Coraline Button Eyes (see Through and Prescription)




Last summer at a convention, I cosplayed as the Other Mother from Coraline, and my friend cosplayed as the Other Wybie. I cannot wear contacts, so I made myself some prescription button eyes, while I made my friend non prescription ones. 

This is much better than using giant buttons which have very limited visibility. 

My friend claims he had perfect vision out of his button eyes, while mine minimally hurt my vision (the prescription lenses had different clarity depending on what angle I was looking out of them). 

Step 1: Materials

 Prescription glasses with round lenses (I bought this pair: for $9.95. If they are not available anymore, search around the website and you should be able to find a suitable pair). 

If making non prescription lenses, either use plexiglass or you could potentially find pre-cut glass circles (used in photography I think). 
Heat gun
Dremel tool with a sand grinder
Black Model Magic air dry clay by Crayola
soapy water (should be in a spray bottle, but I just dabbed it on)
Exacto knife or box cutter
Circle cutter or compass
Masking tape
Hole punch (1/8'' hole)
Limo tint - can be bought in huge rolls, but you possibly could find some scraps at a place that tints windows or on ebay. Or PM me. I have a huge roll and I could potentially ship you some if you pay for shipping. 

Step 2: Circle Cutting

 Use your circle cutter on some paper first to figure out what size you want your eyes to be.
After sizing, get your roll of masking tape and cut 4 circles that are the same size out of it (Use a wide masking tape for this. I cut my circles right on the roll). 

If you are making your eyes out of plexiglass, put the 2 circles facing back each other on each side of the plexiglass. Then score around the circles (I scored straight lines many times and broke off the scored parts. If you know how to score and punch out a circle from plexiglass, I'd like to know how to do that.) Use the dremel tool to grind down the plexiglass until you get to your masking tape. The masking tape acts as both a guide and a scratch protector. The plexiglass will smell and melt a little when you grind it, I suggest good ventilation. 

If you are making your eyes with glasses, make sure you label each lens (Left and Right) and possibly (before you pop them out of the glasses) what side is up (I kind of wish I did the second part on mine). Put your masking tape circles on your lenses (one circle on each side) and grind your glasses down with your Dremel. The glasses will not smell when you grind them, but they will produce a lot of dust. 

Step 3: Turn Your Limo Tint Into Buttons

 You will want to cut out circles of limo tint that are the same size as the masking tape circles with your circle cutter. 

Use a piece of masking tape and draw your circle on it. Draw four lines on the masking tape to make a square that is centered in the circle. The corners of the square will be where your button holes will go. Use your 1/8'' hole punch to punch a hole at each corner. Stick your limo tint to your tape and punch the same holes in the tint. 

Step 4: Applying the Limo Tint

 The proper way to apply limo tint is to clean your surface, and then spray it with soapy water. This is such a small application, and you could probably do with just drizzling or dabbing soapy water on the lenses/plexiglass circles like I did.

Use 2 pieces of tape (one on each side of the limo tint circle) and pull the tint apart from the clear plastic it is sticking to. Put your tint sticky side down on your lens/plexiglass circle.

Try to get as many bubbles out as possible. If you are using a curved rx lens, there will be 'mountains' of tint. If you use the plexiglass, the tint will lay flat.

Use the heat gun to shrink the tint to the lens. If your tint shrivels up a lot or you don't like the way it came out, you can try again with new tint. 

Step 5: Adding the Edge/rim to the Button

 Get out your air dry clay and make some snakes out of it. 
Wrap the snake around the button eye and shape with your fingers. 
You should put more of the clay snake on the front of the lens and then pull it toward the rear. 
You'll have to keep shaping this with your fingers until you get a smooth edge and a smooth join. 
After it dries, I suggest using some sort of glaze or clear paint on the back of the clay to prevent it from coming off or melting if you sweat a lot. 

If you could find some rubber rings to fit snuggly against your lenses, I would recommend trying that. Smaller hardware stores sell individual rubber rings of various sizes. It would be perfect if you could find a rubber ring that was cut on the inside so that it would wrap around the lens. 

