How to Safely Attach Safety Eyes to Your Projects

Understanding Safety Eyes

Safety Eyes

Safety eyes are used in crafting to make toys, dolls, and stuffed animals. These small plastic pieces, come with a back washer and are designed to keep children safe from small removable pieces that can pose a choking hazard. They come in various sizes and colors, and some designs even have eyelashes and varying shades of color to make the animal or toy seem more realistic. However, it is important to note that safety eyes are not suitable for children under three years old, who have a habit of putting things in their mouth.

When purchasing safety eyes, it is essential to match the size of the eyes with the project you are working on. Using the wrong size can result in bulging eyes or an awkward appearance which can spoil the final look of the toy. Safety eyes come in different sizes such as 6 mm, 9 mm, and 12 mm. However, it is important to note that the diameter of the safety eye refers to the plastic bezel, and not the size of the iris when the eye is attached. It is therefore essential to check the iris diameter specification when purchasing safety eyes to ensure it fits the design of the project.

Another important aspect to consider when attaching safety eyes is the stem length. The stem refers to the length of the shaft from the back of the eye to the base of the washer. The stem length is crucial, as it needs to be long enough to accommodate the thickness of the fabric or material used for the project. The thickness of the fabric or material determines the length of the stem required. Before cutting a hole in your project, it is essential to check the thickness of the material with the supplier’s specifications to avoid spoiling the material or having to re-cut the fabric to accommodate the stem.

Suppliers of safety eyes usually provide a washer with each set of safety eyes. When attaching the safety eye, the washer should be placed on the stem before pushing it through the fabric. Once the eye has been poked through the fabric, the second washer should be placed on the stem, then the excess stem can be trimmed. It is vital to ensure that the washer is tightly attached to prevent the plastic eye from becoming loose and exposing the stem, which can be hazardous to children and can also result in the toy losing its eye.

When attaching safety eyes, one should be mindful of the placement, as incorrect positioning can result in the toy losing its character. Safety eyes have a self-locking mechanism that makes them safe and secure. The washer keeps the eye in place, and the locking mechanism prevents the eye from detaching. Proper placement of safety eyes enhances the final product. When attaching safety eyes, one should ensure that they are level and centered for that perfect look.

In conclusion, safety eyes are essential for toy and stuffed animal makers. They come in various sizes and colors that allow the crafter to make their design appear realistic or fun depending on the character they want to achieve. When attaching safety eyes, one should be mindful of the size, stem length, placement, and attached washer. These factors play a crucial role in producing a well-made toy that is safe for children to play with.

Materials Needed for Attaching Safety Eyes

safety eyes for stuffies

When crafting stuffed animals or amigurumi, safety eyes are a wonderful way to add character and dimension to your creation. However, attaching safety eyes requires the right tools and materials to ensure the eyes stay securely in place.

1. Safety Eyes

safety eyes

The first item you need is, of course, the safety eyes themselves. Safety eyes are specially designed with a locking mechanism that prevent them from falling out or becoming a choking hazard for children. These eyes come in a variety of sizes and colors to suit every project. When choosing a size, consider the size of your project and the age of the person who will be playing with it.

2. Eye Backings

eye backings

Eye backings are an essential component of safety eyes. These tiny plastic washers sit on the back of the eye stem and provide additional support to keep the eyes from falling out. When purchasing safety eyes, ensure that they come with matching backings. Alternatively, you can purchase generic eye backings that fit a range of sizes if you plan on using a variety of safety eyes.

It is important to note that not all safety eyes require backings. Some larger safety eyes have a molded plastic backing as part of the eye itself, eliminating the need for a separate backing.

3. Needle Nose Pliers

needle nose pliers

Needle nose pliers are a versatile tool that come in handy when attaching safety eyes. These pliers have a long, narrow nose that can grip onto small objects like eye stems. Use needle nose pliers to insert the eye stem through the fabric and then to attach the backing onto the stem. Needle nose pliers can also be useful for pulling out the stem if you make a mistake.

