Introduction: Steampunk Airship Goggles

Picture of Steampunk Airship Goggles

By request: My take on goggles.

Often times after piloting my steam dirigible, I arrive at my destination only to find my eyelashes and eyebrows have collected a mass of gnats, fleas, and small birds. What to do? My last three windscreens have been stolen by flying glass pirates, so I decided to make two smaller windscreens and an apparatus to hold them securely to my head. ha HA! Those scoundrels will have to take my head before they they pilfer these!

These are the goggles that I set out to make when I found the Batman character that was the inspiration for my costume.

*note: anytime a say "an inch" or "half an inch" these are really just rough guesses as I didn't actually measure anything

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

OK here's what I used, and I spent under $30:

Leather - leather coat purchased at salvation army for $9
Small buckle - from women's shoes at salvation army $3
Waxed sinew - from leather supplier $5
Metal rings - these I had lying around, I think they came from a craft store $?
Plumbing coupler - Home Depot $3
Plastic sheet - also had lying around

Dremel with cutting wheel
Curved needle
Sewing machine
Liquid Nails Clear
Leather punch (you could actually use just a small nail or something, a leather punch just makes nicer holes)

Step 2: Lenses and Lense Holders

Picture of Lenses and Lense Holders

I started but cutting off the threads on both ends of the coupled, and grinding off the chrome from the insides. I did this just so that they would be brass on the inside, unfortunately the outside rings were not brass and therefore would always be silver no matter how much I ground them. They could be painted I suppose, but I left them silver.

I cut two circles out of a clear plastic sheet the same diameter of the inside of the outer ring. I screwed the threads back in to hold the lenses in place.

Step 3: Eye Cups

Picture of Eye Cups

I took a piece of leather about about three inched wide and wrapped it around one of the lenses, cutting the length so that there was about a quarter inch overlap. I folded over the bottom edge around the front of the lens holders, pulled it tight then used the curved needle and sinew to stitch it together where it overlaps. Repeat for each eye. Hopefully the pictures explain this a little better.

Next I cut what was now a leather tube on an angle downwards toward the overlap. This keeps the slightly bulky overlap in the middle near the nose. I folded over the edges a wrap stitched them with the sinew and needle to put a better looking edge on them.

I cut a small strip of leather about an inch and a half long by an inch wide for the nose bridge. I actually had to cut this twice, because the first time it was to big for my face, you may have to adjust this to your own face.

I stitched this piece just above the overlap on the lenses.

Hopefully the pictures will make sense...

Step 4: Back Pad

Picture of Back Pad

I took a rough measurement around the back of my head from just over my ears, and cut a inch and a half strip to match the length. I folded the strip over itself twice so that it became half an inch thick but three layers. I put a thin bead of Liquid Nails between each layer and clamped it all together. I don't think it was entirely necessary, but it made the next part easier. I ran the whole thing through my sewing machine with a leather needle and denim thread using a stitch that my machine has built in that looks like a heartbeat pattern. This obviously was just an aesthetic choice.

This is the one part that I don't have many pics, but it's also probably the simplest and easiest to change pieces. You could really make this out a lot of different ways. I chose to make it thicker than the side strips to give the whole things a little more weight, both actually and visually.

Step 5: Head Band Part 2

Picture of Head Band Part 2

I used the metal rings to act as a transition between the thinner adjusting and side straps, and the thicker back pad.

I cut strips of leather the the right width for the buckle ,there are five pieces total: 2 short ones that are attach the metal rings to the pad in the back, 1 longer piece to attach the metal ring on the left side to the eye cup, 1 long piece to connect buckle to right eye cup, and 1 long piece for the adjusting strap through the buckle.

Each one of these pieces is stitched with the sinew to it's appropriate place... it's hard to explain so the pictures are probably easier than words.

I cut the adjusting piece to a point at one end and used a small leather punch to make holes.

Step 6: Finished

Picture of Finished

Strap on you goggles, shout "Full Steam Ahead" and pilot your skyship to the nearest mad scientist convention!


ShantelleB (author)2016-10-13

Ha ha bunch of dumb people this is about goggles not animals so take your protest elsewhere or better yet go tout some vinyl ( plastic) argh you vegans are unnatural we are ominvores we have teeth made for eating flesh mind you i dont believe it should be nearly as much as we do !! Anyway you can use leather or straight up metal or go buy polluting synthetics

Stop MotionM made it! (author)2016-01-15

Nice Job on the goggles

timiscool (author)2014-11-06

this is stooky!

