Steampunk Goggles

I wanted to make a pair of goggles myself, and not spend too much money on them.
This is the result. I spent under 10 Euros, and had hours of fun. They took me about 5 hours to make, including taking apart and putting together again many times, to make sure everything fitted correctly before the next stage.

I recommend every beginning steampunker trying a pair of goggles, it's fun! And you end up with something unique.
I'm not 100% happy with these, but they'll do for this year's Elf Fantasy Fair. Now I need to make the rest of my outfit.

- 2 small candy (sweet) jars with metal lids and transparent inserts (1,38 for 2 at Xenos), use the lids, recycle the glass;
- M4 bots and nuts, bolts 10mm long; M4 blind nuts;
- aluminium strip, 10mm x 2mm x 2m long (I still have a lot left);
- leather (I bought an old, worn leather jacket at the flea market, great texture, I've still got lots of it left for other things);
- some rings cut off a round syrup bottle that was almost the same size as the jar lids;
- rusty old rings from a backpack that I threw away;
- old clock parts (bought at the flea market, it's amazing what people sell, and what people buy!);
- brass wood screws;

- hammer, pliers, screwdriver;
- drill and drill bits, steel nail;
- scissors, hobby knife;
- leather needle and thread;

Step 1: Basic Shape

When deciding the design of the frame, I considered my nose. What would sit comfortably and be relatively easy to make. I decided on a strip across the tops of the 2 eye pieces.
I first measured the distance between the eye pieces when over my eyes, roughly 2,5cm. Then I estimated the length of the strip required, plus a bit to be sure, this was 13cm.

I cut the aluminium strip and bent it by pushing and hammering around a wooden pole. Luckily aluminium is easy to bend, so this wasn't too difficult.
I then drilled holes in the strip, then tried to drill in the eye pieces. As they are very smooth and have grooves for the screw cap, I had to hammer a steel nail in the correct position first, then drilling was easy. I used a piece of wood to prevent the drilling squashing the eye piece.

I tried the basic goggles on for size and found I needed to bend them out a bit to fit comfortably.

Step 2: Leather Padding

After fitting the basic shape, I felt that the eye pieces needed a bit of padding to make them comfortable enough.
I cut a strip of leather and folded it around the rim. I punched holes in the leather in the correct places and bolted it in.

To keep it in place in the nose area where there were no bolts, I cut strips of plastic off an empty plastic syrup bottle (butterscotch flavour) and after drilling holes fitted this on the inside. NB: after this I fitted the side covers, also inside the eye pieces, this increased the thickness and subsequently the holes in the plastic strip were slightly too far apart (pi.d etc.), so had to adjust the holes.

In the end I felt that the leather was not flat enough so I stuck it to the outside of the eye pieces with contact glue. I was intending not to use glue, but it is useful stuff. I also glued the plastic 'lenses' in at this stage. I might replace them later with rose-tinted plastic :-)

The eye piece padding is complete.

Step 3: Side Cover and Strap

I made a rough pattern for the side cover, thinking I have enough leather to be able tom start again if necessary, but it fitted very well.
At the end of the side cover I left a strip to fit the nice rusty ring to fit the strap to.
I then cut two pieces of leather, one in mirror image and marked the top so that they would look the same in the finished product (although no-one can look at both sides at once, so probably not necessary).
I marked the holes of 2 of the bolts on the side, punched holes in the leather and fastened it all up again. It's important to keep checking the fit of all the pieces by assembling, at least partially between steps, I did this numerous times!

I sewed 1 ring on the one cover, and 2 on the other, The 2 rings form a friction buckle, and the rust on the rings makes for extra friction, my goggles strap will not loosen easily!
For ease I glued the rings onto the ends of the covers, this is not necessary but makes sewing easier.
Use a leather needle for sewing leather, it has a cutting tip which cuts a small hole for itself, unlike a regular needle which is subsequently very difficult to pull through the leather, especially the eye. The finished  sewing was not perfect, but matched the rugged old leather texture well (I think so anyway).

Step 4: Finishing

To finish the goggles I fitted some old clock parts (cogs are mandatory of course). The ones one the side of the eye piece just bolt on through a conveniently sized hole in the plate, but I'm not sure they'll stay there. In a future upgrade they'll probably be replaced by something more convincing. The cog and pieces on the top are super glued in place (what did we do before super glue?!).

Now I'm off to complete the rest of my outfit... 



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    13 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    very nice very simple this is something i really might achieve

    zen of zappa

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Whoa! So cool! These goggles will be my first steampunk item to make, but I was wondering if you can possible alter them to make them glasses? And use a darker lens to make them sunglasses? Heck, I might even wear these as I would any normal sunglasses during summer. Looks like a time travelled right to the beach...

    5 replies

    I'm sure you could. The lids are round and any glass cut to fit would work fine. Getting round prescription glasses may be expensive, but really cool! You could get some really fun tan patterns from wearing these goggles on the beach!

    zen of zappaYitzki

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    i happened to see another instructable for goggles and they use the two ends of a coupler. i am guessing it will work the same way, plus i can unscrew the thread part to put in new lenses. my goal is to get a slightly modified version of these done for halloween, so hopefully i shall post pictures then!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. Am thinking about making some of these. maybe you could show us the completed costume?

    2 replies

    The completed outfit is now instructabled (I don't call it a costume, that would sound like it's not real :-). Hope you like it, or are at least inspired by it.

    Thanks to all for the compliments!
    When I have the costume complete I'll post a photo, or maybe even a few instructables.