How To Make Clay Eyeballs?

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Clay has many uses, and you can fully enhance your creativity with it. When making realistic clay figurines of animals or people, you must add equally lifelike eyes that complete your sculpture and make its face look natural.


Buying ready-made eyes for figures online can be a hassle whenever you sculpt something. So, in this article, we will learn about clay eyeballs and how you can make your own.


What Are Clay Eyeballs?

Clay eyeballs are artificial eyes usually made out of polymer clay. You can sculpt them separately from your main creation and add them into the eye sockets when you finish them.


For specific figurines, you will form eyelids around the inserted eyes and add eyelashes for a more natural effect. The irises of clay eyeballs may be painted or beaded, offering various customization options.


Steps To Make Clay Eyeballs

Here are the steps you can follow to make clay eyeballs.


1. Choosing The Dimensions

The size and shape of your clay eyeballs will entirely depend on where you will use them. Analyze the proportions of your figurine and calculate how big you need the eyes to be.


Ensure you have left enough space in the figure to fit the eyes. The eyeballs can also be perfectly round or flattened at the back, depending on your requirements.


Once you have decided on the shape and size of the eyeballs, note it down somewhere, so you don’t forget.


2. Shaping The Polymer Clay

Use your hands to roll two spheres out of polymer clay. This step is critical, and you must ensure that the two balls are almost the same size. They should also be evenly shaped.


So, take your time in this step and look at the clay from different angles to find any deformities. After a point, stop rolling them in your hand and look for the small bumps and grooves you can remove by gently dabbing your fingertips.


If you want slightly flattened eyeballs, press them gently against a solid surface. Remember to flatten only the back side and not the front of the eyes.


3. Adding The Irises

You can add the irises to your clay eyeballs using two different methods, which are as follows.


A. Inserting A Bead

Opt for this method to create more cartoonish eyes for your sculpture. You can use safety beads or half beads for this step.


Press the beads gently into the eye. After you have created a depression in the polymer, remove the beads and add glue to them. Now, put them back on the groove in the eyeball and ensure that the glue is dry before you start baking.


B. Painting

If you choose this method for more realistic eyeballs, note that you should do it after baking. So, read that step first and then come back to this.


After baking and cooling the eyeballs, take a thin brush and paint a small circle with acrylic paint. It will be your eyeball’s pupil, and it is tiny. Ideally, the pupil should occupy one-fourth of the area you see when you look at one face of the ball.


Now, add the iris. You can paint a circle around the pupils with enamel in the color of your choice. Add flecks to the iris to create a natural-looking eye using a slightly darker or lighter shade of your chosen color.


Coat the sphere in clear nail polish to give them a glassy finish that resembles natural eyes.


4. Baking

Stick two pins vertically into a piece of extra clay. Now, gently mount the clay eyeballs onto the pins. It ensures that the surface of the eyeballs is evenly baked and they do not deform under their weight.


Place this set on a glass dish and put it into the oven. Set the temperature and time per the directions on your polymer clay container. After it is over, take them out of the range and set them out to cool.


What Are The Uses Of Clay Eyeballs?

Clay eyeballs are versatile. They are essential in various types of art. Additionally, they may have recreational uses. Check out the table below to learn the different purposes of clay eyeballs.


Domains of Use

Uses Of Clay Eyeballs

Figurine Crafts
Clay eyeballs add realism to the figurines, and their glassy finish can result in stunning eyes. The colors that you can use in the iris are also limitless.
Soft Toys
Certain soft toys in the market have large, shiny eyes to entice the hearts of adults and children alike. These eyes are made by drawing large, sparkly irises on clay eyes. Simpler animal eyes can also be made using tiny beads.
Theater and Film
A play or a movie may require artificial creatures and props, and CGI may not always be adequate or within the budget. Clay eyeballs are used in such cases.
Abstract Art
Many artists create meaningful abstract art using clay that uses eyes to symbolize different meanings or unsettle the viewer. Clay eyeballs are perfect for these purposes.
During Halloween, many spooky decorations in the market use clay eyeballs to add to the effect. Additionally, some cultures believe that using eyes to decorate parts of the house can ward off negativity.



Why Is Polymer Clay The Best Material To Make Eyeballs?

So far, you have read about how to make eyeballs out of polymer clay. However, there are other materials that you can use for the same purpose. You can use glass, cabochons, and aquarium beads to make synthetic eyes.


Among these, polymer clay is your best option because it offers a degree of customizing and realism that the others do not. When using glass, you buy the beads or cabochons in premade sizes, and you may not always find the right shape. Furthermore, they give the eyeballs a particular texture that makes them slightly unrealistic. On the other hand, you can roll polymer clay into any size or shape you need, giving it a glossy and lifelike finish.


There is no need to search for suitable glass beads online. You can purchase polymer clay once and use it to make several eyes. In this regard, Sculpey White Non-Toxic Polymer Clay is your best choice. It is high-quality and non-toxic, and buyers have testified that it is easy to use regardless of skill level.




Clay eyeballs complete your art projects. You can style and shape them according to what fits your project, and they are durable and attractive. Now that you have learned how to make clay eyes, you can start experimenting with designs and colors and improve with practice.

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