My friend and fellow plushmaker, Kristin Mayberry, sent me this email last week:
"I know you love your hemostats and stuffing fork. I love them too! Have you seen this nifty tool? Another seller on Etsy makes this tool himself. It’s brilliant! I have two sizes and it makes installing plastic safety eyes so much easier! Especially those pesky little ones!"
I love safety eyes and use them almost every day. It takes some force to push the washers onto the posts and this looked like a neat way to make the process easier. (If you're not sure how to use safety eyes, watch my 1-min. video!)
Kristin had me intrigued so I got in touch with the seller, a man named Jerry who lives in Beaufort, South Carolina. Jerry sells glass and plastic safety eyes and noses, doll joints, and fishing lure eyes in his Etsy shop and on his website. He's invented and handcrafted a neat insertion tool for safety eyes and generously offered to send me them to try.
The tool is a wooden ball fitted with a short length of pipe. The tools comes in two sizes to accomodate small and large eyes.
I have to tell you that these are beautiful and feel really good to hold. I love handcrafted tools.
I got a chance to use the smaller one this weekend while making a new sample of one of my most popular patterns, Olivia the Octopus.
To use the tool, first place the washer, flat side out, on the tip of the pipe.
Then prep your eye. For Olivia I inserted the eye into a circle of felt.
And then inserted the eye through the face, from the front to the back. Now it's ready for the washer.
Use the tool to easily and smoothly push the washer onto the post. The tool holds the washer and the force of your palm helps to smoothly and easily push the washer on to the post. A little push on the wooden ball and the washer clicks down the grooves of the post until it sits flush with the fabric.
The eye is securely attached.
I agree with Kristin. This tool makes inserting safety eyes quick and painless. And better yet, it's so nice to use a specialized tool that's been handcrafted just for this purpose.
Thank you to Jerry, and his wife Carolyn, for sending me these to try. Check out Jerry's shop, Glass Eyes Online, where you can find the insertion tools as well as a great selection of eyes, noses, and doll joints.
To make your own Olivia the Octopus, grab the pattern right here.