Figuring out the eyes for the Person Puppet was a challenge. The cartoonish bulgy eyes created for most of the animal patterns just didn’t look right. Flat layered felt eyes turned out to be the best fit.
Using Flat Eyes on Different Animal Puppets
Our Free Felt Hand Puppet Patterns use flat eyes by layering black felt circles on top of white felt circles.
Testing the Sloth pattern with the bulgy eyes made the puppet look too freaky! Flat eyes work better for the sloth. They are also much easier to make than the bulgy ones, since flat eyes don’t require sewing and stuffing. Flat eyes are just felt circles sewn or glued together.
Using Flat Eyes on the Person Puppet
The final prototype of the person puppet with flat eyes. Flat eyes are also a great canvas for building a character. Add eyelids, eyelashes and even eyeliner to really make the eyes pop.
A Different Shape of Flat Eye
The reindeer is another puppet that didn’t look quite right with either the bulgy or flat eyes. A tear drop shape suits this “Rudolph” perfectly! The bottom layer of black felt under the white eye gives the eye a bit more depth. It also creates the illusion that the eye is set inside the face rather than just sitting on the top.
Notice something different about the reindeer eyes? See the little tiny circles at the top of the pupils? Those are gleams. Gleams make a puppet come alive. Notice how “dead” the eyes look on the other pictures on this post. And notice how “alive” the reindeer looks in comparison.
The next post is all about gleams.