Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Eyes Have It

It, is the tendency for doll eyes to transform from their original brown color to violet/purple! (So not cute.) This happened to several of my artist dolls from the 1990s. The victims include three Original Lee Middleton dolls (actually sculpted by the late Lee Middleton) and two Hildegard Gunzel dolls.

To correct this flaw, I used an ultra fine point, brown Sharpie permanent maker to color over the outer surface of the eyes. Voila! Their original brown eyes are now brown again!

Lee Middleton Angel Kisses (Dark) Girl, 1992, with brown eyes that turned violet; her twin brother's eye color changed, too.

Lee Middleton Angel Kisses (Dark) Girl, 1992, after brown Sharpie treatment to eyes

Hildegard Gunzel's Ebony, 1991 (brown eyes turned violet)

Gunzel's Pablo, 1991, brown eyes turned violet

Ebony and Pablo after Sharpie treatment

Interestingly, the third doll in the 1991 Gunzel series, Blanca (shown above) has maintained her original brown eye color. It is possible that a different eye brand was used for Blanca.

dbg ◦


  1. Thanks so much for this tip. I have doll from the 70's and her eyes have turned an odd shade of red. She looks a scary fright! I am going to try out your idea and hopefully she will be as good as new.

    Your doll's eyes all came out great after the Sharpie treatment but I must say that the Angel Kisses doll looked quite adorable with purple eyes as well for some reason. They are all beautiful dolls. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I don't have many glass-plastic-eyed dolls - most of mine are painted, whew - but your tip is good to know.

  3. Hugs, D7ana - You're welcome.

    Hugs, If you try the tip, be sure to purchase the ultra fine tip marker (Office Depot sells these individually). The ultra fine tip will prevent the marker's ink from accidentally staining unwanted areas. Anything wider than ultra fine will increase the "oops" potential.


  4. can you buy new eyes and put them in? or is it too much risk/expensive to get the head off to place them in?

  5. Yes, their eyes can be replaced with new eyes. But for the unskilled person, like me, in need of a quick fix, the Sharpie is the next best option.

    I've actually replaced eyes a time or two, but I still consider myself unskilled and more than that, I lack the required patience to replace eyes. :-)



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