A good name (author)2008-08-30

Does anyone know alternatives to leather? (I'm talking something that doesn't involve the slaughtering of animals here) Looks like a great project, but until I can find an alternative, I won't be able to do it.

greenkush (author)A good name2011-03-31

the animals been dead for a while now... but yeah some people go like to go against our meat eating nature. do you think no animal should die?

dragonslug (author)greenkush2014-02-16

"the animals been dead for a while now... but yeah some people go like to go against our meat eating nature." Humans are born vegan. for example if you give a three year old a chicken, calf, and pig it is not going to try and eat any of them it is going to play with all the animals. or if you give a baby an apple and a chick it would put both in its mouth and any one who say a chick in the baby's mouth they would think its a demon baby. Humans are the only mammals that steal milk from another species. Calves suffer because your drinking its food. your eggs that is a chicken period. You wouldn't eat your girlfriends or moms periods? Would you. I think not. Being vegan should be the norm and you should be ashamed to force animals to suffer for your food. Animals are friends not food. A proud vegan.

Kaiga01 (author)dragonslug2014-07-24

You never saw a cat drinking cows milk?

i agree with morphious69 and aintmichael. having the option to use leather and still turning it down is wasteful

That's like saying I should eat meat because it's already dead. I refuse to use animal products, no matter what shape or form it is (I can rarely eat processed food anymore because almost all of it has animal fat in it). I don't care if it's going to a landfill, I wouldn't wear my family's skin, so I sure as hell won't wear another animal's skin (contrary to popular belief, animal life is just as valuable as humans, if not more, because animals are not ruthless and uncaring. And before anyone asks, no, I don't have a hatred towards the human race)

i wear cotton ;D

:P Alright. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against animal "products" (eggs, milk, wool) just anything that involves killing or putting the animal in extreme discomfort.

PinUpRetro (author)A good name2011-04-08

That's the least of it (blood in milk)! Only mother cows produce they are inpregnanted a few times in their life cycle (around 7 times I think). The calfs are killed for food - I guess the cow is too (hopefully - rather than just thrown away).

Milk is incredibly cruel if you think about it. Vegetarians annoy me! Full respect for Vegans - they believe in something and stick to it. Vegetarians who drink milk, wear leather, eat sweets (where do you think geletine comes from??!!) make me angry - especially the preachy ones!

I always buy my leather from shoe makers (off cuts on ebay) or use scrap from old sofas/trousers/jackets - reuse!

lbogart (author)PinUpRetro2011-05-29

"PinUpRetro": good advise using scraps. As a vegan, I don't purchase any animal products BUT I knew someone who was going to THROW OUT leather scraps, and I scooped them up: utilizing leather that was going to be thrown away is far more humane than putting it in a landfill AND then going and producing more waste by buying synthetic items.

"A good name": some really interesting thoughts if you ever get a chance to read "The Omnivore's Dilemma". There are many choices we make that are damaging to the environment and to animals even when acting as vegetarian, and some options that meat eaters can choose (such as grass-fed farms) that are actually *beneficial* both to the animals and to the land they are on. I mostly avoid anything with corn products/by products in it now as well as a few other vegetarian foods that are very ecologically damaging, and although I still don't eat anything from an animal (or purchase any NEW products made from animal parts), I will get chickin & milk from a local grass farm for my family. (On special occasions, because "local" still is a two-hour drive.)

Best bet to get leather scraps for a project is Freecycle: you don't have to pay anything, you're reducing waste, and you don't contribute to the death of a cow if that's something that bothers you. Usually someone will offer pretty quickly because artsy people hang onto things we can't use anymore for a long time because it's in our nature not to throw anything out someone might want to use. It's a relief when someone takes it off our hands.

jk1386 (author)A good name2010-08-28

I'm afraid at this stage, approaching 7 billion humans it is inevitable that even the non-slaughter resources aren't as pure as you'd hope. Milk for example sometimes has to be bleached because coming off the machines it has a pinkish hue from the cow's utters bleeding after being over-milked :(

morphious69 (author)A good name2008-09-21

if you use fake leather you should be aware of the death and discomfort that is caused by the toxic chemicals produced while making these synthetics and realize that the only way to avoid this is oak or similiar vegtable tanned leather. the animals killed for this are being killed anyway for food and it is best not to waste any part of something killed so that another animal will not be killed. just stick to leather from animals used for food only and not exotics. this helps and in the case of these things utilizing smaller pieces of leather you can opt for a place that sells scrap leathers because this is stuff that will end up in a land fill else wise.

