Protect your ocular organs with a pair of steampunk goggles, especially designed for airship voyages and time travel adventures!
This tutorial will show you how to take a standard pair of welding goggles and mod them into something stupendous using everyday household items and a few thrift store finds. This project can range in price from $20-$35 depending on what you have lying around already.
If you're ready for awesomeness, let's gather materials!
For this project, you will need:
- Standard pair of welding goggles (These are about $10 at the local hardware store)
- Gorilla Glue
- craft paper or newspaper
- metallic spray paint
- scrap leather (I butchered a few thrift store purses!)
- small clamps (or lots of patience to sit and hold stuff)
- writing implement (pencil)
- jewelry 'end caps' (like this)
- skewer/toothpick smearer
- utility knife
watch parts and miscellaneous hardware for decoration--like those double magnifying swiveling parts? They're called jewelers' loupes and you can find them in places like this. Another great idea would be to glue fake screw heads to the rim of the goggles--just snip the brad end off and paint them to spec.
Step 1: Paint frame and add your leather!
2. Cut out the elastic bridge. As you can see from the second photo, I didn't think of this until after I had painted and glued on my leather. This made it much more difficult. Do this before you paint --you'll thank yourself later. You can use whatever method you want to rid yourself of this little piece of plastic. I sawed at it with a utility knife and plyers so as not to damage my paint job. If you think you want to use your elastic again, you needn't bother with this step (though I might still recommend it in case you change your mind later, ya?)
3. Paint the rims and screw tops. You can use a metallic spray paint or you can brush an acrylic paint on. Rub n' Buff works, too, and may look more authentically metallic, but then you have to seal it. I went with a nice bright brassy color to offset my oxblood leather.
4. Make template/pattern. You can do this before you paint, but you'll still have to wait for the paint to dry before you can apply your leather. Use a piece of scratch paper/newprint/etc and coil it around one side of your goggles. Using your fingernail or other sharp-ish object, 'trace' the imprint of the area you want to cover. When you're sure you have the right dimensions, cut the paper along all the folded edges to make a pattern.
5. Trace pattern onto leather. Use the wrong side (the side that won't show) to ink on. Then, using sharp scissors, cut out your two leather side pieces.
6. Glue 'em on. That's right! Once you're certain the leather will fit and will not impede the progress of screwing on the lens caps, get out that Gorilla Glue. Slather it on the wrong side, as close to the edges as you can. This glue will expand--remember that and be judicious about its application. It doesn't take much! Also, remember that it will foam up and take about 30 minutes to really set. This is where your clamps come in handy. Take care and have patience with this process--once it's set, it's set!