Pauline gave us a free “Trunk Up” Elephant Pattern earlier this week. Now she’s back with six great options for sewing toy eyes. Pauline designs soft toy patterns and creates original softies at Funky Friends Factory. Learn more about Pauline in her introduction, and don’t forget about the special offer for Sew Mama Sew readers: 25% OFF all of the Funky Friends Factory PDF toy patterns with the Coupon Code SEWMAMASEW. (One week only, cannot be combined with other offers and not available for bulk orders.)
Here are six super cute options for toy eyes. If you are NEW to sewing soft toys I would recommend you experiment and try them all!
1. Embroidered Eyes
I used black embroidery thread to hand sew the eyes for my Trunk Up Elephants. This kind of eye will be baby safe (nothing to choke on!) but you may need a bit of practice as your stitching needs to be neat or the eyes can look messy and even crooked! Practice on a scrap of muslin (calico) until you get the hang of it.
Buttons are great because they are easy to find. You may not need to buy new ones if you can re-purpose some buttons from an old piece of clothing. Here is my No Sock Sock Monkey with some buttons I stole off an old skirt I no longer fit into! These are NOT baby-safe. Buttons should only be used for children older than three years old.
You can use beads for eyes too. This is my FREE Honey Teddy Pattern with ¼ inch (6mm) black beads sewn on for eyes. If you like to sew toys for charity you can find out more about the Honey Teddy and the Billion Bears Charity Drive here. Beads also look good as they refect light and give the toy a “twinkle in the eye.” They are very easy for a child to chew off so you should rather use embroidered eyes for children under three.
Felt is great for eyes as it is so easy to work with and easy to find. You can use synthetic felt or wool felt which is better quality and will last longer without pilling. You can use a non-toxic fabric glue to hold the felt in place, but I like to stitch the eyes to the toy by embroidering the felt with a blanket stitch. This is safe for babies!
5. Fleece Eyes
You can make eyes from fleece scraps. I love making these googly eyes and a lot of my toy patterns have googly eyes! They look hard to do BUT they’re easy when you know how! I have a How to Make Googly Eyes photo tutorial on my blog. If you want to make these safe for babies too you can embroider the black pupils instead of using beads.
6. Craft Eyes
I use craft eyes a lot as they are quick and easy! They are great because they come in lots of shapes and sizes but they are NOT baby-safe because they can be a choking hazard. You can use them if the toy is for a child over the age of three.
Check out all of Pauline’s toy sewing patterns on her Funky Friends Factory website and Etsy!