Introduction: Steampunk Goggles

Picture of Steampunk Goggles

Inspired by the other steampunk goggle instructables, I wanted to make my own, but lacked the resources, mainly leather. So scrounging around, I came up with these goggles using a baseball, the hem from some jeans, and a couple Gatorade lids. I managed to make these for a grand total of zero dollars, but some costs may arise if you don't have all the materials laying around.

Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts List
Here's what you'll need to make these goggles:

  • baseball
  • two Gatorade lids
  • hem from jeans
  • thin clear plastic
  • black and metallic spray paint
  • needle and thread
  • utility knife
  • Gorilla glue or comparable adhesive
  • hot glue gun

Step 2: Cut Open the Baseball

Picture of Cut Open the Baseball

Take the utility knife and cut along the sew line on the baseball. Make sure to cut deep! Once you've cut all the way around, peel the edge of one side up and pull it off. You'll notice a bunch of sticky threads on the inside; these can be peeled off from the outside leather.

Step 3: Ready the Leather

Picture of Ready the Leather

Remove all the red thread bits from the edge of the leather. Now take the utility knife and cut the leather in half down the skinny part. Next take the black spray paint and coat both sides of the leather pieces.

Step 4: Prepare the Eyepieces

Picture of Prepare the Eyepieces

Take your Gatorade lids and, with the utility knife, cut out circles from the tops of them. Try to keep the circles even and clean for best results. You don't want them too close to the edge either; try about a quarter of an inch in from the edge. Then take your metallic spray paint (gold would probably look best, but all I had was silver) and coat the entire outside of each eyepiece. Let these dry outside with the leather.

Step 5: The Strap

Picture of The Strap

Take an old pair of jeans or jean scraps with the bottom hem and cut the hem off. The jeans I used had two parallel stitches on the hem, and I cut between them so the strap wouldn't be too thick. Then cut the loop open at one of the two seams. Now coat both sides of the fabric with the black spray paint and let that dry outside along with the leather and eyepieces.

Step 6: Install the Eyepieces

Picture of Install the Eyepieces

Once everything has dried, take one eyepiece and line it up on the bulge of one of the leather pieces. Take a pencil or something that can mark on the painted leather and trace the inside circle of the eyepiece onto the leather. Now, take the utility knife and cut out that circle leaving four tabs. These tabs will be used to secure the leather to the eyepiece. Make sure to save the cutout in one piece! You'll use one of the cutouts later for the nosepiece.

Using some Gorilla glue or something comparable, secure the tabs to the eyepiece, clamp them down, and let them dry.

Step 7: The Lenses

Picture of The Lenses

First, take a moment to plug in your hot glue gun to let it heat up.

Take some clear plastic, such as from a fruit container (I used strawberry and blueberry containers), and place a Gatorade upside down on the plastic. Trace the outside edge with a sharpie, then cut out about 1/4 inch inside this line. You want the lens to be larger than the opening in the eyepieces, but smaller than the inside of the gatorade lid, so err on the side of too large and trim it down to fit.

Once the tabs in the eyepieces have finished drying, place the lens inside the eyepiece, make sure the edges all overlap, then apply hot glue all around the edge to secure it. While you're at it, also reinforce the tabs with hot glue. Make sure the hot glue doesn't go past the edge of the eyepiece, or you'll see it through the lens!

Step 8: The Nosepiece

Picture of The Nosepiece

Take one of the leather cutouts you saved and cut out a strip for the nosepiece. You may need to adjust the length later to improve the fit, so that's why you saved both cutouts. Punch holes on both ends of the strip to attach it to the eyepieces.

Measure out an arm's length of thread and thread it onto your needle. Then tie a very large knot at the end of the thread so it won't go through the hole in the leather. Line up your eyepieces face down and run your thread through one of the holes on the outside of the leather piece slightly above half-way. Now run the needle through the bottom of the nosepiece, and back up through the hole in the leather just above where you started. Continue feeding the needle up through the back of the nosepiece and into the holes in the eyepiece, alternating holes every time. Make sure to pull it tight!