ccb51310 (author)morphious692011-05-15

For anyone looking for leather, check out Tandy Leather factory. There are about 100 of them around the us, and they all take internet orders. If you have any questions, check out the website, and give your nearest store a call. They are always so happy to help out. (And their leathers are all by-products of the meat industry. Every cowhide, aligator skin, rabbit skin, snakeskin, etc. etc. were eaten for food, and the skins would be thrown out...) Tandy doesn't do any tanning themselves, but they deal with tanneries that only get their hides from those sources.

randomray (author)morphious692010-08-22

Very good points morphious69 . I strongly recomend recycling from trift shops and yard sales .

raimen (author)morphious692009-04-16

well said :D

Glad to see somebody admit that they 'wing-it' on their projects. I plan to go through a bunch of old shoes for the material so that I can get a weather-beaten look. Have to get out the conditioner to revive some of the parts.

Everyone seems to find the metal accents in the oddest places, so that's gonna determine when I start the project. I'm on the lookout. For the lenses, I'm going to use the material from an old set of racquetball safety goggles—nice thick polycarbonate!

For the band, I want to figure out some way to hide a little velcro for adjusting the fit. If you have the metal rings on the side, I would recommend paying attention if the goggles have been in the sun. Those rings could be really hot, depending on conditions.

An aside regarding the materials debate:
I have always wondered where vegetarians get their bread from. All wheat that is harvested by machinery gets pulled in along with the birds, snakes, rats & bunnies, etc. that have made their homes in the fields. Is there some cruelty-free grain source that I don't know about?

Rishnai (author)A good name2008-09-02

I've got a couple of old fake leather belts. They don't seem to be of an agreeable material for doing this. Vinyl looks the most promising, possibly scavenged from your 80s wardrobe...

lazemaple (author)Rishnai2010-08-23

Vinyl and Plastics are responsible for dioxin and much of the worlds pollution. Leather is more durable and out lasts plastics! Leather is a renewable resource as well as being a byproduct of the food industry. Every bit of the animal is used for some purpose. For that reason my vegan friend wears leather boots. In the 12 years she's been wearing them there would have been MANY pairs of vinyl boots which would have contributed to world pollution. You can't even dispose of them in landfills safely.

BUT if you must, (i too was searching for leather). i couldnt find any. and i dont have a car to take me places (im 15) so i stepped into an old abandoned house and i found a fake leather purse. in otherwords. buy a cheap bag or purse. or if you dont want fake leather, umm.. thick denim could work if you want a punkish look.

aintMichael (author)A good name2008-09-02

There are plenty of leather alternatives, although I'm of the opinion that by purchasing second hand leather I have not only not added to the demand for leather, but also not wasted a resource that already existed.

A good name (author)aintMichael2008-09-03

Sorry, but I don't believe in killing animals, so well... yeah. I don't support it at all... I don't use the products, nothing.

plants are living too. just because you cant hear them screaming it doesnt mean they arent.

morphious69 (author)A good name2008-09-21

again I have to point out that plastics kill and maim as well as cause birth defects in both animals and humans so using plastics of anykind is fueling this death and destruction. if you are whole heartedly going to ban leather then use cloths that do not use synthetics. cotton and such and please be aware of the stuff used for coloring too as this is pretty toxic in some cases and they throw that stuff right into the rivers and streams. kills fish and everything that eats them as part of the cycle.

randomray (author)A good name2009-06-25

I don't know if you have any qualms about using the hide of naughas , and in addition to the faux stuff a brocade would look even better then the period canvas look . With brocade you would have many choices . When selecting brocade make sure it isn't too stretchy.

pocketwatch (author)A good name2009-06-05

Well, why not buy a PVC or other imitation bag at a charity shop? Personally, once something is being resold by a charity I feel ethically sound purchasing it as I am not contributing directly to death, but if it is just the thought of something's skin on your face that you can't stand I think the pvc, or vinyl, is the best choice.

greensteam (author)A good name2009-03-06

You sometimes see very old goggles not of leather but of heavy canvas. I would reccommend that and then use shoe polish, or beeswax to waterproof it. perhaps even old denim would do.