Edit: One thing I forgot to mention - Add a bit extra clay to the back of the button eye if you are using flat glass or plexiglass. Otherwise, the button will hit your eyelids/eyelashes depending on your eye shape. 

Step 6: How to Wear?

 My preferred method of applying the button eyes was with spirit gum. You need to see what parts of the button eye touch which part of your face (for me, I had the top, the bottom, and the side facing the nose). 

Put spirit gum where you want the button eyes to stick. WAIT until the spirit gum gets tacky and the solvent in it evaporates or you will get an eye full of fumes. 

If for some reason, you don't like the idea of spirit gum, or if you just can't get it to stick, I used cut-up Command strips for my friend. They stick pretty well and are easily removable. 

If your button eye gets spirit gum on it, either use the remover or some alcohol wipes to get it off. Don't bother removing it from the clay, you'll just end up dissolving the clay.



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37 Discussions


2 years ago

This is an amazing idea!!! They are perfect! Would you be interested in making a pair and selling them?


3 years ago

My best friend is having a 'cute as a button' themed baby shower next year, and I'm planning on making some of these for it. The kids will love it, thabks so much for the tutorial!


4 years ago on Introduction

Would this work if I used pre-cut circles of plexiglass?


4 years ago

i wear glasses and this would be an AWESOME project. i totally want to do this :-)


5 years ago on Introduction

This is great. My friend has been looking for something like this for a while. Definitely passing this along for the sake of Other Father.


5 years ago

Limo tint! Duh! Clever! Also @hollye the round sunglasses is good, combine with the rest of this would save you a few steps.

wolfybrieCircus Bear

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

The ones I buy off of zennioptical are good quality. After adding the tint, it's like wearing sunglasses, which is inconvenient indoors. Also, certain angles are better to look through than others and I believe I frequently forgot which eye was which because I didn't label them right away. Certainly not something that would be safe to drive with, but it was fine for walking around inside and outside, but a bit difficult to watch anime/movies that were screening at the time.


8 years ago on Step 2

Great idea. Thanks for the instructable.

Most important first - DON'T breathe in glass dust!
This is something that's not commonly understood as a danger / risk. But as an example, i remember a 'warning' sent to me by an archaeologist who used a grinder on a dig without a mask, just once, and shortened his life-span by about 10 years. He was cutting rock, but glass is the same thing (silica) and it's when tiny shards are created that it becomes a problem. If anyone would like more info, let me know, or look up 'silicosis'.

If you're getting fumes from the plastic of any kind (incl. perspex / plexiglass) then you're cutting it too fast. Try using a hand saw to cut a piece of roughly the right size and then sand it down to the perfect shape. (PS: depending on the plastic, the fumes from melting it can be very toxic.)

I know i sound like a nanny about the dangers, but it's the reality of what you're dealing with.

1 reply

Thankfully most glasses aren't made of glass nowadays, although I do have one friend who gets them specially made. It's all plastic. But still would be awful to breathe in any plastic dust.


8 years ago on Step 5

Hi, how did you get the clay to stick to the lenses? Maybe I'm using some rogue clay (same brand, crayola model magic) but it's very difficult to mould and it won't stick at all. :( great instructable though.

2 replies

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Disregard this comment- I found a way around using the clay by painting two layers of puff paint around the edges instead. :)


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

It was less 'stuck' than just molded around and left to dry. Didn't move at all after it was dry. Glad you got the puff paint to work though, I tried that at first but it was too runny for me (or I just used too much paint).


8 years ago on Introduction

I'm in the process of making these now for a voodoo doll costume for Halloween, and I just printed black discs (with 4 clear holes in the middle) onto clear plastic projector paper at work, rather than use the limo tint. Just in case you have free office supplies at your disposal. ;)


8 years ago on Introduction

I lov lov lov lov lov lov lov it! Coraline is legit!


8 years ago on Step 2

could you use a blank CD for the lenses cause they just cut with scissors and with a little sandpaper and friction their smooth as a new cadilac!


8 years ago on Introduction

Awsome idea and look! creepy and cool. now just to make a giant mechanical praying mantis-car...


8 years ago on Introduction

i cant wait to make them! did they ever fall of, even if you jump or run?