Creating your own doll eyes for American Girl and other 18" dolls is so much fun! Here's a quick tutorial to get you started with our Paint Your Own blank open/close doll eyes.
You'll need tweezers to help hold the tiny eye pieces in place throughout the process.
For your convenience, we've included optional glue-on black pupils for the eyes. If you prefer, you can paint your own size, color or shape pupil (or use no pupil at all) but these make it easier to get a nice more evenly sized pupil for both eyes.
To attach the pupils, simply squeeze a tiny dot of clear-drying super glue on the back of the glass iris (the flat side), then place the pupil black-side down (using tweezers) onto the glue and press gently with the tip of the tweezers so there are no air bubbles.
Use a Q-tip to swipe any glue from around the pupil out toward the edges of the iris. Using tweezers to hold the iris still while you do this is helpful. Let the glue dry completely.
Next, you're ready to paint! Simply paint your design on the back of the iris around the pupil!
If you find the glass too slippery to paint the necessary details, prep it with a thin layer of clear varnish or add some textile medium to your paint.
You can use acrylic paint and many other paints or materials. Experiment with what you like best! Try metallic paint for a shimmery pearl appearance or glitter for some sparkle.
Make sure your design is thinly painted on. You don't want thick layers as this may prevent the iris from fitting into the eyeball properly.
When your design is dry, seal it with a thin layer of clear varnish, let dry completely, and then glue it into the eyeball with a thin layer of super glue or your preferred glue of choice. Make sure the glass iris edges align with the plastic ridge of the eyeball all the way around so that your eye will open and close properly. If the iris sticks up too far from the eyeball, it will prevent the eye from opening and closing properly.
After you've glued the iris in and it has dried, you can polish the iris and white part of the eye with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove any paint or glue residue. Avoid getting any on the eyelid or eyelashes.
When you're finished, post your creations in our VIP group to share!