What are Safety Eyes?
Clear safety eyes are made of plastic. Some people call them crystal eyes because they are so lustrous and shiny. The eyes have a stem (also called a rod or shank) at the back and they’re secured onto a toy by pushing a metal or plastic washer over the stem. Once the washer is attached, it can’t be removed again, hence safety eyes. These eyes are the best type to use if you knit, crochet, or sew soft toys for children.
Which Types of Crafts can use Safety Eyes?
Clear safety eyes are also sometimes called craft eyes because they’re so affordable and versatile. You can use plastic eyes for soft toy making, paper crafts, felt toys, scrapbooking, and many other crafts. Some of our customers even use our plastic safety eyes to make fly fishing lures.
How to Choose the Right Size Safety Eye
The size of toy eyes is a personal preference. Small eyes can make your toy look more mature, calculating, mean. Tiny eyes are a good choice for quirky characters while large eyes give an impression of innocence, baby animal, being surprised, or in love. If your pattern doesn’t specify which size eyes to buy, you can take a ruler and measure the size you think will work best. Remember that our eyes are sold in pairs and the size is indicated in millimeters.
How Do You Attach Safety Eyes?
- Push two pins with large heads into the toy head where you think you want to attach the eyes. Move them around until you’re happy with the placement and symmetry. Mark the spot by making a small spot with a felt tip pen.
- Use an awl, knitting needle, or chopstick to wriggle a hole in the fabric so that the stem of the eye can fit through.
- On the inside of your toy, push the washer over the stem. The raised side of the washer faces out. Press the washer down firmly until it rests against the back of the eye. Sometimes this needs a bit of force; I like to place a thread spool over the washer so that the stem of the eye goes into the hole in the center of the spool, then give the thread spool a firm whack with my fist 🙂