When you have about two inches of thread left, you should probably tie it up. Run the thread to back side, the through the next two holes of the leather. Loop back through those two holes again, and then through the loop in the thread you just created. Pull it tight, then tie a bunch of knots in it. I used several square knots. The pictures help a lot for this part.

Cut of the tails, and you're done! Now repeat for the other side of the nosepiece. If the nosepiece is too large or small, then you may have to either cut the existing one shorter and restitch one side, or cut a new nosepiece from the second cutout and stitch that on.

Step 9: The Strap

Picture of The Strap

To attach the strap, punch three holes on the end of each leather eyepiece. Thread your needle with an arms length of thread, and stitch one end of the strap onto the back of the eyepiece, overlapping about 1/4 inch. Simply go back and forth through the three holes and over the edge several times, then tie it up in the back and cut off the tails.

Now put the goggles on and find out where to trim the strap so it fits snugly on your head. Trim it, leaving about 1/4 to overlap for stitching, then repeat the above to finish fastening the strap to the goggles.

Step 10: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Now you've finished your very own steampunk goggles! Give yourself a pat on the back and go pilot your steam-powered transportation device of choice around the neighborhood sporting your new eye protection.


CarlM88 made it! (author)2017-01-22

Thanks for the idea. Used gold twine for edges.

mccubee made it! (author)2015-12-11

heres mine, made it with cardboard

666man8 (author)2009-10-10

i was wondeing if i could use something different than a hem from some jeans for a strap.

lharrawood (author)666man82015-05-20

my idea was a childs leather belt

lharrawood (author)2015-05-20

hey i found that if you use Arizona Sweet tea, Green tea,(the 1 Gal. Version) the design on the lid gives you a perfect circle to work with for the hole, I also learned that a three litre bottle lid when traced onto clear plastic fits perfectly into it.

CrazyKNIFEGuy (author)2015-05-06

wow love the goggle I made the ones like yours but I'm thinking on adding on stuff I'll try to show u if I can find my camera

dehoagi0 (author)2014-09-04

Omgoodness!!!!!! Steampunk goggles!!!!!!!!! $ $


venusatpeace (author)2009-06-30

I'm dedicating my weekend to this project.
I might substitute the Gatorade lids with something else though...hmmm..
Awesome!! =]

hi, does anyone know what size bottle the gatorade lids are from plse? and how is best to get the circle out thanks

peyton14 (author)maddogeffects2014-06-18

I used a drill press which worked pretty good and had pretty smooth edges.

Hikaru (author)venusatpeace2009-07-16

Milk thing lids maybe?

kierens (author)2014-04-04

I used a bunch of my money to buy all of the materials but when i spray painted the baseball it just got all sticky and never dried T-T

kierens (author)kierens2014-04-04

I never had the chance to make it.

Noah360 (author)2013-10-10

would a soft ball work??

benfarhner (author)Noah3602013-10-11

A softball would definitely work, but you may need to cut it down to fit properly. The leather from a baseball is just about the perfect size.

Xairathan (author)2013-05-25

A tip for getting out the sticky strings, use an exacto knife or some similar implement to take out the sticky strings clostes to the edges/seams of the ball, then yank hard. If you do it right the entire mass should come up like a web rather than strand by strand.

monsterlego (author)2011-08-05

cool, i made mine with PVC pipe, instead of Gatorade caps.

koenykoen (author)monsterlego2012-04-29

me to! :P

Xyyme (author)2011-11-15

Working on my own pair of these right now, tho I suggest some substitutes for the gatoraid caps; laundry detergent jug lids, and Arizona(tea) lids
I plan to use one of each, and hopefully it'll work pretty well. Also gonna use a more bronze/gold color for them instead of silver. I'll drop a pic by here once they're done...and once I have a camera lol

Brooklyntonia (author)2011-06-02

Using a baseball is genius!

yosusie (author)Brooklyntonia2011-06-04

I concur! I've been wanting to find some type of leather to use w/o buying from a fabric/material store since I don't really know how to cut or work w/it. The baseball hide's perfect, it's already got the perfect circular shape!

