So after doing my doll Celia the gnome http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=330581.msg3817752#msg3817752
people started asking about my new eye technique so I thought I'd share a tutorial on how I do it. I saw eyes like this on many dolls on line. I just sort of went off in my own direction with it.
Here is what I start with. Some acrylic paints (I like the metallic),brush, 15mm clear plastic eyes,brush, and a ball of air dry clay. You can use regular air dry or paper clay.
Split your clay into 2 equal portions and roll them into nice round balls. You want them to be as close as possible in size.
Next we paint the eyes. There are a million ways of doing this. This is just my common practice. I put a solid coat of a base color, in this case metallic green. I put it on quite thick and let it just about dry all the way.
Next I take a pin and scratch some thin lines out of the base coat of paint. I then paint a layer of black all over the area. Sometimes I like to add a bit of copper or gold. I did that in this picture before I added the black.
Now with the black on it looks like the little lines we all have in our iris.
Let the paint dry completely on the eyes and then carefully press them into your clay balls.
Use water to smooth out the clay. Don't worry if you get some on the eyes. It will wash off with a damp cloth. Set the eyes aside to dry. I like to let them dry at least over night. With such a large ball of clay it takes awhile to dry all the way through.
Sew up your doll/poppet head in the normal fashion. Stuff it super firm and shape it how you would like it. You will also want to add your clay to the nose and shape it as well. You will also need a scrap of your doll skin fabric.
Take a fine point pen and mark where your eyes should go. I like to use a ruler so I get them even and level.
Next snip tiny holes where your marks are. Keep the holes small because you can always make them bigger, but never make them smaller. I like to cut the slits rounded.
Jam your finger into the holes pushing the stuffing in. If you need to remove some you can do so now, but remember to keep it even so the shape of your head stays the same.
Take your scrap of fabric and cut a strip about an inch to a half inch wide and so it wraps around the eyeballs like so. I use a tiny drop of glue on each side of each eye to hold the eyelids in place.
Now with a pointed ended object (I use a tiny knitting needle) start to push and wiggle the eye into the hole. You may need to trim your hole open a bit wider at this point. Just depends on how the eye is going in.
The next step is a lot of wiggling, tugging, and tucking. I use a tweezers, my tiny knitting needle, and a pin for this. Take a bit of glue and with the pin apply it to the upper lid and push the fabric in to create a nice fold so you don't see any raw edges.
Wiggle, push, tweak until you have both eyes into the head with even matching lids. Remember it is going to look sort of creepy with out eyelashes and hair. Once those are added they look fab!
Tada! Any questions feel free to ask! I hope to see other people try this! If you don't have safety eyes you can also make your clay balls, let them dry, and paint the eye right on. Works either way!