Friday, January 7, 2011

Eye Blink Rigs complete!

So...making blinking eyes was the task of the day.
I found a great online tutorial HERE with a video walk through on how to do a simple version of one. I decided to document it myself in case that link ever disappears from the internet...I'd like to remember how to do this.

What you'll need:


Pliers with wire cutting abilities

And those rad ornaments to use as eyes

Ok, so I started by cutting the nubblin' off the ornament so I had a starting hole.

I drew a dot on the opposite side of that hole, then with an X-acto knife, drilled a little hole big enough for a coat hangar to fit through.

So wanna straighten out your coat hanger and snip off the ends so it's one long straight piece. Then bend it in half like thus:

Next bend the ends to make a T shape. This part you will stick through the foam between the puppets eyes, and it will act as the trigger mechanism for the blink.

Then slide yer eyeballs onto the straight pieces. I put some electrical tape as make shift pupils. Don't worry, the final puppet with not have square pupils.

Then I used the trusty X-acto knife to carve out the eye sockets.

I used it again to slice a little vertical notch in between the eyes for the trigger to slide through.

I stuffed the eyeballs into the sockets and fed the trigger through the slit. It looked like this:

Next I made a little mark on the wire a little bit away from the eyeball where we'll make the bend.

Bend it up and over the eyeball. This will be the eyelid.

From the back it looks like this...notice I have the trigger in a downward position. When it's down like this the eyes will be fully open.

Here's what it looks like from the inside with the trigger pokin' through there.

I clipped off the excess wire and looped it around the straight piece going through the eyeball.


Double Tada!!! Closed eyes...fabric will be attached to the wire and to the head to make the eyelid.

Front view

The eye rigs also make great "sad boobies" as modeled here by my roommate Pierre.

Happy puppets!

And on a side note...foam gets EVERYWHERE. Before you start cutting :
a) Make sure your vacuum cleaner isn't busted and
b) Don't wear socks

That is all for today!


  1. HOLY CANNOLI thats awesome! good work i cant wait to see the next step!

  2. Damn Erica, wicked idea for the blinking eyes!

  3. I needed this and thanks for redocumenting! Helpful links always disappear, and I don't like watching vids much anyway.

  4. You have a video tutorial for make this

  5. Thanks, really straight forward. Will try it!