by mixing the colors you want to use for your eye. There's no rules as to how many different shades you should work with, the larger the eye you want to make, the more shades you shoul probably use to make it look more realistic (depending on the eye color of course). Take a look at a picture or your own eyes and copy the colors you see. I chose to make blue eyes with green near the pupils.
2) - Roll out each of the colors. They don't need to be the same thickness, sometimes the darker shades will only appear as a very fine 'outline'. Stack them.
Now, if you are going to make eyes for miniature dolls like the baby sculpture I have a picture of above, you can skip the next 7 steps and go straight to adding the pupil. You can also do this if you're going to make larger eyes, but I recommend to follow at least the next couple of steps to get a more realistic effect.
3) + 4) - I'm using the dull site of an exacto knife to push into the clay - making that pattern you see in eyes. You can do as many cuts as you'd like. Using the dull as oppose to the sharp side of the knife helps to "drag" the clay and create a more defined pattern.
5) - To get an even more detailed design I decided to cut the piece into slices, then putting them back together in "zigzags".
6) + 7) + 8) - Push the pieces of clay even closer together. Keep pressing the sides and begin stretching it as a regular polymer clay cane.
9) - Cut the cane into smaller pieces and line them up next to eachother. Make sure that the new piece is long enough to go around the pupil size you want.
10) - Add a log of black polymer clay and wrap the iris color around it.
11) - wrap a few layers of white around it as well and begin rolling out the cane. Roll it as thin as the size of eyes you wish to make. If in doubt you can roll it out, cut off a piece and test the next steps in the tutorial to see what your finished eye will look like, you can always make the cane thinner.
12) - Cut out lots of slices. The thickness you should go for is the approx. height you want your finished eye to have :) Now use your fingers to flatten the edges and making a half circle (dome shape). I used one of my larger ended embossing tools to round of the edges on my tiny doll eyes though.
13) - Don't worry about the pupil or iris not being as round as you want. Of course it's best to get as close to the correct shape as possible, but you can use a rounded tool to push the clay a bit and correct it. If you have a ball tool in the size of the iris use it to press down the clay a bit, so you get a flat top.
14) - Now it's time for the liquid clay. Add a small drop to the top, covering the iris and pupil. Bake for about 5-10 minutes and you're done :) once you've finished your charm/sculpture/piece you can glaze the eye to give it that final touch.


Though the cane can be made in any size you want, you might just want to make a couple of pairs of eyes or use a different technique. You can as an example make the white dome shape in the size you want and flatten the top. You can then simply paint the iris and pupil on with acrylic paints before ading the liquid clay, this will make awesome eyes as well. Now, there's a method I've thought of, but I havn't tested (and I therefore don't know if it'll burn) but I'm imagining that you could print out some iris-pictures from your computer and place them on top of the flat topped dome shape, then add the liquid clay. If this works it'll save you all the trouble of painting pretty eyes... but I definitely think it's a lot more fun to make them entirely by hand.
For most of the dolls I've made to far I've baked small dome pieces of white polymer clay (without flattening the top), then I've sculpted those into the clay and painted with acrylics after baking - it works great as well :)

Hope you found this useful.
Ask if you have any questions! :)


  1. I'm not very good at doing canes, but i'll try it!
    Yours look awesome! *.*

    1. The good thing about this cane is that you're only workind with the circle shapes :) makes it a bit easier. Good luck!

  2. wow, this seems to be a pretty easy way to make extremely cool looking eyes :)
    I guess i you would let it be big, you could probably make it into an eye-like charm or something ) Maybe kinda like these turkish eye charm, they sell there everywhere, just a bit more real :P (In case you don't know them, they are actually called "boncuks" and they should ward off "the evil look")
    Haha, whatever, I think I'll try this soon, when I have some time ^^
    Greetings :)

    1. This method is just a "quick" way of making eyes, but you can definitely make a much more real looking eye cane if you spend more time creating the right pattern. I already have 1 ring in my shop that includes an eye and I am planning on making more hehe, I think eye-jewelry looks awesome. Havn't heard of the 'boncuks' but I'll look it up!

  3. That was a great worked for me the first time...thank u so much :)

  4. Thanks for sharing! Hope to try this some day =) Hannah

  5. I want to try this for a project that I am doing but I would have to make the eyes much bigger. Would the process still be the same if I increase the size?

  6. AnonymousMay 16, 2015

    Hey sugar charm shops, for the eye ball cane in ur youtube video how many layers did u stack ur clay to form the brown part