Friday, September 27, 2013

Tales Of Trial and Terror: Diary Of A Copy Cat.

I am crazy over the new eyeball trend... crazy, I say!
Meagan Kyla over at Coffin Kitsch has only intensified that extreme desire to own these goodies with her recent posts.

In the past, when I was selling my wares, the eyeball hair flowers and skull bows were one of my biggest hits. But this renewed hairbow trend has opened up an aspect of detail that never occurred to me, and adds oodles of dimensions to the otherwise planar surface. They utilize the beauty of the doll eye, which is readily available where ever you can find doll making supplies; a quick google search for 'doll eyes' yielded this supplier with a wonderful array of doll eyes in a few sizes: Enchanted Doll Eyes, but as a note, I've never shopped there, so I cannot vouch for the vendor.

Anywho-- as far as I understand, eyeball hairbows in particular are trending pretty strongly in Asian countries, such as Korea and Japan. This certain type of hairbow seems to be most available to us North American buyers either through Ebay or Kreepsville.

I'm faaaar too cheap to buy anything that simplistic, but it's so cute it merits the effort to attempt to make them-- ala, knock off. Shhh, keep it on the DL.

Source: Aliexpress

It should be said that the supplies for such a task is not cheaper if you're planning on making just a sole pair of hairbows. The price of the supplies totals roughly $47-- let's say $50.00 for good measure; a single pair from Kreepsville will run you $19, (ball parking shipping at about $5.00-- exaggerated slightly again to be sure) $20 to make it even. So say you planned on making a plethora of colors? This would mean you'll only have to make 3 pairs to break even.

The only thing purchased new in this lot was the hair snaps and the sculpey oven baked clay-- a total of about $9.00 from Walmart. The rest was what I already had; if you want a rough (slightly rounded up) price break down, here ya go:

  • Modge Podge-- I believe I purchased for about $5.00. Ideally you'll want an actual polymer gloss glaze, and it's about $5.00 too 
  • Acrylic paints-- assuming you just get the primaries and black and white is about $1 a bottle; so about $5.00
  • Specialized duct tape-- depending where you go, it could be cheaper or more expensive, mine was $8. (I went the expensive route cause I could not wait at that time of purchase)
  • Glue gun-- I bought mine with a coupon, I don't remember the original price, but I bought mine for about $7.00.
  • Resin or in my case model water-- $13. We have long been planning on building the U.S.S Constitution on water... that is why we have it. Ideally you want liquid polymer clay, and that'll run for roughly $10
I'm not going to include the palette, baby powder and measuring spoons because I'm just going to assume that somewhere in the household there is something similar-- if not, then it's super duper cheap to get them at the dollar store. 

In the beginning of the year, I had been casually toying with the idea of duct tape couture, though it fizzled out fairly quick-- I had this idea of making a black duct tape corset with lots of bows, and neat cutouts; it's the reason I had bought all these rolls of black duct tape I now have-- blasted impulse. Who knows, I may yet go back to drafting-- thinking on it has rekindled that desire...
Well in my research I stumbled upon this slice of awesome DIY from The Ribbon Retreat Blog-- it is by far the best tutorial I have found for making duct tape bows.

During my frenzy for eyeball related jewelry, I found yet another fabulous tutorial on creating a life-like eye by Make It With Me blog. Although I must confess, I took plenty of liberties and deviated greatly from her tutelage...
I found that my method for the base of the eye is a little easier and quicker than her method, but it does lack the 3D pupil.

I found that a measuring spoon was excellent for making a perfectly shaped flat-back eye-- and in many different sizes! The bottom of the measuring spoon also worked in making the dimple for the iris

Sadly, the downfall of this trail came in the form of E-Z Water...

I had suspected it would not work out to be clear because the pellets had a yellowish tinge... add to the fact they were pellets and not a nozzled bottle of greatness in a bottle (liquid polymer-- it dries clear).
It was a hassle melting and then pouring the product into the eyes, and it always came out a little bubbly despite following and even cutting the melting time after each trial.

