Amigurumi Eyes – one of the big roadblocks in getting your amigurumi to look like all the other amigurumis out there. Roadblock? Well, it can be a pain in the butt finding a place to buy these eyes for a good price! I remember when I was starting out to make amigurumi, I couldn’t find the eyes anywhere, and the finished product just doesn’t look right without those round black eyes.
I’m going to talk about 1. Where to buy, 2. What to buy, 3. Other options
Firstly, here’s my eye stash
(yeah, there’s some bells mixed in there)
From top row, left to right – 8mm noses, bells, 10mm brown eyes, 12mm blue eyes, 4mm black eyes, 8mm black eyes.
middle row – 15mm noses, bells, 10mm yellow eyes, 12 mm cat eyes, 6mm black eyes
bottom row – googly eyes, bells, 10mm blue eyes, mix of amber eyes, 4mm clear eyes, mix of 8mm clear eyes and red eyes.
I’ve recently had to order more as I need some bigger black eyes, around 10mm-15mm, plus more clear eyes in a larger size… and some noses.
Where to buy:
+ Cheapest price, especially in bulk
– Have to wait for shipping
(- sometimes you don’t want the eyes in bulk or you prefer to buy locally)
I’m all for going online to buy my eyes. I’m not paid by these guys, but I’ve gone with CR’s Crafts with great success. At the time I write this, 8mm x 100 eyes are $5.12. 100 of them! That’s 50 amigurumis!
Also, Etsy has plenty of sellers that sell eyes!
+ Local, can see the product in person
– can be expensive
– limited options
When I first got into amigurumi, I hit my local craft store. All I could find was this stuff:
Which is fine, but if you want that black eye look you are SOL. When I bought those eyes, it was on sale for like $4.99 for 6 (vs online for $5 for 100 = WTF).
Also, these coloured eyes are inferior to the clear eyes, which I’ll talk about later on.
Asian Craft Store or Asian Dollar Store
+ Better bet to find black amigurumi eyes
– still not as cheap as online
– limited sizes or selection
I’d recommend hitting (if you have one) an asian craft store or dollar store. One craft store (Yaohan Centre in Richmond, Vancouver, if the craft store is still there) I snagged some black eyes that were sold seperately but I can’t remember how much, lol… around $0.50 an eye I think. However, I’ve also found eyes at Daiso and Yoko yaya – Japanese dollar stores, in their craft section. There, everything is $2, thus a pack of 6 eyes is $2.
So, to sum that all up, if you are new to amigurumi, I’d hit Daiso if you can. If you want ultra cheap, need eyes for your amigurumi octopus death army go online. When I order, I order a lot to save on the shipping. Maybe see if your crafting buddies need some too and order together!
Now you have some ideas where to go… but What to buy? It really depends on the size of the amigurumi you make.
With my patterns, I mostly use the 8mm black eye for an amigurumi around 4″ to 6″ round. For mini amigurumi that’s around 2-3″ round, I use the 5mm or 6mm eye.
I have a lot of teeny eyes, 4mm and I NEVER use them! Unless you are making amigurumi that are like 1″ long, or want squinty tiny eyes, I wouldn’t buy them. The picture below is the 4mm eyes I never use.
Noses have great uses too. Here is 9mm and 15mm noses.
I’ve used them for noses of course, but they make great bird beaks! Again, size is tough for these depending on your look, but I found the 15mm is the best for the 5″ amigurumi. There are also more oval noses (which I just ordered) that would make good eyes as well.
Clear eyes are great purchase instead of coloured eyes. Why? Flexibility!
When you look at most coloured eyes, it’s just the backing that is coloured. Also, those fancy glittery glass eyes are pricey, and you can get a great effect with the clear eyes.
I use nail polish (which I have a TON of) to paint the back of the eyes. A Duo-chrome, multiple toned polish works great. You can also use glitter polish. Below, I used a Sally Hansen HD polish in “Lite” (yes, that gnary yellow polish)
Here I hold the eye with a set of tweezers so I don’t get polish on my fingers and ruin my current manicure (OPI in “Stranger Tides”). Feel free to go crazy and paint in more detail like lines or a different colour around the rim of the eye. You may also apply tape around the edge of the eye so you don’t leak polish onto the globey round part (or just use nail polish remover to take off any smears).
The result is a pair of glittery yellow eyes that sparkle!
Also to keep in mind is if the backing is included in the eyes or noses
Backing varies between eye size, but either way it holds the eye onto the amigurumi. Some eyes do not have a backing but a hole through the stem which you will need to tie the eye on from the back, or have a more dangly eye look. In the past I’ve ditched the backing and would glue on the eyes, but using the safety snap backing is a more secure option.
What are you other options?
What if your amigurumi is for a child? Or you cannot find eyes at your local craft store/ don’t want to buy online? What if you need bigger, crazier eyes (like psychotic spiraling red ones for your amigurumi octopus death army)
– Embroider on the eyes with black yarn or floss
– Buttons (you can get buttons that have a backing instead of the typical holed front ones)
– Make them yourself with polymer clay
If going the clay route, pick up some glaze to make your eyes shiny! There is also transparent clay so you could make some interesting effects!
Hopefully that helps some of you with your amigurumi eye problems. Now I have to sit tight while I wait for my eye shipment to arrive… around 400 eyes and noses! Shoot, I better make enough amigurumi for that!