How to Use Safety Eyes in Crochet (and My Favorite Sizes!)

Safety eyes are an incredible part of the world of crocheting. These eyes allow you to bring crocheted characters to life without the risk of them falling off. But how can you incorporate these fun little pieces into your designs?

Safety Eyes are pushed through the crochet and snap into a washer backing on the other side. Locate the eye placement on the pattern, then pop the eye through the crochet and through the washer. After attaching the safety eye, removing it is difficult, but not impossible.

Using safety eyes with your crocheted pieces is an easy way to give the character life. If you still spend your time constructing eyes from other materials, this article is about to blow your mind. Start improving your crocheting game today by learning how to use safety eyes below!

What are Safety Eyes?

Safety eyes are small, threaded plastic or glass pieces. Each eye comes with a washer.

Safety eyes are the simple solution to complicated eye patterns and other methods of crocheting parts of the face. Additionally, safety eyes are less likely to fall off compared to other solutions. In addition, safety eyes are the perfect choice for beginner crocheters looking to give their patterns some personality. However, it is not recommended to use safety eyes on projects that will be given to babies or small children.

Once the threading on the post of the eye passes through the backing of the washer, it is very difficult to remove.

Remember, safety eyes are difficult to remove, but it’s not impossible. If you exert enough force on the eye, it may break free. However, the keyword there is break. Once a safety eye has locked into place, it likely won’t disconnect in one piece.

In the event that a child accidentally removes a safety eye, they could choke on the small pieces. Look for other options when crocheting a project for young children and babies.

If you need to remove the safety eye, you can use wire cutters. You can avoid the need to remove the safety eyes from your project by checking to see if you like the placement before connecting the back.

For very small children who might break the safety eyes on their Amigurumi, use another option such as embroidering eyes of glued felt circles.

Safety eyes can be used with almost any type of yarn or crochet material. That’s right, you do not have to go buy a whole new batch of materials to use this amazing technique. Do not wait another second; get a starter set of amigurumi safety eyes from Amazon here and start enhancing your creations today.

As mentioned earlier, safety eyes can be made from plastic or glass. Additionally, they come in a variety of colors. This allows you to customize each of your patterns. The most popular safety eyes are all black. Check out this cute Sugar Plum Fairy and her safety eyes!

In addition to color and material, safety eyes vary by size. For example, the Sugar Plum Fairy uses 6.0 mm safety eyes. The size refers to the diameter of the eyes. Meanwhile, this Amigurumi Donut uses 5.0 mm safety eyes. For an even larger comparison, check out this Bear Basket crochet pattern. The Bear Basket uses 10 mm safety eyes.

Each safety eye comes with a small washer. One side of the washer is flat while the other has a small lifted area. Remember this distinction for later. For those of you who have never used safety eyes, finding a place to buy them might seem challenging. Lucky for you, safety eyes are actually not that hard to find.

Safety eyes can be purchased from almost any craft store. Additionally, you can order them in bulk on Amazon or on Etsy. Amazon orders will likely include multiple sizes and colors; meanwhile, Etsy can be used for bulk orders of a specific size and color.

Check out this Plastic Safety Eye set from Amazon or find a specific size on Etsy.

Remember, safety eyes are added before the project is finished and stuffed. In fact, you should add safety eyes to your project after you finish the head. If you wait until the whole body is finished, attaching the eyes in the right location will be difficult.

Want to easily add more facial features to your Amigurumi? In addition to safety eyes, there are similar options for noses and mouths. This set on Amazon includes safety eyes and noses that can improve all your Amigurumi creations.

How to Use Safety Eyes

Not only are safety eyes safe, but they are easy to use too! Attaching safety eyes can be done in as few as three steps.

Start by locating the place in the pattern where the safety eyes should go. Poke just the top eye (not the washer) into the spot and decide if you like the placement. Try moving the eyes around to find out where they look the best.

If you can not get the safety eye to go through the stitches, poke a hole in the location with a crochet hook. Once you know where you want the eyes to go, line up the washer with the safety eye. Make sure the flat side (which we mentioned earlier) is facing the fabric.

Lay a book or a soft cloth onto the table and press down on the washer until it clicks into place. The cloth or book will protect both the safety eye and the table from damage.

And that’s it! Your safety eyes are officially attached. Need some more direction? Watch the following video to learn how to use safety eyes in your next crochet project!

As you can see, attaching safety eyes to your Amigurumi is not too challenging to do. Even beginner crocheters can use this technique to give their projects a professional look.

What are the Best Sizes for Safety Eyes?

As you have learned, there are a variety of safety eye sizes you can choose from. In general, the size of the safety eyes you use will depend on the size of the project and its head. However, there is a rule of thumb to follow when choosing safety eye sizes.

