Painted Plastic Safety Eyes

Introduction: Painted Plastic Safety Eyes

About: Hello there, I'm Brittany! I'm a recent graduate from art school and a dabbler in all things crafty. I primarily sew stuffed animals, but am often looking for new fun and challenging things to create.

When making a zombie stuffed animal, I knew I wanted all white eyes for that extra special creepy look. However, I was unable to find solid white plastic eyes. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

For this guide you will need:

  • Plastic Eyes
  • Styrofoam Block

  • Sandpaper
  • Nailpolish (White, or color of choice)
  • Nailpolish Top Coat

Note: It's important to get nail polish that says it is meant to be a top coat. A top coat dries harder and help protect the nail polish. Some clear nail polish is actually a base coat which is meant to help keep your nails healthy, but isn't actually stronger. Some clear nail polish is just plain clear nail polish (I especially see this with cheaper clear polish). In my case, I have a base/top coat combination. As long as it specifically says top coat you should be fine.

Step 1: Sand the Eyes

Sand the surface of the eyes. In my case I used a rough grit nail file since I was already in the nail polish drawer.

You don't need to sand too much, just enough to rough up the surface to give the polish more to stick to. You should be able to see the surface become matte rather than glossy.

Stick your safety eyes into the styrofoam to hold them.

Step 2: First Paint Coat

Paint your eyes with your first coat of nail polish.

Don't worry about getting perfect coverage, just try to get as smooth a surface as possible with no bubbles or lumps. Don't use too much nail polish or you will end up with a drippy mess that takes forever to dry completely.

Step 3: Second Paint Coat

When the first coat is dry, apply a second coat in the same manner.

If the black is not completely covered you can wait for it to dry and do a third coat. Personally, I only needed two coats.

Step 4: Top Coat and DONE!

Wait for the your last layer of polish to completely dry.

Apply a top coat to your safety eyes to help protect the polish against chipping and scratching.

Wait for the eyes to COMPLETELY dry before using them. Sometimes it can seem as though they are dry, but only the surface is. The paint will dent, smudge, or even rub off on your plush if you try to put a back on when it isn't dry. To be safe I let them dry overnight.

Use your new eyes just like you would a regular pair of safety eyes.

Be aware that even though these eyes are very durable, they can still be scratched or chipped, damaging the paint and showing the black underneath. I was unable to remove or damage the paint with my nail file, but I was able to scratch them with a sheet of heavy duty sandpaper as well as a pair of sharp sissors. Short of this, though, they should be fine.

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work! The sanding/painting created a nice effect!