I’m Crafty and I May or May Not be Your Type: Giant Styrofoam Eyeballs Edition

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a great or patient crafter. Actually, I’m fully aware that, if I wasn’t so impatient, I’d be much more successful. Measure twice, cut once? That’s not me. I wish it were.

Urban Librarians Unite has SO much in store this year, so if you’re in the NYC area, I hope you come check us out our upcoming events. We’ve been working on some big, big projects, including a giant bookworm puppet (She takes about 4 people to man!). I decided that, in order to make her friendly looking and NOT scary, the eyes were key. I whipped these up. If you need something similar, I’m convinced you can do it. These would be great on a puppet or in a display or even on a mask. You could use smaller styrofoam spheres if you needed to.

For Giant Styrofoam Eyeballs, you’ll need:

  • 1 big old styrofoam sphere. I got mine at Michael’s. I think it’s used for floral arrangements.
  • Mod Podge, or watered down Elmer’s glue might work too.
  • Water-based paints.
  • Colored Duct tape for the eyelids. If not, just paint the eyelids a color of your choice.
  • Glitter pipe cleaners.
  • A big freaking knife. For the love of Billy Bob Thornton, be careful.
  • A black paint marker for drawing in the pupils. This is optional. You could just use regular paint, but I liked the marker for precision.

I used styrofoam because I wanted her eyeballs to be light, since the bookworm’s head was already pretty heavy. The problem with styrofoam is that lots of paint eats right through it and causes the foam to shrink. Shriveled balls are a super downer. (Bwahah). Don’t let this happen to you. Use Mod Podge and water-based paints or feel the wrath of the power of styrofoam.

This is what my hand looks like when it’s holding styrofoam.

Get out your big freaking knife and cut the sphere in half. Don’t cut yourself. Be next to the phone or just cut it open right next to your local Emergency Room. You can thank me later.

From now on, these will look like buttcheeks. Feel free to laugh. I know I did.

Coat it in Mod Podge. You might have to really scrub it in there. Don’t touch it again until it’s totally dry. The Mod Podge will make sure that the paint doesn’t eat through the styrofoam.

Mod Podge is my best friend.

Wrap the top half of the sphere in duct tape. You could paint it instead, but I just really like duct tape.

Can you see what a glamour-puss she’s about to be?

Paint in your irises. Again, like with the Mod Podge, you’re going to have to kind of scrub it in. I had to do like two and a half layers to make sure the paint got into all the little pores.

Green eyed lady, fashion lady.

While you’re waiting for irises to dry, start poking the pipe cleaners into the sphere, right under the duct tape line. I cut the pipe cleaners in half, but I suppose you could have glamour-length super-fashion eyelashes. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. I curled the lashes around my finger for maximum fanciness.

Glitter eyelashes are good for any old time.
Ooh la la!

Last, I used a paint marker to draw in the pupils. I made the pupils heart-shaped because that’s just extra cute. You could make regular circular pupils, but I’m not sure why you’d want to do that. Whatever. They’re your eyeballs. I can’t tell you what to do.

She only has heart shaped eyes for you.

You could use regular paint instead of a paint marker, but I don’t have much of a steady hand. The paint marker made this a little easier on me. It took a couple of coats to make the pupils really dark.

I finished the eyes over a couple of days since a lot of drying time is required between steps.

Soon to come, pictures of a finished Bonnie the Bookworm. She’s just a big old NYC librarian who also happens to be a worm.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid and Bonnie

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