ncp246 (author)A good name2008-09-07

I've had the same problem. :) I took apart an old vinyl baseball by cutting along the seams, then dyed it with shoe polish. I was using a different tutorial, but I'm sure you could figure something out! you can find faux leather or vinyl leather on the internet, too. Hope this was helpful!

yallen (author)2013-02-21

I made a pair using milk bottle cap which I coated with copper leaf, and leather from an old pair of shoes. I just used a regular sewing needle and doubled the thread. It would help to have a thimble because it's hard to push the needle through.
You could make interchangible lenses by cutting off the top of the bottle and having different lenses in the bottle lids.

tRoy heRman (author)2012-01-21

How did you connect the ring to the leather?

aintMichael (author)tRoy heRman2012-06-29

Half a year later.... So , I used two smaller bits of leather, wrapped them around the ring and then sewed the, together. Hope that sort of makes sense...

DarynSharp (author)2012-06-29

I love it! I really want to make a steampunk harness that you can use for airships. As you're a senior rank on the flight of steam, I just wonder if you have any suggestions for me?

I have a limited amount of money.

aintMichael (author)DarynSharp2012-06-29

To keep it on the cheap I usually forage through the Salvation Army for Most of my bits. You might be surprised at all the cool junk in the Home Decor section.

black hole (author)2011-12-07

Cool. Very nice looking.

shawnon (author)2009-05-04

I used a slip joint nut instead of a coupler. It comes with a rubber washer that fits on the inside, and I just glued the lens between the nut and washer. It looks the same, and no metal-cutting involved! _

tweetspie (author)shawnon2011-11-02

I'm looking at supplies online to price how much this is going to cost me. What size slip joint nut did you use? 1 1/2? 1 1/4? Bigger?

shawnon (author)tweetspie2011-11-03

I used 1 1/2" and I think they were ~$8, but that was 3 yrs ago so they might be more or less now. Here's some pics in case they help.

Gmechanic (author)shawnon2011-09-10

couldn't find the exact coupler at any hardware no matter how common it would seem to be so I'm going to look for a slip joint nut or just order online if they don't have that in-store either...can't believe home depot and lowes don't have the coupler though I would think they would, but no, not even on their websites! =( Thanks for the tip!

shawnon (author)Gmechanic2011-09-12

I think I got it in the plumbing section... good luck!

Gmechanic (author)shawnon2011-09-12

no prob, found it in the bath/household section (I was in the industrial plumbing where they keep the galvonized steels, and PVC pipes) of my store. Guys, go look in the bath section since this is not used in industrial plumbing.. -__- they even had the slip joints by themselves, but I wanted threads, so..

zwilcox1 (author)2011-10-29

I didn't have any coupler things, so I used the top of an old broken Maglite®, Which is nice because then the lens is already made.

blevine1 (author)2011-10-20

hey, quick question. when you stitched the overlap above the lens holders did u have the holders in when you stitched or did you take them out first.

if you had the lens holders in could you clarify how you stitched with out every thing becoming loose

Wildrat (author)2010-08-22

There is nothing you can wear, eat, buy, that does not kill or has been killed whether it be syntheric or otherwise.Things are here on this earth for us to use. If you don't want to use it then don't, but don't come moaning here about not wanting to use what the author used. There are so many choices for material it's pitiful. Use a synthetic that was made on a machine that a man or women got there arm cut off on in an accident, the machine that is made of steel that caused the death of men mining the ore, or in the foundry or the coal used to fire the furnace, many, many trees and plants died to make the coal, or any fuel that is used, millions of animals died so you can goto the health food store and get your tofu. So amyway, enjoy your goggles if you manage to find anything to make them with.

frogmeetcog (author)Wildrat2010-09-06


You also kill millions of microrganisms each minute by breathing, if that bothers you guys...

Kozar (author)frogmeetcog2011-08-31

-- Kozar Exhales,

-- 12 Million Kills!

-- Achievement Unlocked!!

castothomas (author)Wildrat2011-06-20

Thats for sure, God the father gave it for us to use only thing I want to ask is where did you find the materialso I can get some myself.

PinUpRetro (author)Wildrat2011-04-08


jonpersonals (author)Wildrat2010-08-22

I have some advice for you Bright Eyes. Take a few more qkualukdes and drown your self and get off these pages.

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