Friday, October 17, 2014

Easy DIY Dollar Store Jumbo Googly Eyes

Few things are more fun than googly eyes. Go ahead, name three craft supplies that can make you smile more than googly eyes. ... Wait, that's probably not fair. Because ANY new craft supplies are worth smiling over. But anyway, googly eyes are just plain fun and if I've learned anything from my years of life, it's how to make a fun thing even funner: make it JUMBO!

Really, my mantel has never had so much fun. The giant googly eyes might just have to stay up year-round because I'm not sure I can ever "blind" my awesome bookcase mantel and take away all the personality that these cute eyes give him. (Yes, it's a him. Don't ask how I know.) And just think how adorable these would be on a Christmas tree or even just stuck on a door or wall or a TV or.... you get the idea.

You can buy a set of giant googly eyes for around $10 a pair. Or, you could take that same $10 and make approximately 20 pairs. Or you can spend $1 and some spare craft supplies and make 2-4 pairs. The math is all the same -- DIY jumbo googly eyes are super cheap, super easy. These will take you less than 10 minutes. Probably waaay less if you can do it when you don't have little "helpers" hovering. And I have two methods for you, depending on what supplies you can wrangle at your local dollar store.

How to Make Giant Googly Eyes

  • clear plastic or white paper/plastic plates (mine are from Dollar Tree - the clear ones are dessert plates in a pack of 8 and the white ones are larger plates in a pack of 8)
  • black cardstock or craft foam
  • white cardstock (for option 1)
  • a clear plastic sheet protector (for option 2)
  • glue stick and/or hot glue gun
  • magnets or sticky tack to hang the eyes with

Jumbo Googly Eyes, Option 1:

  1. Trace the inside circle of your clear plastic plate (or something else that is the same size, much easier to trace) on the white cardstock. 
  2. Cut out the circle and glue it on the inside of the plate. 
  3. Trace and cut out a smaller circle from the black cardstock or foam and place it in the eye. 
  4. Use a thin line of hot glue around the outside rim of the plate and glue another clear plastic plate on top. Work quickly so the glue doesn't cool before you get the second plate on, and try to keep the hot glue strings out of the inside of the eye!
  5. Repeat for the second eye. 
  6. Hang! I hung the smaller eyes on my mantel using the blue sticky tack poster hanging adhesive. 

Jumbo Googly Eyes, Option 2

  1. Grab a white plastic/paper plate, black cardstock/foam, and a clear sheet protector. 
  2. Trace the inner rim of the plate onto the sheet protector and cut it out. (I held the sheet protector on top and traced the circle using a dry erase marker.)
  3. Cut out a smaller black circle and place it inside the plate. 
  4. Use hot glue to stick the clear circle, cut from the sheet protector, to the upper inside rim of the plate. The best method for me seemed to be to affix it at one point, and then pull the plastic taut and glue it directly across from that, and then repeat for the other sides. 

To hang the larger plastic plate eyes on my entry door, I glued a thin sheet magnet (rescued from the phone book before it was tossed in the recycling) to the back of the plate. The dollar store plastic plates are very thin, so I doubled up the plates and also glued a square of white cardstock to the back of the plate before I glued the magnet on, to hide the outline of the magnet and the printing on the magnet. 

If you're wondering, our door mummy was made using strips of dollar store plastic tablecloth. I loved that the thick strips were cheap and easy to put up, but I needed to use a stronger adhesive than just one piece of tape on each end, because most of our "bandages" have already fallen down with regular use of the door for a couple of days. But the eyes are staying up great!

And because I am kinda proud of my mantel (which doesn't normally get decorated unless I'm hosting a party!), a couple of pictures...

My Halloween village, watched over by a cheesecloth ghost, who is miraculous still standing after two years of being smashed flat for off-season storage. These are just pieces from the Dollar Tree Christmas village that I spray painted black (like Debra's here), but they have a whole Halloween village set now that is super cute and has skeletons and gargoyles and whatnot. I use candlesticks and upside down shot glasses (my husband had a collection as a kid, not sure why!) to add some height variance. 
DIY Halloween Village for Mantel

And then in terms of super-easy Halloween mantel decorations, this takes the cake. The taller jar is an old pickle jar that my mother saved for years and finally passed on to me to find a use for it. I mostly stuff it full of random colorful things to decorate -- in this case, Halloween candy! Which did not last long before it was all eaten :)
Super Easy Halloween Mantel Decorations

The other jar is just an old pickle jar that I put a bunch of orange and black little items in -- some of my kids' toys, a couple of markers, some washi tape, and yes, that is a silicone baking cup (aka a snack cup, at my house) in there as well. Such an easy way to add holiday colors!

Happy Halloween! Can't wait to see what you'll give the googly-eyed treatment now that it's so darn CHEAP! :) And while you're at the dollar store, check out these other easy Halloween projects and mantel decor you could grab the supplies for -- quick and inexpensive holiday decor is the best!

Lu (or Lorene if you prefer) is the mom of 3 kids and wife of a singing and dancing elementary teacher. She happily shows up here at Housewife Eclectic a few times a month, when the creative bug strikes in between projects at her awesome job as a virtual assistant. You can check out her other projects here on Housewife Eclectic, or her former blogger life over at just Lu.
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