:: Playing with Blythe–sleep eye tutorial ::

So as some of you may know, I’ve recently been bitten by the Blythe “bug.” I started collecting these cuties a few months ago, and being the crafty little person I am, I wanted to start opening her up right away and begin my custom girls.

I have found many extremely helpful tutorials at puchicollective.com. The one thing I was finding a bit tricky (and hadn’t found a good tutorial for) was giving Blythe “sleep eyes.” Not a hard procedure I’ve realized, now that I’ve done them–but I wanted to provide a really good tutorial on giving your Blythe her own opportunity for nap time 🙂

I think part of the problem was that I didn’t really understand how they worked…so here’s how! When you pull Blythe’s original cord, her eyes close, click, and then re-open with her next set of chips. Giving your Blythe doll “sleep eyes” is quite simple–what you’re basically doing is adding a second pull cord to take the place of the spring, which connects to the slot in the back of her face plate. Without the spring to automatically open her eyes, you can now have control over whether her eyes are open or closed, and can also vary the amount her eyelids are closed.

Here, I’m going to be working on my RBL mold Ichigo Heaven, Charlie, who has bravely volunteered for the demonstration. [to read more about Blythe molds, click here!]

Charlie, IH (RBL)

Ok, here we go!

1. You’ll have to get inside Blythe’s head to give her sleep eyes. Begin by unscrewing the three screws on the back of your Blythe’s head plate.The RBL mold has two larger screws at the bottom, and one smaller screw at the top above the spring. I’ve laid Charlie down on a soft cloth as to avoid any scratching on her face.

Remove the screws from her head plate

If you can’t find a tiny screwdriver (mine has gone AWOL at the moment) a snappy hair clip actually works quite well to get the top screw out.

In a pinch, a snappy hair clip will get that tiny top screw out.

2. Using tweezers or a small crochet hook, unhook the spring in the slot below the screw. Let the spring retract inside Blythe’s head. This is the slot where her new sleep cord will come out through.

Unhook the spring. This is where the new sleep cord will come out through.

3. Pop her head open by gently squeezing her ears together. Here is a good tutorial from puchicollective on scalping your RBL mold Blythe if you need additional help. Once her head is open, snip her charms to free her face plate from her back head plate (or untie them if you plan to use the same cord).

Snip her charms so you can fully separate her plates.

Here is what an RBL Blythe’s head looks like from the inside. You can see her one pull string and her eye mechanism.

This is what Charlie's eye mech looks like.

4. I find it easiest to insert the new cording if you remove the eye mechanism. You might not have to, but I’m planning on giving Charlie some new eye chips while I’ve got her opened up, so I’m going to take it out.

So, I’m going to unscrew the T-bar before removing the eye mechanism.

Unscrew the T-bar.

5. I’m going to replace Charlie’s original cord with a pink one so it will match her new sleep cord. To do this, just snip the cord at the bottom of the white arc, snip the new cord at an angle, thread through and tie a little knot.

(Charlie’s eyes are soaking right now so I can change the chips, but you can leave the eyes in the mech for the next steps.)

I’ve purchased some new colorful pullrings from Twiggy Twiggy, but will probably save the pink pulls for another girl. You can also use kite string, craft cording, or window blind cording and your own charms.

Here, I've replaced Charlie's orignal cord with a pink one.

6. Now we are going to add the second cord to the eye mech that will allow your Blythe’s eyes to stay closed. Again, snip your cord at an angle so it will feed through the hole (I also singed the end of my cord to melt it just a bit and give it a stiffer end that won’t fray). Feed the cord through the hole where the spring is attached and make a small knot. I found knotting on the left side works best.

Thread the 2nd cord through the hole where the spring is attached and tie a knot.

7. Tie a second little looped knot around the other end of the spring to keep it from swinging around in her head. Your spring is not going to be reattached to the back of your dolls head plate. (You can remove the spring all together if you really want to. I leave mine in there just in case I ever want to put her back to normal and take away her sleep eyes.)

Tie a loop around the end of the spring to keep it from swinging around inside her head.

(I’ve given Charlie all new chips while we were adding her sleep cord, so next is to put her eyes back in her mechanism, which you won’t have to do if you haven’t removed the eyeballs)

I've got the eye meck all back together with new chips.

8. Put the eye mech back into the faceplate and screw down the T-bar. (Make sure to not tighten the T-bar too much; I cracked Charlie’s when I was putting it back in and had to repair it with super glue)

You can see the two sets of cords Charlie has now.

Put the eye mech back in the face plate and screw down the T-bar.

9. Feed the original cord attached to the bottom of the white arc back through the round hole in the back head plate. Then, feed the new sleep cord though the slot where the spring used to be.