4. Fabric Pen or Chalk

fabric pen

Before attaching safety eyes, it can be helpful to mark the placement of the eyes on your project. A fabric pen or chalk can be used to draw a small dot where each eye should go. This will help ensure that your eyes are evenly spaced and at the same height. Just be sure to choose a pen or chalk that can be easily removed or that will fade away in time.

5. Stuffing Tool or Pencil

pencil stuffing

Lastly, when attaching safety eyes, it is important to avoid overstuffing your project. Too much stuffing can make it difficult to attach the eyes, and can cause the eyes to pop out later. A stuffing tool or pencil can be used to gently push the stuffing away from the eye placement area, making it easier to insert the eye stem and attach the backing.

Attaching safety eyes can seem like a daunting task, but with the right materials and tools, it can be a breeze. Take your time and follow the instructions carefully to ensure a safe and secure attachment.

Proper Placement for Safety Eyes

Proper Placement for Safety Eyes

When it comes to attaching safety eyes to your crochet or knit amigurumi, proper placement is crucial. This not only improves the look of your amigurumi but also ensures that the eyes are securely attached, preventing any potential choking hazards. Here are some tips on how to properly place safety eyes:

1. Measure and Mark

Before you begin attaching the safety eyes, it’s important to measure and mark where you want them to be. Use a ruler or measuring tape to determine the exact placement and make a small dot or mark with a washable pen or marker.

2. Create a Hole

Using a sharp pair of scissors or a yarn needle, create a small hole where you made your mark. Make sure the hole is not too big, as this can cause the safety eye to come loose and pose a choking hazard.

3. Inserting the Eye

The next step is to insert the safety eye. Grab the post of the safety eye and push it through the hole, from the front of your amigurumi to the back. Once the post is through the hole, you can secure the eye in place by adding the washer or using a safety stopper.

While there’s no universal rule when it comes to placing safety eyes, there are some guidelines you can follow to make sure your amigurumi looks great and is safe for children of all ages:

A. Placement on the Head

For amigurumi with round heads, place the eyes approximately two-thirds of the way up the head. This gives the amigurumi a cute and whimsical look while also ensuring that the eyes are not too close together or too far apart.

B. Placement on the Body

When it comes to placing safety eyes on the body of your amigurumi, it depends on the size and shape of your design. As a general rule, place the eyes on the upper third of a long or thin body, and in the middle of a round or short body.

C. Placement on Different Species

Keep in mind that the placement of safety eyes can vary between different amigurumi species. For example, placing the eyes closer together on a crocodile or alligator design can make them look more ferocious. On the other hand, placing the eyes wider apart on a bunny or bear design can make them look cuter and more innocent.

By following these guidelines and using your own creativity, you can achieve a perfectly placed and securely attached set of safety eyes on your amigurumi!

How to Attach Safety Eyes Securely

safety eye attachment

Adding safety eyes is an essential aspect of making stuffed toys, amigurumi and dolls, these small round plastic parts make the toys more attractive and captivating for children. Although safety eyes look relatively easy to attach, doing it with precision is crucial in ensuring your toy’s durability. Therefore, we have compiled some tips for attaching safety eyes securely.

1. Before Attaching Safety Eyes

Before you start to attach the safety eyes, it would be best to make a marking on where you want to place the safety eyes’ stems. You can use a marker pen, pencil, or just your finger to create an indentation to ensure both eyes are in the right place.

It is advisable to choose an appropriate size and shape of safety eyes that best match the toy or doll you are creating to achieve the desired effect. For small decorative toys, safety eyes measuring between 6-10 mm would be suitable, while large toys take 12-24 mm.

2. How to Attach The Safety Eyes

The process of attaching safety eyes involves penetrating the fabric with the stem on the safety eye. However, the fabric may bulge, tear, or stretch when inserting the stem if you do not have a suitable tool to create a hole.

To avoid such mishaps, use a pointed tool or scissors to make a small hole as deep and wide as the stem. It would be best to make a small hole at first and widen the hole until the stem fits properly.

