Everything you need to know about safety eyes for amigurumi and crochet dolls
If you’re new to amigurumi or making crochet dolls, figuring out how to use and where to buy safety eyes can be a challenge. You also have to decide between all of the amigurumi eye options – embroidered, crocheted or safety eyes.
Safety eyes are the easiest option, especially for beginner amigurumi crocheters. In this post, I explain all of the crochet doll eye options and tell you everything you need to know about safety eyes. Click here to jump to the photo tutorial for how to install safety eyes onto your crochet doll.
If you have any questions about amigurumi eyes, leave a comment and I’ll answer it!
Click the links below to jump right to each section!
- Amigurumi Eye Options
- Benefits of Using Safety Eyes
- Sizes and Types of Safety Eyes
- Where to Buy Safety Eyes
- How to Use Safety Eyes
Amigurumi Eye Options
Safety eyes are one of several eye options for your amigurumi. Below are the most commonly used techniques for putting eyes on your stuffed crochet doll. You can choose which method is perfect for you!
Safety eyes are the most commonly used eyes for stuffed dolls and animals. They are widely available online and super simple to use. For more info like where to buy and how to use them, keep reading this post!
Embroidered eyes are by far my favorite! They are the safest for babies (along with crocheted eyes), you need fewer materials to do them, and they give your dolls the most personality. But they take a lot of practice to master, so I wouldn’t recommend starting with embroidered eyes. You’ll likely still need to embroider a nose and/or mouth on your doll. Check out my tutorial on embroidering eyes, nose, and mouth on amigurumi here!
Another unique option is crocheting the eyes for your dolls. I’ve never used this technique myself, but you can make really cute eyes just by crocheting them! Here is a tutorial by Stephanie from Grace and Yarn on how to crochet eyes that look like black safety eyes. And this tutorial by Jennifer from Squirrel Picnic (picture above) shows how you can make crochet eyes with an eyelid!
Beads for Eyes
I love the look of black beads for small amigurumi. Crochet designer Lauren Bergstrom of Móhu does this look the best! To use beads for eyes, you would just stitch them on using embroidery floss or sewing thread. I wouldn’t recommend beads for eyes if you’re making a doll or toy for a child because they could easily pull or bite the beads off. But this option would be an easy one for beginners, too.
Benefits of Using Safety Eyes
- They’re easy to use – Safety eyes are by far the easiest option of the bunch. All you have to do is stick them into your crochet, add the backer and they are done! They require the least practice and skill to look good, unlike crocheted or embroidered eyes.
- Widely available – You can find most sizes online. They are a little trickier to find in store, so I would recommend shopping for them online only. Click here to jump to the “Where to Buy” section below for my favorite places to get safety eyes.
- Inexpensive – Safety eyes come in packs that are relatively inexpensive. I will warn you though, there’s a lot of low-quality eyes being sold on Amazon with around 100 pairs for $6. These super cheap safety eyes DON’T stay on your work or will break.
- Look cute – Safety eyes in the right size and right spot on your doll look perfectly cute!
- Safe for older kids – While crocheted or embroidered eyes are the safest option, high-quality safety eyes will stay on your amigurumi even with wash and wear. Safety eyes have a backing washer that keeps the eye from coming off of your doll. But if your amigurumi is going to a child under 3, it’s best to stick to embroidered or crocheted eyes.
Sizes and Types of Safety Eyes
You can find a variety of eye styles for your amigurumi. My favorite, besides plain black eyes, are the cat eyes! I used cat eyes for my Happy Cat pattern (coming soon to the blog!). You can find eyes available in any color – even sparkly!
Safety eyes also come in a large variety of sizes. Because I like making very small amigurumi, I prefer the small 6mm and 8mm sizes best. The size you use will depend on how large your amigurumi is. My advice would be to grab a few pairs of several different sized eyes and try them out on your work. Then when you find a size you love, order more!
A safety eye consists of 2 pieces – a post, which is the actual eye part, and a backer or washer, which is the piece that goes inside your doll. Washers are usually made of plastic, but sometimes metal. I prefer the plastic washer because it is less sharp inside your amigurumi.
Where to buy safety eyes
6060 Eyes – This Etsy shop is my favorite place to buy eyes. They only sell high quality eyes and they have a large variety of eye types and sizes. Really easy to navigate and straightforward options.
GlassEyesOnLine – For the largest assortment of safety eyes and speciality eyes, this is the shop for you. GlassEyesOnLine is another Etsy shop that stocks every type of eye for every kind of dollmaking. They have some fun sparkly options that they handpaint!
Amazon – Amazon is a very convenient option. But be weary of very inexpensive safety eyes – they are usually poor quality and likely to break or fall out of your stuffed toy. I usually buy the Darice brand from Amazon because I’ve used them before and I know they are good quality. Here are the sizes I usually buy: 6mm, 8mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm, and 24-34mm.
How to use safety eyes
Using safety eyes is really simple. All you have to do is plot where you want them on your stuffed doll (sometimes a crochet pattern will tell you where the eyes should go), stick the post between stitches, and put the washer on the back to secure. Another key point is that you need to insert and secure the eyes before you finish crocheting and stuffing.
Make sure you like the placement of the eyes BEFORE installing the washer. Once you attach the washer, it is very difficult to remove it. You can remove the backing washer with pliers, but you won’t be able to reuse the washer part. Finally, make sure you don’t make your washer too tight or it will pucker the crochet fabric.
Check out the video and photo tutorials below to learn how to do it!