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Jennie Teddybears Sweden
Gavle, Sweden
Posts: 751

knut1.jpgWhat method do you use for attaching eyes??
I have tried several ways and at the moment I use a method that I think I read somewhere here on TT but I can't find it again! It's a method where you take the needle out in the back of the head and then back again in the same hole and out under the eye. You then push and make knots in the front, undernith the eye.

I like this method very much! Anyone read about this method here on TT? I would like to read about it again... so help?!  bear_cry

I'm putting out a picture that I have made to explain it more.... hope you get it!  bear_innocent

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Jennie, I have not done it like the method you show.  Here is what I do:

First, I presculpt the eye socket.  This makes the eye sink nicer into the head.  ALSO, it is a must if you are using eyes with pupils so they will both "look" in the same direction and not be wall-eyed.
Then I take a long uphostery thread, fold it in half,  then loop the double thread through the eye hole so I now have four threads hanging from the loop. 

I insert the needle through the sculpted eye socket down to the lower back neck edge.  Then I take two of the threads and sew them just about and 1/8 of an inch over , tie the two ends and sink the knot.  This has always worked very well for me.

Now if I am using taxidermy glass eyes, like I often do, then I cannot sew them in so that is a whole different story.  I have to not only presuclpt, but build the brow bone and under eye structure.  Takes quite a while to do.

Bev College Place, WA
Posts: 58

Judi then with Taxidermy eyes how do you attach them?? Glue?? I've wanted to use them but was unable to think of any way but glue??

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Bev, I have t sculpt a deep eye socket then position and glue them in place.  After that, I build up the brow bone and under eye area by hand with mohair.  It is very tricky, time comsuming,  and each face is custom.  I have no pattern for this I just fit the eye area details to each bear as I make them.  So much of the fun is not knowing waht personality will come through.

toadbriar ToadBriar
western massachusetts
Posts: 532

judi when you say sculpt an eye socket, are you referring to needle
felting, or something beyond that?

Jane Perala Jane Perala Designs Ltd.
Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 819

I set my eyes in the same way you do Judi (not the taxidermy eyes - I haven't used those yet).  I needle sculpt (as opposed to needlefelt) an eye socket by sewing between the eye placements under the bridge of the muzzle, and pulling on the threads slightly more each time until I get the desired indent.  I then set the eyes. Sometimes if I am putting white felt under the eyes I leave the threads of the eyes loose, then I can remove the eyes, mark the spot with a pin, airbrush, then put the eyes back and set them permanently.  That way the white felt doesn't get messed up with the airbrushing.

Jane P.

Bev College Place, WA
Posts: 58

Judi Thank You. They have beautiful taxidermy eyes and I would love to use them but was afraid of what would be said about glueing them in. There is an article in Teddy Bear Review about using glue.   Thanks again   Bev bear_grin

Christine Christine Pike Bears
Norfolk, UK
Posts: 683
Bev wrote:

Judi Thank You. They have beautiful taxidermy eyes and I would love to use them but was afraid of what would be said about glueing them in. There is an article in Teddy Bear Review about using glue.   Thanks again   Bev :lol:

Hi Bev,
Yes!  The article in question is my "Bear Essentials" column and this month has lots of helpful information for anyone wanting to experiment with new techniques which might involve glue or paint or sculpting.  Several extremely talented artists (Including some of our own TT-ers) were generous enough to give advice and suggestions which I am sure you will find helpful and inspiring:)

Best wishes,

Pat Klein Faux Paw Bears
Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 167

I thought I would put this question in this thread since it is probably where it belongs...

I am building a bear with a BIG head and my needles are not long enough to pull the eyes through the back of the head to set them.  I've tried pulling them down through the jaw but still do not get the angle I want.  Behind the ear is no better....this is a big head...apparently  bear_sad

Help!  On big bear noggins...what to do?


Melisa Nichols Melisa's Bears
Hazelton, BC
Posts: 5,811

Hi Pat,

I bought some huge needles from a fabric store - they had ones that were 12 inches long for soft sculpture.  These are long enough to go through most big heads and were not expensive.  Other than that, I'm not sure what to suggest... hope it helps.

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399

Hi Pat, Cr's Crafts has 7" needles, will they be long enough?

Pat Klein Faux Paw Bears
Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 167

Thanks ladies...I found upholstery needles that were 8 inches long and nice and thick too...unbendable but not long enough....I had to go straight through the back of the head...though...the 12 inch needles would do it...I wonder if I could find those on line...Jo Anne's doesnt carru them...and we have no other resources in Tallassee.

At least I know they are out there.  The eyes just don't set properly at this angle for me.  You do need to pull them down...


lovenshire Love and Cuddle Nursery
Posts: 945

I like big bears so I have 12" needles too...I bought mine on line!

Stellaluna Posts: 1

Not sure if this post will be found. I've learned a lot from this forum! I do have a question. Do you attach the eye after you sewn the head closed with the cotter pin? How do you find the loop of you do so? And if it is when it's till open what happens when you close it?

Thank you ?

dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,016

Hi Stellaluna,

You might find this blog post by Paula Carter helpful. It has lots of good pictures, too:


JulieK Suffolk
Posts: 28

Interesting reading.

I have only finished one bear as part of a course. Just about to do my second head, I have done phase 1 stuffing and set it aside to rest.

On the course we stuffed the head and stitched in the joint first. Then we threaded the eye onto the centre of a whipping twine brought together the two loose ends and threaded them into a dolling needle, pushed the needle in where we wanted the eyes to sit and pulled it out at the base of the head, slightly to the side of the centre (on the opposite side of the head to the eye) gently pushed the eye in place and left a long tail of thread (enough to grasp and knot). Then we did the same with the other eye, coming out on just the other side of the centre of the base of the head.

We then took the two threads, one person pushes the eyes into the position wanted on to the bear and the other person pulls the two strings hard and knots them together. We then threaded the tails back inside the head. I liked the effect this had in the way it pulled the eyes in and slightly downwards. I am looking to use the same method on my next head.

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