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Easy, Illustrated Instructions on How to make giant Googlie Eyes for your Halloween Costume and Win Costume Contests

Page 3

Without a vacuum-forming equipment, I had success using a very simple die and my home oven. I started with a square of acrylic three inches larger than the eye I was trying to fashion. It can't be larger than your oven, however. Next, I marked two sheets of wood and cut identical large circles out of the centers. This is your die, so the circle needs to be the same size as the eye you are trying to create. These two wooden dies are the bread in a hot acrylic sandwich you are going to make. Prepare four or more clamps to hold it together.

In my experience, with 1/8th inch thick plastic (acrylic) sheets, if you get the plastic hot enough to have it droop into the die, bubbles will form within the plastic. Your goal will be to heat the plastic to a temperature which will allow the plastic sheet to be manipulated, but remains cool enough to avoid bubbles.

Wear oven mitts.
Set the plastic sheet on top of one of the wooden dies and place it into the oven. Set the oven on the broil setting and watch the sheet carefully. Do not leave this spot. Stare at the plastic.

As soon as it starts to deform, but before it actually begins falling, pull the plastic and wood out of the oven and place them on top of the sink or a garbage can. You need something that doesn't have a top, but can support the die around the edges. Quickly drop the second half of the die over the soft plastic sheet and clamp it into place. Immediately begin pushing down on the hot sheet. Your goal is to make a smooth bowl shape. Keep moving and pushing as the plastic cools. It will harden in place.

It won't take much of a bowl shape to make a good googlie eye. The bowl only has to be about an inch deep. If it doesn't look right, stop pushing and put it back in the oven. You can put the whole sandwich in the oven if the clamps are metal.

When the bowl is of a shape that you like, let it cool.

Now you will have to cut the round bowl part out of the sheet. I used a hot wire, but recommend sandwiching the plastic between two sheets of plywood and cutting through all three with a jigsaw. Clamp the sandwich tightly before you start cutting and use a fine-toothed jigsaw blade to avoid cracking the plastic.

That's all the advice I can offer you on making googlie eyes. They are great, but there are two downsides of a googlie-eye costume:

1) You should probably hide your face. The big googlie eyes are your costume's face. If your real face is showing, the effect is diminished. This is a shame, because you have a lovely face.
2) You can still lose to a giant transformer costume.

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