Nothing brings inanimate objects to life like a well placed pair of Googly Eyes. A super cheap plastic and paper novelty, Googly eyes have become the symbol for wacky fun and crazy antics right alongside the rubber chicken, chattering teeth or the classic nose glasses.
Also known as jiggly eyes, these little plastic tabs are meant to imitate eyeballs. Googly eyes traditionally are made of a white plastic or card backing covered by a clear, hard-plastic, bubble-like shell, encapsulating a free floating black plastic disk. The combination of a black circle over a white disk mimics the appearance of the sclera and pupil of the eyeball for an endlesly humorous effect. The inner black disk moves freely within the larger clear plastic bubble, which makes the eyes appear to move when the googly eyes are tilted or shaken.
Googly eyes have been around for a long time, since 1919 in fact. A guy named Billy deBeck created a comic called Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. All his characters were drawn with those big, googly eyes as the hook for the comic. He reportedly began creating the craft product that we think of today to promote the comic strip. Things really took off in 1923 when deBeck composed a song for Barney Google. “Barney Google with Your Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes” cemented the Googly Eye into pop culture forever.
So here’s the plan… get yourself a whole bunch of Googly Eyes and start sticking them on everything and anything. The more sinister or heinous the item you stick them on, the funnier it will appear sporting a pair of googly eyes. Every craft store sells them but you’ll find the best prices right here in the interwebs. (eBay and Amazon have endless supplies available). Go for the self adhesive variety, best in a sheet format (link: Amazon – Creativity Street Peel and Stick Wiggle Eyes Multi-Pack, 60 -Piece Pack) as it is much easier than trying to peel the little circle off the back and they are easier to manage in a pocket. Grab a bunch, give some to a friend… share the fun!
OK, everyone… you know what you got to do… get some googly eyes and start sticking. I want to see Googly Eyes everywhere on everything. Get wacky, go wild, get into some trouble…What is the most outrageous Googly Eye placement can you think of? Send me pictures of your Googly Eyed items and I’ll post them in a gallery.