How-To: Easy Glass Eyeballs for Steampunk Projects

Craft & Design

CRAFT: Geek Crafts
By Cathe Holden
Creating faux glass eyeballs (that seem to follow you as you move) is very simple using actual eye images and glass bubble gems. These eyes can then be incorporated into a fabulous steampunk pendant that you… er… can’t look away from.


Images of eyes, either your own, or use the image below
Photo-editing software
Printer and high-quality printer paper
Flat-backed glass gems
Small paintbrush
Mod Podge
Assorted jewelry components
(see below)


Step 1: To get the main image for the project, I talked my daughter into sharing her eyeball (and a tiny bit of discomfort). I decided after attempting to shoot several photos of my own eyes that her younger, clearer, blue ones were so much lovelier. And, having an extra set of hands helps when photographing, because it helps to stretch the eyelids open a bit.
Step 2: I think using your own eye or that of someone you know is a pretty cool idea, but I’m including the eye image I used in a few color variations for you to use, if needed.
When crafting with an image of your own eye, you may need to edit it using Photoshop, PS Elements or another image editing software to remove blood vessels (which can also be added to a printed image with a red colored pencil), erase eyelids to create more white area, and size the overall image. Print the eye image in several different sizes. The glass bubbles magnify images placed beneath them, so you may need to test a few sizes to get the right effect.
Step 3: Once you have chosen the best size, trace around the glass marble and and trim out the eye image just inside the traced line.
Step 4: Use Mod Podge to laminate the eye image to the flat side of the glass bubble gem.
Step 5: Use your glass eyeballs for collage, jewelry, magnets, and more.
To create a pendant, I used baubles made from junk jewelry, flea market watch parts, and a glass vial, most of which can be purchased on Etsy. Brass filigree cabochon pieces are also great for creating steampunk-style jewelry.
I tucked a tiny rolled section of cigar box tape into the glass vial and then threaded a wire looped headpin into the cork. I trimmed it down and bent it into a hook to keep it from slipping out.

Want to win this necklace?

Simply stop by the CRAFT area at Maker Faire on Sunday, May 22 at 1:00 pm for Cathe’s Vintage Book Cover Notebook demo. She’ll be giving away this riveting piece, along with two punch sets from EK Success!

About the Author
Cathe Holden is a graphic designer, professional crafter, wife, and mother of three teens who lives in beautiful Petaluma, Calif. Cathe shares creative inspiration, craft tutorials, free digital downloads, and product giveaways on her blog,

12 thoughts on “How-To: Easy Glass Eyeballs for Steampunk Projects

  1. Daniellemuaror says:

    I want this so bad! And would actually consider buying one of these off you if you were to make it again? I could transfer the money via paypal or whatever… I live in New Zealand though, so only if your willing to ship here… I had to post a comment, this is the coolest necklace ever!..

  2. Alex says:

    I can’t seem to get my hands on the right gems! Any store suggestions? Micheals only seems to have some really flat ones, and yours seem to be bulkier. I’m going to look at a pet shop next (fish tank decor)

    1. Alex says:

      I actually got a bag at a pet store!

  3. vivien french says:

    Love your tutorial on making eyeballs, really can’t wait to try making them. Thanks

  4. Dorothea says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on compare anti wrinkle eye cream.

  5. Rocking Horse Re-Do | Chalk Hill House says:

    […] decided to create custom glass eyes using this method.  But each attempt left the horse with a mean or sinister expression.  His face is just too […]

  6. Beverley Collins says:

    Wow! I love this! (Can’t believe I’m the only person to comment.) I found this on Pinterest, I’m going to add this link so people can find you.

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