Thread her cords through the back of her head.

10. Now you are all set to pop her head back together! Put her charms back on, or add new ones if you’d like, and your girl is all set to take a nap! 🙂

Reattach the charms.

When you pull the original cord, her eyes will shut and click, but now they will remain closed. To open her eyes, you will now pull the second cord that we just added. Ta-dah! Sleep eyes.


I hope this was helpful and easy to understand. I’m loving learning about Blythe and customizing her…. plus it’s really fun to have an excuse to act like a 6 year old again! 🙂




~ by stuffbykate on March 28, 2010.

26 Responses to “:: Playing with Blythe–sleep eye tutorial ::”

  1. very helpful as I plan on doing this to my girls 🙂

  2. This is awesome, Kate. I think it’s destined to be a classic on the web! I can’t wait to try this over the weekend :).

  3. This is such a helpful tutorial! Thank you for the very detailed pictures and descriptions! I was debating doing sleep eyes on my Mango, because I didn’t quite understand the process. Now, I totally get it! Thank you!

  4. What a terrific walk through! I really appreciate you explaining
    how the eye mech works to begin with, which has been unclear to me all this time. I was afraid to do sleep eyes because I didn’t
    really know what I was getting into. Thanks to your great photos and clear directions, I can’t wait to do it!

  5. Hey Kate, it’s Carrie from TheBlytheBoutique (you just bought a hat from me….thank you!!!!). Glad I found your blog! So your pretty new to Blythes too…I just started collecting them about 3 months ago and what a crazy and addicting hobby this is huh???? So far I have 5 girls (can’t believe it…my poor hubby)….One is sent off to be customized and my other girls I’ve customized myself, but working on my Mango and Guava at the moment! This is a great tutorial…I too had a hard time with Puchicollective! Thanks for sharing! Also, you make the cutest clothes, now you have to make some for the dollies and sell them!!!! Well you take care and have a beautiful night! ~hugs~

  6. Thank you for this–I’m in the process of getting my first Blythe and I’ve been trying to find information about how her eyes & things work. (I don’t think mine came with sleep eyes) but this is so helpful!

  7. […] stuff by kate’s sleep eyes tutorial: clear photos and clear instructions. As one commenter has already said in reply to her post, it should be destined to be a much referred to post for customisers. […]

  8. hi, where can i buy the sleep-eyes?

  9. I am so glad that you all have found the tutorial so helpful! I’m so pleased that it has been such a good tool for you guys! 🙂

    Catherine, you can’t actually buy “sleep eyes,” but just follow the instructions to make them work the way shown. There are links in the post to supplies too! Good luck!

  10. Hi,
    This worked for me with one of my Blythes, but I could not get the head off my 2003 Hasboro Blythe. It was like it was glued. But tjis is a great tutorial!

    • This tutorial applies to Takara Neo-sized Blythes; the different molds open up a little differently, but the eye mechs are basically the same. 🙂 It sounds like you might have been working with an SBL mold, in which case you’d have to saw her dome in half to open her up! Good luck!

  11. Great tutorial, really helpfull ! I can’t wait to get my Blythe’s new cord and charms .. I whish I was good at custom too T__T

  12. It was very helpful to me too!

  13. Thank you SO much for this! It’s super helpful!!

  14. Tried to create sleep eyes took out spring. Now the eyes are not changing. What did I do wrong ?

    • You’ll need to add the second cord as instructed. If you still have a problem with the clicking of the eyes, then it is most likely with the eye mech and nothing you have changed with the spring or cords!

  15. Hello~~ ^__^
    Sorry if this is a dumb question.
    If I make her eyes sleepy, will they still change colors when I pull the original cord? I would assume yes, but I haven’t found anything about it ;___;

    • Yes, they do change–one time, and then remain closed. The new cord opens them back up again, and then you can begin the process again for the next set of chips! Good luck!

  16. Best. Tutorial. Ever.

  17. Superb tutorial, could not be clearer, thank you so much, I had no idea it was this simple 🙂

  18. Thank you so much for this very clear tutorial!! I think now even I can do this!!

  19. Thank you so much for this super clear, super easy tutorial! I just got my first Blythe (Very Vicky) a week ago and this tutorial got me so excited that I had to try the sleep eyes :p I was hoping you could help me- I’m in the process of lifting the backplate off her head and have managed to separate her chin and the sides. However, I’m really struggling with getting it all off because the backplate is stuck hard to her dome/scalp at the top. I’m scared I’ll break her if I keep trying to lift it as I’m hearing some scary creaks! Any advice for a noob? 🙂

  20. Thanks for the superb tutorial Kate! It was really simple and easy to follow, my girl now has lovely sleep eyes! ;3

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