How to Make a Pair of Steampunk Glasses

Written by larry simmons
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How to Make a Pair of Steampunk Glasses
Convert swim goggles into a pair of Steampunk glasses with a bit of leather and paint. (Jupiterimages/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Steampunk combines science fiction with Victorian ideas to create a genre celebrating fashion and technology. For those who dress in Steampunk fashion, one of the absolute accessories is a pair of Steampunk glasses. While there are nearly as many designs as there are glasses made, there is a basic template to use if you choose to make your own. The glasses should include leather or metal and should represent your individuality with add-ons of your choosing. The results can be beautiful and intricate works of art, but you can create your own basic set using swimming goggles as a base.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Swimming goggles
  • Utility knife
  • Cloth
  • Acetone
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tape measure
  • Leather fabric
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Contact cement
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Leather cord
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Brass or silver add-ons

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut the strap and nosepiece from a pair of swimming goggles with a utility knife. Remove the foam padding from the base of the lenses with the knife, cutting as close to the lens as possible to maintain the shape of the foam. Set the foam pieces aside.

  2. 2

    Dampen a cloth with acetone and rub along the residue of foam left on the lens base to loosen the adhesive holding the last bits of foam in place, then pull the foam free. Lightly sand the base of the goggles up to the point where the lens begins with fine-grit sandpaper to create a scratched textured surface suitable for painting. Wipe the base clean with a dry cloth.

  3. 3

    Measure the distance between the inner corners of your eyes with a tape measure.

  4. 4

    Place the two foam ovals from the lens onto a piece of leather fabric and trace the shape of the inside and outer circle of the lens oval onto the leather with a pencil. Cut the inner circle of the oval from the leather with a pair of scissors. Place each lens onto the leather to test-fit the lens over the oval. The oval should fit the shape of the lens base perfectly.

  5. 5

    Use the pencil to draw out the shape of the side pieces of your Steampunk goggles onto the leather. You can design any shape you wish, but don't extend the sides further than the starting point of your ears --- you don't want to impede your hearing while wearing the goggles. Make a shape for each side of your head, using the outer circle of the lens to extend the shape from. Disregard the space between the goggles; you can use a small leather strap for the nosepiece instead of the leather fabric.

  6. 6

    Cut the shape of the goggles from the fabric using the scissors.

  7. 7

    Paint the base of the goggles using an acrylic paint and a paintbrush to avoid getting paint onto the lens. Use any metallic colour for the base. Allow the paint to dry overnight.

  8. 8

    Brush a thin layer of contact cement onto the base of the goggles where they will sit on the leather, then brush a second layer of the glue between the pencilled lines of the leather surrounding the ovals. Allow the cement to dry for about an hour, then press the goggles into place on the leather. Hold firmly for about a minute to set the glue.

  9. 9

    Cut a length of leather cord to match the distance between your eyes plus an additional inch. Make sure the cord is thin enough to slip through the slots of the goggle lenses where the rubber nosepiece once fit.

  10. 10

    Slip the leather cord through the nosepiece goggle slots from the front of the lenses and overlap the piece at the rear about 1/2 inch on each side. Sew the loose rear piece to the front piece using needle and thread to create a single flat leather strip that fits over your nose between the lenses.

  11. 11

    Measure the distance around your head and create a head strap from another leather cord, using the same process to fit the cord to the outside slots of the goggles. Sew the cord along the leather sidepieces glued to the goggles for a closer fit.

  12. 12

    Add any desired surface designs to the leather using paint, brass or silver gear pieces or anything else you desire that fits the Steampunk style.

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