If you are involved in the yarn craft world at all, you know this question comes up quite often and usually sparks some pretty good debates. Below is my opinion on the subject.
Safety eyes are a safe way to attach plastic eyes to your latest crochet project. With the backings attached properly it is very difficult to nearly impossible to remove the backing in normal conditions. With that being said, a toddler could wreck the actual doll itself and therefore the backing means nothing at this point.
Should I Still Use Them
Most people selling safety eyes will have some sort of public announcement warning regarding their product. I feel, if they are used responsibly by the individual creating the crochet product then the risk is extremely low.
In all of my years being involved in the crochet world, whether it’s belonging to FaceBook groups, selling on Etsy or just following the everyday news, I have not heard of anyone having a near miss or worse while using safety eyes.
Now, that’s not to say it hasn’t happened. And I’m not downplaying the seriousness of the situation if it did occur. My point is, you probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than this unfortunate accident happening to you!
How Do They Work
This is the great thing about safety eyes. They are really easy to work with. There are only two parts to deal with. The eye itself and the backing. The eyes have a number of ridges on the stem. This gives you the versatility you need to secure the eye to your project. The backing is also made of plastic and simply slides down the stem of the eye.
What If I Need To Remove The Backing
This is where things get somewhat complicated. Keep in mind that the purpose of the backing is to prevent the eyes from being removed so that toddlers don’t get at them and accidentally choke on them.
From my experience over the years, there is no magical tool that will remove the backings and guarantee to keep them from being damaged. If you need to remove the backing for whatever reason you could grab a pair of needle nose pliers and force the backing off but you are more than likely going to wreck the backing and need a new one.
If the reason you are needing to remove the backing is because you have placed the eye in a spot you aren’t happy with I recommend going over the pattern instructions again. In my patterns I will tell you where to place the eyes to leave the guess work out of it.
Are There Other Types Of Backings
We’ve talked quite a bit about plastic backings and how difficult they are to remove. There are metal backings you can purchase but in my opinion they work the same as the plastic ones. You can remove them but it is very difficult to do without ruining the backing.
The metal backing is very thin and easily manipulated but I find them more difficult to work with when attaching to the eyes. There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to which is the better choice. It’s more about preference.
I prefer the plastic ones as I find them easier to work with and I find them to be safer than the metal ones for the simple reason that it is much more difficult to remove the plastic backing compared to the metal style.
Where Can I Buy Safety Eyes
Well, as luck would have it, you can find all kinds of safety eyes at my website Hey Can You Crochet Me A… or you can go over to my Etsy shop. Either way you won’t be disappointed. I offer a wide selection of custom hand painted eyes such as glitter, metallic and even glow in the dark! Each eye is hand painted by myself.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and supporting my business.