Delireus (author)2010-06-01

I just love these, I used it as a base for some goggles I had to make for a class. When I first saw your goggles, the edges of the baseball looked like a zipper track. I liked it so much I added zippers to mine. Everyone thought the idea of a baseball skin was genius, and I agree. Thanks so much for this tut, I couldn't have made mine without this.

Morte_Moya (author)Delireus2011-06-01

I am digging your work here! Those are VERY pretty!!!

benfarhner (author)Delireus2010-06-01

I absolutely love it! An excellent job. I'm glad you liked my instructable; it definitely inspired quite a work of art from you :)

newb (author)2011-06-01

dude this is awesome, and thank you from actually doing an 'ible and not just putting pics like some people. and as for the lids you could take a dremel with a sanding drum and smooth out the inside.

build52 (author)2011-06-01

what is steampunk?

jfarman (author)2011-04-21

curling iron!! if you don't want the edges to be rough and you have a curling iron you never use that might work! (i literaly JUST thought of this so i'll post whether or not it works!) (=

LedyPavlovaAlena (author)jfarman2011-06-01


jfarman (author)jfarman2011-04-22

it didn't work. my iron didn't get hot enough

LunaSweetBlood (author)2011-04-14

I love the instructable, unfortunately I don't have a baseball around the house. What I do have is a TON of tennis balls. Do you think those would work? I may sacrifice one anyway just to see but I would appreciate your input first.

Thank you!

I used a baseball because of the leather. Tennis balls are hollow and made of some kind of rubber material with a fuzzy coating, so you might be able to cut the shape you want but you probably won't have much luck getting it to bend the way you want or sewing it. Go to the closest high school and see if you can find one in the bushes by the field :)

LucDaRocka1 (author)2010-12-11

hey wasup yeah im gonna use little pieces of pvc for the subsitute of the gatorade or powerade caps. but l love the baseball idea.

Quinnamon (author)2010-12-10

i cut out a hole and then i used a "rat tail" file to sand mine down.

Captin69 (author)2009-05-04

you could use a Soldering iron to make the edges round thats what i did

Iridium7 (author)Captin692010-10-21

but would the plastic melt to the iron?

LbpWaffles (author)2010-03-16



Thundertydus (author)LbpWaffles2010-05-01


MissChase (author)Thundertydus2010-10-19


bassclarinet23 (author)2010-03-03

This is a great project. It's made of simple junk from around the house, it's easy to make, and doesn't sacrifice the looks!

naruto the ninja13 (author)2010-01-29

mabye instead of glueing the lids down glue what the lids screw on to down so you can unscrew the lenses and have another pair of lenses you can screw in so you can have regular lenses (for steampunk airship piloting lol) sunglass lenses,and weilding mask lenses (so you can weld and not burn out your corneas while looking steampunk

Actually I really like this idea. Let me know if you make a pair like this! I just might myself :)

ricochet3212 (author)2009-11-03

 It seems Quite easy, but when you think about, EVERYTHING in this is interchangeable with anything about the same size. Baseball to Leather. Plastic to Glass (maybe), Jeans to leather strap. It's basically a guideline to making the goggles yourself, you can use ANYTHING though. And that's why I love this, The interchangeability. 

saxman31 (author)2009-10-26

 these look pretty good

super_aceX (author)2009-10-25

I painted my set black and wove metallic green twine where the red tread used to be

arch_angel07 (author)2009-09-30

Heres a pair I made, I used the tops of two water bottles for the goggles, and sacrificed a pair of old converse to make an adjustable strap. I took the pic with my phone so its not great.

benfarhner (author)arch_angel072009-10-01

I like how the strap turned out with the grommets! Nice job :)

Metalcaster14 (author)2009-09-16

are you serious? how is that matte black? good instructable though

benfarhner (author)Metalcaster142009-09-16

The lighting was bad. You can clearly tell from later photos that it is indeed black, and fairly matte at that! Thank you :)

Taquito.god (author)2009-08-25

I used the bells out of an old alarm clock for the eyes instead and now I have cool metal bug eye goggles.

benfarhner (author)Taquito.god2009-08-27

Oh, that sounds very cool. You should upload a picture of them!

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