Cheap Prescription Sunglasses.




Introduction: Cheap Prescription Sunglasses.

About: Mechanical engineer who spends a little too much time 'tinkering'

I wanted to have a pair of wrap-around prescription sunglasses but I couldn't afford to pay hundreds of pounds. If like me you've been wearing glasses for a long time you've probably got several other pairs that you don't use. I decided to cut up my old pair and use the lenses to make a pair of sunglasses. They work well for sports, especially cycling.

This project has a build time of about an hour.

What you'll need:

Cheap pair of sunglasses with thick body around the nose. I found a pair with interchangeable lenses at Lidl for £4.99 (

Pair of glasses. You can generally get some very cheap glasses at your local opticians. The ones I got were about £20. Make sure they have a decent curvature to the lens and are wire framed.


Hack saw
Precision screwdrivers
Drill + 2mm bit

Step 1: Dismantle the Glasses

1. Remove the arms. Using the screwdriver remove the screws attaching the arms. Keep hold of the screws as they may be useful if you (like me) lose the screw that holds the lens in!

2. Remove the lenses. Near the 'hinge' for the arms there will another screw. This one will hold in the lenses. Remove the screws that hold the lenses in. Make sure you don't lose the screw!

3. Remove the nose pads. These can be simply removed by bending the pads back and forth until they break off. 

4. File off the arm attachment. The point where the arm attached to the frame needs to be removed otherwise it may scratch your face. File them down to the screws. 

5. Cut the nose bridge in half. Once cut, you need to file down the edges to a slight taper. It makes it easier to insert the half-frame into the sunglasses frame. 

Leave the lens out of the frame and keep them somewhere safe. Screw the glasses frame back together.

Step 2: Drill the Holes in the Nose Section

Now you need to drill the holes for the half-frames. Just above the nose pads is where you need to drill the holes. This area is thick enough to allow space for the tapered bridge sections. You will need to drill in by about 8mm. 

Step 3: Putting It Together

1. Insert the half-frames into the holes you drilled. Make sure the frames fit correctly. Remove the frames and carefully, one by one, fill the drilled holes with super-glue and insert the frame making sure the frame is correctly orientated. 
(Note: if the lenses of the sunglasses are not removable then be very careful not to get glue on them) 

2. Reinsert the glass lenses. â€‹Once the glue has dried and the frame is securely fastened remove the screw that holds the lenses in. Reinsert the lenses and tighten the screws. 

Done!! Try them on!

Hopefully this shouldn't have taken you much more than an hour.    

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hahaha! I saw the title and was like, "How heavy was this guys last pair of prescription sunglasses?!" Then facepalm'd and realized you were from the UK. :) My bad. 'Murica! :)

    Toms Workshop
    Toms Workshop

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Haha, yeh thought it might look a little weird saying pounds. For some reason instructibles didn't like the £ sign and turned it into a giant A..... not sure why :)


    you my friend have allowed me to pursue one of my dreams ( being frugal through cleverness)and another part time job embarrassing my teenage children


    10 years ago on Introduction

    That's cool.

    For a person who wears sunglasses only when the light is very intense this can be done even with glasses that have got weak and therefore replaced with stronger ones. At least if the sunglasses aren't extra dark ones. In bright light pupils shrink and depth of field(?) improves sight. For example I can drive with usual average darkness sunglasses in sunlight with no problem, but I need my prescription glasses at nighttime.  If it gets worse, I will definately use this method.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice one. I was looking into some sport-glasses and this will safe me a lot of money (plus I get to re-use some old glasses which is better than having to toss them (although I would probably recycle them (I think they have a program sending them to Africa))

    Toms Workshop
    Toms Workshop

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Cheers. Yeh, I reckon I probably saved myself about £100-200. Hope they work well for you !