I have realized it is going to take a while to finish this BJD doll (big surprise) and so I am breaking up my progress posts into more bite-sized morsels. Today’s cautionary tale is about how much time and effort you can sink into making your own doll eyes. Answer: a lot.
My 1:12 scale doll had about a 2mm opening for each eye, meaning I had to get a little creative instead of spending $6 on a pair of commercial eyes. I first took a 4mm bead and reamed the hole to the size of the pupil I wanted with a file. I packed the hole with polymer clay and shaped it to have a slight recess as a guideline for where to paint. I baked the clay and made a silicone mold of this “eye” shape (the blue blob on the tile) so I could cast identical eyes out of white clay as many times as I needed (the white blobs on the tile).
After a sanding, the blanks were ready for sticking to double-sided tape and coloring with a set of $3 acrylic paints my husband found at Big Lots, along with some iridescent GOLDEN paint for extra sparkle. It ended up making a pair of constantly glowing, unearthly eyes, and so I wouldn’t recommend the iridescence unless you want a vampire, werewolf, or other fantasy character. Aria is just going to have to deal with having night vision.
The last part was applying a protective layer of two-part resin. I glued the eyes to the heads of sewing pins and dripped the resin from above, letting gravity create an even coat. Once cured, I cut the eyes off of the pins and sanded them down so they could fit in their little sockets.
Next time, the epic faceup!