Today I'm going to show you two different ways to add eyelashes to fixed-eye dolls. This is a useful trick to make your doll look more "real" or to camouflage an eye that's not a tight fit. Technically, you could use this method for dolls with sleep eyes as well (it would solve the problem of my Margon eyes that don't quite fit the American Girl dolls) although I think it's kind of weird. I know it's really popular in the custom AG world to paint dramatic lashes all around the doll's eye, but then when the eye closes the doll has these lashes above the eyelid. So she has hairy eyelids? Yuck! I decided to go for the dramatic look with my custom Elsa AG but I converted her eyes to fixed eyes after I added the lashes. I'll go over that in a separate tutorial. Anyway, though, if you aren't bothered by the hairy eyelid look go ahead and use this tutorial to add extra lashes to your sleepy-eyed dolls as well! To find out how to replace missing lashes in sleep eyes go to that tutorial: https://mandalineartfulliving.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-to-replace-doll-eyelashes-tutorial.html
You can add eyelashes either before or after you insert the eyes. I tried both ways and I much preferred adding the lashes after the eyes were in place. You can use drugstore false eyelashes for humans or you can buy doll lashes by the yard or individually. I have a large selection of doll lashes in different sizes and colors in my eBay and Etsy shops. You can link to the shops from the Home page.
If I'm replacing lost lashes in sleep eyes, such as on a Cissy or AG doll, then I prefer the human lashes or individual doll lashes because they have a sticky edge that helps position them before I glue them. Adding lashes to a head, however, seems like it would be easier with the doll lashes by the yard because the glue is on the wrong side if you use human lashes and you will probably need to cut the human lashes down. I did use human lashes for both dolls shown here, but next time I would consider the doll lashes instead. To begin, cut your lashes to the size you want if you are using the human or bulk lashes. Then add a bead of glue along the eye socket. Although it is water-soluble, I prefer Aleene's Tacky Glue because it is thick enough to stay in place.
Next, insert the lashes and push them into place. I used bamboo skewers for both these steps. You will have to hold the lashes in place for a while until they are set. If you want to add lower lashes, repeat the steps above, except turn the lashes over so they curve down away from the eye and not up into the eye. Allow the lashes to dry thoroughly before you try to insert the eyes, like overnight. Don't assume they are dry enough after a half hour and try to put the eyes in because you will end up with a gluey mess and have to redo them. That may or may not be a true story...
Once the eyes are inserted you can trim the lashes to the length you prefer and fix any face paint that may have gotten smudged during the aforementioned gluey mess.
I found it much easier to insert eyelashes once the doll's eyes were already in place. The eye helps position the eyelash. Just as before, decide on the type of lashes you want and cut them to the length you need.
Carefully apply the glue to the eye socket. The glue should be just inside the eye socket, not out on the face. You may want to use a straight pin instead of a bamboo skewer so you have a smaller tip and can avoid getting glue on the eyeball.
Insert the lashes and push them up into the eye socket with a straight pin. You want to sandwich them in between the eye and the socket. Hold them in place until the glue is set. If you did get any glue on the eyeball you can clean it off once the lashes are dry. Another reason I prefer to use thick white glue is it is easier to clean off the doll if you make a mistake. If you get super glue on the doll's face or eye you're going to have to scrape it off or use harsh paint thinner or something to remove it and you could easily damage the doll or the eyes.
I decided the full lower lashes I added to the first doll were a bit much. I ended up having to trim and thin them quite a bit. So for my second attempt I decided to use human mini lashes on the lower lid. These are false lashes for humans but I love them for replacing doll lashes when only a little chunk is missing and they are great for smaller doll eyes as well. I inserted these just as I did the upper lashes.
As you can see, the red-haired doll is just about done. She's going to be Anna from Frozen. I thought it was appropriate to use a Wellie Wishers doll for the little sister, since she's just two inches smaller then big sis, Elsa. I just need to make her clothes and add the white streak to her hair. Both these dolls will be for sale in my shops soon, so I hope you will be on the lookout. You can also buy doll supplies like the eyes and lashes I used for both dolls. You can link to all my shops from the Home page.
6/9/2018 03:15:48 pm
A great doll maker can make a doll look more attractive than a real human baby. Sadly most dolls nowadays are mass produced. The more modern they start to look, the more it reminds us of stuff from horror movies. It's not the other way around. We had the impression that antiques can look more scary than the new ones but really the older the doll, the higher it's quality. We should learn a lot from traditional craftsmen.
6/9/2018 03:30:31 pm
There’s no doubt, the old ones are in a class of their own! Recently I’ve been pushing myself to learn the new dolls and write tutorials for those but my heart is with the dolls from the early 20th Century!
11/12/2018 10:38:03 am
Where can I buy the weighted eyelashes for a 1977 Baby Precious 19” baby doll. I actually just need one eyelash, but figure they are sold in sets. Can you tell me where I could purchase the eyelashes, please! Thank you very much!!!!
11/12/2018 10:43:19 am
Hi! The eye lashes themselves are not weighted; the eyes are either wired to a weight in the case of the older dolls like Cissy or they have an internal weight, like American Girl Eyes. I sell doll lashes in a variety of sizes. Here’s the link to my Etsy listing: https://etsy.me/2T90yUU. Thanks for reading my blog! Please accept the coupon code FAVORITE for 10% off any order from Etsy. Sincerely, Amanda
4/13/2022 07:26:31 am
I’m so happy you find it useful. Thanks for reading!
Anne Marie Farr
4/24/2022 07:18:56 am
Hello there, I have tried so hard to place eyelashes on my Chatty Cathy dolls and yet the following day they fall off. I like your Crissy demonstration and I follow it but just can't get it right. I use false eyelashes and white tacky glue?
4/24/2022 06:13:20 pm
Hi! Chatty Cathy has different eyes than the Cissy doll shown in the tutorial. I haven’t done Chatty eyelashes but I would guess the channel for the eyelashes is smaller. You may have to use stronger glue than white glue. I usually use Aleene’s Tacky Glue but if that’s not working you might want to try Beacon 527 super glue. Best of luck and thanks for reading my blog!
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My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.