Even when I did manage to keep the bubbles close to none, the yellow coloring really threw off the color of the iris. She doesn't mention using glaze, but I wanted a sort of glossy-wet look, and I had hoped Modge Podge was a good substitute for this... well it wasn't. As thin as I tried to coat it, it still came out too textured. Hopefully soon I can nab myself a bottle of liquid polymer and glossy glaze.

Top one is supposed to be purple, but the yellowing turned it somewhat brown
From close up, you can see every imperfection of my first trials (the more successful ones, at that).
However from afar...

It's not so bad! 

Edit to add 09/29/2013:
Alright, so I mentioned in the comments below, I think I'm getting the hang of reducing the yellowing occuring with the E-Z water, along with minor differences in the amount of bubbling. All I did was reduce the depth of the dimple for the iris by about half of what I was initially doing. Take a look for yourself!

 I also took the chance at creating the 3D pupil and baking it inside the dimple; most times it didn't stick on its own so I had to glue it in before painting. I think there's a special polymer glue for this situation... but in my case, I just used super glue. I also tried adding some glitter into the iris using some of my glitter nail polish.

Turned out much better than the first day of making eyeballs, but there is yet another problem with the addition to the new 3D pupil. The E-Z water now bubbles only around the pupil, instead of all around the iris. I'm determined to get this right!

In the meantime, a very minor detail was also bothering me-- the white outline of the tape around the cut edges. I fixed it with a little bit of black paint and sealed it with modge podge for gloss effect.

Left: unpainted, Right: Painted
Here are a couple new shots of the latest bows:


  1. I just know when you get that whole eyeball/E-Z Water/polymer thing nailed down, your knock-offs are gonna surpass the quality of the competition tenthousandfold (is that a word?). Even with the E-Z Water issues they're pretty adorable, Madame MM! :D

    1. Practice practice, right? Today's trials yielded a much much better result. The trick with E-Z water as I see it, is to make the iris dimple half the depth of what I was doing during the time of these photos. They're coming out better and better!
      Now the issue with the modge podge causing too much of a ripple texture over the eyes... still can't seem to get it right, but it's probably because it's not meant as a glaze, hehe.
      I certainly have to keep modge podge in mind when we start building the ship model though! It's such a neat ripple effect for actual "water".

  2. Fantastic!!!!
    You are spectacular!!!!!
    P.S.: If you coat the iris part of the eye with a little bit of the EZ water on a tiny paint brush (or Q-tip) before you pour the rest in to fill, You'll get less bubbles I think. Don't know how much work time you'll have though.
    Keep up it up!!!
    Love this HEAPS!!
    and you're adorable.

    1. I'm super flattered that you think so-- it was all thanks to stumbling onto your tutorial. The quality of your tutorial is unmatched. =)

      I tried layering the e-z water, though it advises not to for optimal effect, but it's such a quick cure time that most times it doesn't adhere to the bottom layer. I think I am getting the hang of reducing the amount of bubbling by the depth.

      I can describe e-z water as more of a glue stick type material, but in pellet form. E-z water is the cheapest of the cheap for model water out there, heh. It dries solid like resin though, unlike glue sticks.
      I much rather like the idea of liquid polymer... seems more ideal.
      Thank you for the encouragement!

    2. Ok, so the cure time is quick, but what I meant to say was that in the attempts to layer it, it didn't seem to want to stick the smooth surface it created after curing. It's more of a goop like glue stick in it's semi-liquid state, so that would add to the difficulty of trying to spread it on-- but I completely appreciate any advise you have to offer!

  3. Wow, so lovely! I'm so crazy about the doll eyed accessories ever since I saw them for the first time last year and I was thinking about ordering some from eBay to make hairbows too. Some eyebalss, I mean. But they're so expensive...I'm too lazy to make the eyeballs myself and since I don't think I'd make more, than a pair or two, it's not wort for me to buy all the crafting too. But thanks for the idea, I've never though of checking a doll maker, if there's still anything like that in the 21th century...o.O

    Anyway...your eyeballs look awesome, even the first couple of them with the yellowish tint and the bubbles. The second batch is already close, if not straigh out Kreepsville quality, although I guess they used stickers for the iris, which will always give a smoother look to the final product.
    Besides, the last pictures are supercute and stylish with that crossbones shirt! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...