Replacing Baby Face Eye Lenses

Many people like to change the eye color on their Baby Face dolls. It makes a nice change in appearance. The lovely custom Laura doll on the left was made by Cynthia (CC.) Grey eyes are a nice change and gives her a whole new look. The freckles are adorable, too.

The entire first batch of Baby Face dolls had very pale eyes that are not very pretty. This means that hundreds of thousands of dolls ended up with the pale eyes! Because of this, many of the BF collectors like to change the eyes on their dolls.


First you have to remove the iris lens from your doll. I use an exacto knife to pry the lens out of the eyeball. The edge of a razor blade will also work. Sometimes I use dental picks or a small jeweler's awl. Whatever tool you use must have a very thin edge. You do have to dig into the edge of the lens a teensy bit but it doesn't do enough damage to be noticeable later. Then push very firmly into the crack as deep as you can (straight down), and give a teensy bit of a twist to pop the lens.

Sometimes the exacto blade breaks. CC says the broken piece has hit her in the face, more than once - so she strongly recommends safety glasses.


I use the straight pick from this dental set (see photo above) to remove the lens from the eyeball. This works especially well for removing the lens from the doll's eye. I have also used an exacto knife to pry with, but I think this small pick works better, and is safer. These dental picks are handy when replacing lashes on dolls, as well. In fact, these dental tools are very useful for many crafty type projects.

I use the straight pick the most. The dental pick is sometimes bent on the very tip after removing the eye lenses, so I use a small needle file to smooth out the tip and then the dental pick is good for another set of eyes.


Christine (Woot's) husband helped her swap the lenses, while Christine took pictures. Woot had already broken the blade on her exacto knife, but that might have been an advantage, actually. Dear Hubby (DH) used the broken blade. I've done the same thing. That broken edge is a little stronger. The corner of a razor blade can also be used.

So the first thing to do is remove the doll's lenses.

To remove the lens, I push down very firmly into the crack at the edge of the lens. Push down hard but very carefully so you don't lose control. When you've got some depth, then lever up on the edge of the lens and it should pop out fairly easily.


Using our PrillyCharmin replacement lenses, I use an emery board to gently sand around the edge of the eye lens and remove any remaining glue, paper, or rough plastic -- because the fit for these lenses is VERY snug. If the lens does not go in easily, then gently sand around the edge a little more, being careful not to scratch the paper on the back.

Then push the replacement lens in place. There is a little "snap" sound when it slides into place. Feel around the edge of the lens to make sure it's all the way in the lens cavity. If necessary, I use the soft eraser-end of a pencil to push the lens in place.

PrillyCharmin lenses are slightly papier-weighted which means the lens is shaped like a dome, rather than flat like the original lenses. This does give greater dimension to the eyes.

I like to use a cotton ball to push with, to protect my fingers; because the dome shape of the lens can hurt when you're pushing on it.

The lens will be fine without glue. I do not recommend using any glue, unless the lens is falling out.

Do not use SUPERGLUE to put the new lens in. Superglue will totally ruin the lens and the eye. Ask me how I know. :(


GLUE... sometimes the doll's EYE LENSES are glued in place and there's no way you can get them out. This is actually a rare problem but the collectors have come across it from time to time... I think the manufacturer only used glue if there was a problem with the eye. Otherwise the iris is just pushed in place.

The first time I tried to swap lenses, it was a Laura doll who was a goner anyway: someone had ruined the head and it couldn't be fixed. But the eyes had been glued in and I never got the lenses out! The eyes were RUINED when I finally gave up. I'm not the only one who has encountered this. It's not common but there are some BF dolls with lenses that are very securely glued. And you won't know which ones are glued until you try to get them out.

When I got the nerve to try again with a different doll, I didn't have any problems! The lens popped right out, it was easy.

Also, many of the Baby Face EYEBALLS were glued in and I could NOT remove the eyes from the vinyl. I damaged the doll in all my efforts. Other collectors have run into the same problem. The photo below is from Miss Bisch in my Baby Face Doll group, who emphatically agrees with me.
So I would much rather swap the lenses than try to remove the entire eye.

Yes, I know that photo is a horror picture. The glue will not let go of those eyeballs! I'm just warning you that trying to remove the entire eyeball can turn into real trouble sometimes.

As with all my refurbishing tricks, do this at your own risk.
And please be careful with the exacto knife, it's a serious blade! This Heidi is cute with grey eyes, but you can see that her mama has a new boo-boo.


You can't buy just any eyeballs for this lens-swapping trick. You need a specific style of eyeball with a specific 11mm size of removable lens. Such eyes are considered old fashioned now and very hard to find. I've searched for years. I have a whole (big) shoebox full of failures. Most modern brands of eyes do not have the removable lens.

This is why we had eye lenses custom made just for our Baby Face Galoob dolls. The 11mm lenses are available in PrillyCharmin's web shop CLICK HERE, or in our eBay store CLICK HERE.


PrillyCharmin's eye lenses are a custom product that is just for our Baby Face Galoob dolls. We are selling the Iris Lens ONLY, not the eyeball itself. So you won't need to go to the hassle of removing the lens from the white acrylic eyeball. We have four colors:

The Galoob dolls already have plenty of blue eyes among them, so the PrillyCharmin colors are different from most of the original BF eye colors.

Ann Pitingolo is the one who first discovered that we could swap the eye lenses. Ann has done some amazing things to customize her dolls.

Thank you to the Baby Face group members for helping
to compile this tutorial and providing photos.

Copyright (c) 2002, 2020 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved