Tulip Fabric Paint Eyes

Here is an easy way to make multi-colored 3D eyes for your flies. You can make them any size and any color including fluorescent and glow-in-the-dark. Get the paints at Hobby Lobby or Walmart. The key to making the eyes is to give them a light tap from underneath (see video). This smooths and rounds the paint dollop before it dries.

7 thoughts on “Tulip Fabric Paint Eyes

  1. Joe French

    Good review. I saw you make this at the Fly Tying Festival in Houston in ’08. It helped me to have seen you actually make them in person. Thanks for sharing.

    1. caseysmartt Post author

      Hello Joe.

      Yes, I made these at the 08 fly gig in Houston. There was a lot of interest in them and I still get a lot of questions about how to make them. Tulip Paints have many uses in fly tying. Durable… non-toxic… cheap… they are a great product.


  2. Jeff Mills

    I met you at Roy’s Bait and Tackle Fly Fling in Corpus Christi. After watching you make these eyes I had to try them at home. Great idea you have here. I tied up some flies and attached the tulip eyes. My problem with the process is that I flattened the paint too much but was happy with the outcome anyway. Quite by accident I found a process to turn the tulip eyes into 3D eyes. I added a little thin tufffleye to the top of the eyes and let it work just into the edge of the fabric. After hitting it with the light I had a 3D eye that looks awesome. The best part is that by using your tulip eye process I can make them any color I want. Just wanted to share my “Ureka Moment” with you. I hope to get you back to Corpus Christi soon to speak at one of our club meetings.
    Tight loops,


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