Puppet Making: How to Make Puppet Eyes

The “magic triangle” is what is known in the puppet world as the perfect placement of the eyes in relationship to the puppet nose and mouth hence why having a great set of puppet eyes is important. During the early days of the Muppet Studios chief architect, Don Sahlin, was the one who placed the eyes on the puppets. Jim Henson talked about this process, “It would be the last thing [Sahlin] would do, and he always wanted me there, to make sure it was right for both of us — making sure the eyes had a point of focus, because without that you had no character.”

Let’s delve into how to make your own puppet eyes.

PuppetEyesSupplies

Puppet eye making supplies

Supplies:

Blank puppet eyes

Felt or fur material (you pick your colors)

Felt dots or black magic marker

Scissors

Hot glue gun

Flat spray paint (optional)

Step 1:

After purchasing your puppet eyes, whether it is dome, eclipse or circle you have the option to keep the eyes white or spray paint them any color you want. I always advise flat paint to avoid glare on your puppet eyes when filming.

PuppetEyesSprayPaint

Try to use matte paint if for film to avoid glare

 

Step 2:

Cut out your felt or fur to your desired lengths, always cut more than the front side of your eyes because you need to wrap your material around your eyes. Cut two sets; one for the main color of your eye and a thinner one for your eyelashes.

PuppetEyesSets

All the needed supplies

 

 

 

 

 

 

PuppetEyesCut

Use any color you want

Cutting Tip: After cutting your first piece of material use that piece as a pattern to cut your second piece.

 

 

 

Step 3: 

Use your hot glue gun to attach the material and place them onto your puppet eye. I always do my main color eye first and then the eye lashes, it has always been easier for me this way.

PuppetEyesMaterial

Notice how the material is curved up to give a more realistic eye

Step 4:

A lot of people put the pupil on next, I have learned that it is easier to match the pupils when your eyes are on a puppet already. You would either attach you puppet eyes with the backing or place velcro on it like I do. I use velcro so I can change the eye of my puppets regularly.

PuppetEyesVelcro

You can glue the eye if for permeant use

Step 5:

Add the pupils by placing on the felt dots in place, you can also cut out your own felt dots if you desire.

PuppetCreateEyes

You can also paint your pupils on if desired

If you need to find blank puppet eyes just type in the words, “where to buy blank puppet eyes” into Google and it will give you stores. These stores rotate being live and offsite regularly so I do not want to give you a link that may be broken in a month. Good luck making your puppet eyes and if you want to see our puppets in action check out iSpotSanta.com.

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