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Few things in life that bring joy like googly eyes. Affix them to just about anything to turn a mundane inanimate object into a personable, googly-eyed character. Adorn trash cans, plants, computer screens, and everything in between with these excitable craft supplies, and bring smiles to millions. 

Instructor Jon Burgerman plays with inquisitive homemade googly eyes in the introduction of his Skillshare class.
Instructor Jon Burgerman plays with an inquisitive homemade version in the introduction of his Skillshare class. 

The History of Googly Eyes

While it’s nearly impossible to trace the history of the googly eyes we know today, many sources trace the googly eye origin to a comic strip from the 1900s titled Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. The comic’s main character, Barney, had two-dimensional bulging eyes that “googled.” 

Toymakers jumped on the opportunity to turn Barney’s eyes into art projects for kids around the world. Today, you can see craft projects requiring small and giant eyes all throughout the internet.

When Were They Created?

Tracing the origins of these wild eyes is a bit tough, but it’s widely accepted that the first ones were found on a small toy named Weepul一created by the toy company BIPO in the 1970s. Weepuls are still made today and are little colorful puffs containing two adorable googly eyes. 

Are They Patented?

Googly eyes aren’t patented. Though the art supply was likely created by BIPO in the 1970s, there is no patent on the product. So if you’ve always wanted to know how to make your own eyes at home, you’re free—and legally allowed—to make them!

Googly eyes turn eggs into cute, quirky, and approachable food. 

Where to Find Googly Eyes

Wondering where to buy these friendly eyes? Good news: nearly every craft store in the United States contains these fun treats. Often, they come in a variety pack so you go ahead and purchase a range of craft eyes, from the tiny to the giant! Check out your local art supply store—they’ll likely have plenty for you to get googly over. 

What to Use Them For

How you use google eyes greatly depends on what you’re making and your own artistic style. If you like giving inanimate objects a personality, you can use googly eyes on just about anything. Try some of these projects at home: 

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