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How to Make Eyes from Spoons  (Read 34336 times)
Gabriel G
« on: September 01, 2008, 01:56:27 pm »

I'm going to share a technique I recently learned on making eyes from spoons and other easy to find materials. I want to share this for all of you to benefit from what I've learned and hopefully won't have trouble with spoon eyes anymore! I used to have trouble making eyes from spoons, I couldn't stand using them because it always had an ugly end that had to be covered in some way and I couldn't just use the spoon uncovered.
This technique is what I learned from Carrie Murphy, those of you that know about Christian Puppetry or I-Fest know she's amazing as a builder, puppeteer and more importantly, as a Christian minister. Hopefully you find this helpful! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

1) I bought these spoons at the Dollar Tree and at Walmart. Try to stock up on different sized spoons with different shapes so you have more options when making a puppet. However, I try to stay away from the spoons with ridges on the edges, just because it's harder to smooth them down.

For the pupils, my two favorites are Googley Eyes and Black Buttons.

2) I use stainless steel scissors when cutting the handle off,

if you do it slowly you can elimate getting too much of the handle and can already start to give the eye its shape.

3) Next, I use a nail file to shape the eyes. I tried sand paper before I learned this technique and it just wouldn't work for me. Nail Files [also called Emery Boards] have two different sides, the dark side is for Shaping and the light side is for Finishing.

I use the dark side to shape away until I get a nice shape and the smooth it off with the light side and voila! Beautiful eye shape that doesn't scream SPOON. [The top one still has the ridge on it, I didn't file it down completely out of laziness, it's there for photo purposes]

4) Now for the pupils! Personally, I DESPISE googly eyes with a PASSION! Eerrrr.. sorry.. Anyways off my rant,
I do, however, buy different sized googley eyes for a reason. I cut off the plastic eye shape and harvest the perfectly round pupil!

Another way to do the pupil is with black buttons. I buy the ones that are slightly rounded and have no design but are smooth and glossy. It gives the eyes a nice finish. To get rid of the back, I cut it off with my trusty scissors as close as I can to the button. Then I file away wit the dark side of the nail file and smooth it off with the light side.

5) Finally I just hot glue the pupil in place, as most of you probably know, try to make the eyes slightly cross-eyed as it gives them puppet amazing focus. Play around with the eyes until its just right.
If I want to give the eyes eyelids or eyelashes I cut them from foamies, sticky felt and scraps of antron fleece. I trace the eye shape on the side that WON'T show and draw and cut the shape I need.
Here are the finished eyes.

I'm still experimenting with this so its a learning experience for us all.

And finally, here are some cool work-in-progress of the beautiful puppets Carrie made for the Dream Team Performance "The Squire and the Scroll". They were ALL made from spoons and buttons. Enjoy!
« Last Edit: September 01, 2008, 01:59:47 pm by gdub106, Reason: Added Pictures »
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 02:17:20 pm »

Thanks!  I have used spoons before, but I like the look of the ones you are showing here.  I like the idea of using the nail files, I'm always looking for sand paper.  All I had to do was look in my purse, duh Smiley  Thanks for the pictures... we love pictures here.

« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 02:21:00 pm »

The puppets are so cute.

Toon Asylum
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2008, 03:16:19 pm »

Great job...Thanks for sharing.
Also a tip for the guys out there(if you don't have a nail file in your purse like angel...LOL)
You can use the manly Dremel tool!!!!

Nice tutorial Gdub!!!  very easy to follow and loved all the pics!

« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2008, 05:59:45 pm »

I hadn't thought of harvesting a pupil from a google eye! Clever!
I too like you samples.
I use a belt sander on my spoons.  Ever try the belt sander on your fingernails?
Not a good idea.  The scar on my thumb nail has almost healed.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 07:40:01 pm »

Wonderfull! Absolutely excellent!! I never thought to use the googly eye pupals for eye dots or the buttons. I adore your idea and love to learn something new. Thank you!

StiqPuppet Productions
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2008, 08:11:17 pm »

Great little tutorial...it is always neat to learn something new....thanks! Wink

Daryl H
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2008, 08:13:34 pm »

Wicked...I'm going to try that technique on my next dragon!!

« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2008, 09:09:56 pm »

THANKS!!  It is nice to see how others do spoon eyes!  I never thought of using the black buttons as pupils!
Gabriel G
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2008, 11:18:11 pm »

@Angel Thank you! And yeah, it saves time for you!

@ToonAsylum You're welcome! And I don't have a dremel unfortunately, I felt really weird when I went to WalMart to buy a pack of nail files!! LOL But Glad you like the tutorial!

@puppetlady Hehe thanks! It finally gives them a purpose! And thanks. And I don't have very many power tools so I thought a nail file was great since I found they're pretty cheap [and I just found a pack in my parent's bathroom so i know where to go if i run out!!]
And gaaah I'll be sure to never try that!

@DrPuppet Thanks I'm extremely glad [and flattered] a builder as amazing as you was able to learn something from this! And you're welcome =D

@stigman Thanks and No Problem!

@Rcdspoon Great, be sure to send me some pictures!

@LJ You're welcome =D Now go out and buy some buttons!
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2008, 01:13:46 am »

I made an eye to saw a normal button on the puppet and on the dreads a glued a round black piece of filt. It looks great..(when I have time today I make a photo of the two puppets) I didn't know then that you have to use shinny black material for the pupil but it works the same
Wisers Mom
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2008, 10:09:07 am »

I have bought soooo many spoons,now I how to use them!
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2008, 01:14:27 pm »

Here's a thought.  layer your eyes.  First the spoon, then a colored disc for the outer edge of the pupil and then a shiney black button or the circle from a googly eye.  This might geive a little more punch and character to to your spoon eye.  i may try that on a puppet I'm working on now.
Chris Arveson
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2008, 05:53:05 pm »

I've been working on one of the puppets for December, a poodle dog. I read about using plastic spoons in the Foam Book, but it never really grabbed me. Your tutorial inspired me to give it a shot, especially since I didn't have any pre-made eyes at hand that I wanted to use.


I did have a couple teddy bear type eyes, so that's what I used for pupils. I used the fur that his face and body are made of for eyelids to shape the eye and take away a little of the "spooniness."

It wasn't hard, because I have one of those nifty little Dremel critters. I used that to cut off the handle, then sand the spoon into shape. I also used it to drill a pilot hole for the teddy bear eye post, before I used a full sized drill and bit to finish the hole.

I still need to trim some of the fur around his eyes, but otherwise I kind of like it. What do you think?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2008, 05:55:01 pm »

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