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

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Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Person Made This Project!


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238 Discussions


3 years ago

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

A good name

11 years ago on Introduction

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.

17 replies
greenkushA good name

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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?


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

"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.

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)

: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.

PinUpRetroA good name

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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!


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

"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.

jk1386A good name

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

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 :(

morphious69A good name

Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

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.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

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

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?

RishnaiA good name

Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

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...


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

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.