How to Color Safety Eyes

A lot of people have asked me where I buy my color safety eyes. The eyes I prefer to use are a solid color, with no pupil in the middle. The answer is, I paint them myself. I’m not a fan of the color safety eyes that have a pupil in the middle, I think they’re a bit creepy so I started painting my own eyes instead. Painting them myself is also a great way to save money on eyes because I can make them as needed instead of buying a pack of color safety eyes, which may include colors I don’t need.

The color I use most often is brick red. I use red safety eyes whenever I’m doing a project that has a dark colored body. using black eyes on these projects would make them hard to see, so I use red instead. I recently created a tutorial for Sylveon for my Patrons, I used light blue eyes for that project. I recommend getting a set of cheap acrylic paints in red, yellow, blue, white, and black so you can mix any color you need instead of buying individual bottles of the exact color you need.


  • 1 pair of safety eyes
  • Acrylic craft paint in your desired color (I prefer semi-gloss paint, but I’m using matte in the tutorial)
  • nail file or sandpaper
  • Paint brush

1. Using your nail file or sandpaper, file the surface of the safety eye so that no smooth areas remain on the plastic. This will help the paint stick. If there are any smooth surfaces left, the paint will bunch up in those areas and be harder to cover evenly.

2. Paint the eyes using your paint and brush. Paint a total of three coats, letting each coat dry before applying the next coat.

If you want to color your safety eyes in bulk, painting them individually by hand will take a lot of time. In this case, I recommend using spray paint. File your safety eyes as you would normally. Then, create a holder using a piece of styrofoam by sticking the tips safety eyes into the foam with the eye portion facing up, then spray them all with spray paint. You can place the styrofoam holder into a large cardboard box so the spray paint doesn’t get all over the place. Make sure you do this outside!

Also, I know you all are responsible people, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say DO NOT SPRAY PAINT ANYTHING YOU DON’T OWN OR HAVEN’T BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION TO PAINT! The city where I live has a big problem with graffiti! It sucks!

Anyway, I hope you found this quick tutorial helpful. Let me know in the comments how it worked out!


  1. What do you think about using nail polish? Have you tried it? I’m curious because my sister has some that she doesn’t use much…


    • I’ve heard that nail polish will turn soft again after a few years if it’s used on polymer clay, but I’m not sure if that will happen when used on other materials. You could give it a try, but it might not stay hard forever.


  2. Have you ever washed and dried your creations in the machine? Was there any warping or chipping and if so, should I use a sealer?


  3. Thanks SO much! This is just what I needed!Especially since I am working on Umbreon and he has red eyes.


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