When we start making amigurumi, most of us start out using what we can find in the craft store – typically the Darice brand plain black eyes in either 6 mm, 9 mm, or 12 mm. They’re reasonably priced, good quality eyes – you can’t go wrong with them!
After you’ve been making amigurumi for a while and start to get comfortable, you might want to start playing around with facial expressions.
A really simple way to do that is to switch up the eyes you’re using. Using a different type of safety eye can totally change the personality of your amigurumi.
I’ve rounded up a bunch of my favorite safety eyes and a few cool DIY safety eye projects for you to try.
Don’t be afraid to play around! Nothing is permanent until you snap the back on. After that you’ll need a chainsaw (or a very steady hand and some wire snips).
Before we get into eyes, did you know that there’s a tool for snapping those blasted backs on? Yeah, me neither.
I accidentally discovered it this month, after years of killing my fingers and using kitchen towels and rubber jar openers.
Game changer! If I had to choose one size, I’d definitely go with the smaller one. My fingers can usually make 9 mm and larger eyes work, but those 6 mm eyes…I stopped using them until I found this tool.
Free/almost free safety eye hack: use a flat metal washer from the hardware store.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, onward to safety eyes!
Glow in the dark safety eyes from The Tiny Garden
SO many colors from 6060
GIANT safety eyes (20 mm) from Mister Eyes
GINORMOUS eyes (40 mm) from 6060 eyes
Oval cartoon eyes from Good Accessories 1
Huge cartoon eyes (40 mm!) from Krama BY
Hand painted cat eyes by Tiny Amigurumi
Hand painted spider eyes (eeek!) from 6060
Glow in the dark cat eyes by Creations by Devlin
Comic eyes from While She Naps
Double eyes (they look like Mr. Potato Head eyes!) from Good Accessories 1
Oval safety eyes from Yeah Shop
I love you eyes would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day amigurumi!
Pink oval safety eyes by Fen Fen Accessories
Many colors of oval eyes by Glass Eyes Online
Googly frog eyes from 6060
Safety eyes aren’t just for amigurumi. This painting cracks me up!
Fresh Stitches has a bunch of different safety eyes. This winking eye is the best!
I haven’t bought eyes from some of these shops (yet!), but I have had great experiences with 6060. They have a huge selection, their prices are good, and they ship quickly. (6060 didn’t pay me to say that, I just really like them!)
You’re not limited to just buying safety eyes, though. Making them can be their own fun DIY project!
If you have a steady hand you could try painting your own clear safety eyes using nail polish. The hand-painted ones have a little extra sparkle! (The one on the right is the hand-painted eye – go check out the post for more comparisons!)
MyGurumi’s hand painted safety eyes are next-level awesome, check them out!
Crocheting a background for your safety eyes or embroidering around them is a great way to embellish plain black safety eyes, and it looks even more awesome with hand painted ones!
You could even try casting your own safety eyes using resin! Uh oh. I feel a new hobby coming on.
Do you have a bucket full of safety eyes and can’t remember what size they are? Stacey at Fresh Stitches shares some tips on how to figure out what size you have.
Did you know that you can trim the post on the back of the safety eyes? I recently crocheted a covering for a glass jar (stay tuned for the pattern, it’s super cute!). I wanted to use safety eyes, but the posts were going to push the crochet out at an odd angle. I just used wire snips to cut the posts off close to the backing. If you wanted extra security, you could dab some super glue on the ends. (I don’t recommend modifying safety eyes in this way on a toy that a child might play with.)
While I was writing this post, I snagged a few different kinds of eyes to play with (blogging is an expensive hobby!). I’m designing another creature along the lines of Hugamonster and fun safety eyes are part of the plan.
If this post was helpful, I’d love it if you pinned and shared it!
So what are your go-to safety eyes? Have you made any projects using interesting safety eyes? Please feel free to share a link/photo in the comments!