Before we discuss the best size, let’s look at how many different sizes of safety eyes there are.

Safety eyes can get quite small. The smallest safety eyes are about 1.8mm. These can be purchased from the Etsy link above.

Safety eyes can also get quite large. For example, this Colored Safety Eye set on Etsy sells a 40mm safety eye. As you can imagine, eyes of this size are best for extremely large projects. I generally work with size 4.0mm safety eyes, like I did with this Pumpkin Bear pattern.

Now that you know the extensive range of safety eyes, let’s move on to the rule of thumb. If your final Amigurumi project will be palm-sized, use a 4 mm to 6 mm safety eye. Anything smaller than your palm should be about 2 mm; meanwhile, anything larger than your palm should be sized accordingly.

Just like you can compare eye placements, you can also compare safety eye sizes. If you have a variety pack of safety eyes, try a few different sizes before securing the eye with a washer. Even if the pattern calls for a certain eye size, you might like a slightly different look. Do not be afraid to experiment with your Amigurumi projects and do not attach any pieces until you are certain of your decision.

Other Options for Amigurumi Eyes

While safety eyes are a simple solution to giving a project some personality, there are plenty of other options that might work better for that specific pattern.

So what other options do you have? Well, you can choose from embroidered eyes, crocheted eyes, felt circles, and glass beads. Take a look at how to make each of these Amigurumi eye styles below!

Embroidered Eyes

Embroidered eyes are the perfect choice for small children since there do not stick off the project’s face. Instead, they are a part of the design and are impossible to break.

If you are not familiar with embroidering, this is a crafting technique that allows you to create a design on fabric using a needle and thread. While embroidery is its own craft, it can also be used to enhance your crochet projects.

Even if you use safety eyes, chances are you will be embroidering other designs onto your project. For example, this cute Bread and Butter pattern features two embroidered smiles.

Want to learn how to embroider eyes onto your next crochet project? Follow the video below.

Embroidering eyes onto your Amigurumi dolls allows you lots of flexibility in the type of yes you use. While you could do a simple circle like the one in the video, there are plenty of other designs available as well.

Try the embroidery pattern on the Spring Bunny and Bear from Tiny Curl here.

Crocheted Eyes

Another foolproof way to ensure the eyes on your Amigurumi never fall off is to crochet them on as part of the project. These types of eyes are also the ideal choice for small children who have the potential to break safety eyes.

Once again, you should not feel limited by this choice of eye. There are plenty of eye patterns you can incorporate into your Amigurumi.

Watch the following video to learn how to make several different types of crocheted eyes.

Before taking this approach, plan out how you will add the eyes to the pattern. Unless they are a part of the original pattern, you will need to rework it to fit this element.

Learn how to make crochet eyes with this adorable Amigurumi Cow Pattern from Grace and Yarn. Crocheting eyes might take more time than using safety eyes would, but I guarantee you will love the finished project.

Glass (or Plastic) Beads

Beads are by far one of the simplest ways to bring your Amigurumi creations to life. However, this option should not be selected for pieces that will be gifted to small children.

When using glass or plastic beads for eyes on your Amigurumi piece, you simply attach them with embroidery thread. Like safety eyes, you need to locate the correct round and stitch before placing the bead.

Watch the video below to learn how to attach bead eyes to your Amigurumi.

Because beads are simply “tied” onto the Amigurumi, they can easily break off. This creates a choking hazard–hence why glass or plastic bead eyes should not be used for children’s projects. However, bead eyes bring a unique look to adult patterns.

This beautiful Bumble Bee Craft Kit from Mohu Mohu exemplifies a perfect use of beads for the eyes.

Felt Circles

When using yarn or crochet to make Amigurumi eyes, you are limited with the designs you can do. With felt circles, you can create any type of design you want and still feel safe giving the Amigurumi to children.

Felt Amigurumi eyes are generally glued on. If they fall off or are damaged they can be fixed easily. Additionally, if they fall off they present a minimal choking hazard.

When making felt eyes for your Amigurumi eyes, use a template. If you freehand the eyes, they might end up being different sizes.

Check out these Amigurumi felt eyes from Shiny Happy World. Need some more felt eye inspiration? Check out this video to see just how creative you can get when using felt for Amigurumi’s eyes!

If you do not want to make your own felt eyes, you can purchase them premade on Etsy. Get this cute felt eyes set from Etsy here.

Button Eyes

Since they were created, buttons have been used in a variety of craft projects around the world, especially on plush dolls. While using buttons for eyes is the least realistic option, they are easy to use with Amigurumi.

Buttons can be purchased in a variety of colors and shapes. Get some button eyes from Amazon here.

Attaching buttons to a crocheted piece might seem difficult to beginners. Watch the following video to learn how to attach them correctly!