Once the hole is ready, position the safety eye on top of the fabric and insert the stem on the opposite side of the toy. Gently poke the stem through the fabric until it comes out through the other end. Repeat the process on the other eye and ensure they are securely fastened by tugging gently on each eye.

3. Finishing the Attachment

After attaching the safety eyes, it is advisable to use a safety washer to secure them. A safety washer prevents the stem from coming out by holding it tightly on the inside of the toy.

To attach the safety washer, insert the eye’s stem through the center of the washer’s open end, grasp it from the inside and then gently pull it outward until it snaps into position.

Ensure the safety washers sit flat and cover the entire stem’s length. Repeat the process on the other eye and ensure they are correctly placed by gently tugging on the eyes.

4. Alternative Techniques for Attaching Safety Eyes

knitted doll with safety eyes

There are other alternative techniques to attach safety eyes more securely, depending on the materials you are using and the preference of the toy maker. These techniques include:

  • Using Embroidery Thread: You can attach safety eyes with embroidery thread by looping the thread around the eye, then through the fabric on the opposite end, and tying it in a knot. Repeat the process, then tie a knot on the inside of the toy.
  • Using a Crochet Circle: If you are using crocheted items, you can attach the safety eye by creating a small circle using a crochet hook and securing it onto the fabric. Insert the eye’s stem into the circle and then cut off the excess fabric from the inside of the toy.
  • Using Fabric Glue: You can also use a fabric glue like E600 to attach the safety eyes. In this case, place a small amount of glue on the back of the safety eye and position it on the fabric. Hold it in place for a few seconds to ensure it sticks, then repeat the process on the other eye.

Regardless of the attachment technique you choose, it would be best to test it on scrap fabric to ensure the eyes are securely attached and will not pose a choke hazard for children.


Attaching safety eyes securely is vital in making sure your stuffed toys or dolls can withstand relentless tugging and pulling from playful children. With the right tools, techniques, and materials, you can proudly showcase your creations with captivating safety eyes sharply and safely attached.

Additional Tips for Working with Safety Eyes

tips on working with safety eyes

When creating amigurumi or other stuffed toys, safety eyes are a convenient and safe way to add dimension to the faces of your projects. They also save a lot of time and effort compared to crochet or embroidery. However, attaching them can be tricky. Here are some additional tips for working with safety eyes:

1. Choose the Right Size

different sizes of safety eyes

The size of the safety eyes you use will depend on the size of your toy. Make sure to choose the appropriate size so your toy doesn’t look disproportionate. However, keep in mind that the stem may be too long and poke out of the backside. You can cut it down to size with wire cutters or sturdy scissors.

2. Secure Before Snapping

attaching safety eyes to amigurumi

Before snapping the backing onto the safety eye stem, it’s a good idea to secure the eye in place. Hold the eye in position and use a removable fabric marker, safety pin, or piece of tape to mark where the back is going to sit. Then, remove the eye and make a small hole where you marked. This will help guide the backing onto the stem.

3. Use a Thimble

using a thimble

Some safety eyes can be tough to snap onto their stem, especially if the fabric is thick or dense. Protect your fingers by using a thimble to push the backing onto the stem. This will save your fingertips from getting sore or bruised and also provide more stability and control when attaching the eyes.

4. Adjust the Placement

placement of safety eyes on amigurumi

Before attaching the second safety eye, take a step back and evaluate the placement of the first one. Make sure they’re symmetrical and at the right height. You can adjust the placement by gently wiggling the stem or pulling it out and repositioning it. Once you’re happy with the location, snap on the backing.

5. Add a Pop of Color

colorful safety eyes

If you want to add a fun touch to your amigurumi, try using safety eyes in different colors or shapes. They come in a variety of colors and some even have printed designs. Colorful and unique safety eyes can really make your toy stand out and add personality to your creation.

By following these tips, attaching safety eyes to your amigurumi or stuffed toys will be a breeze. Remember to choose the right size, secure before snapping, use a thimble, adjust the placement, and add a pop of color to make your project come to life. Happy creating!

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