Upcycled Surgical Eyepatch Glasses




About: I am a recent graduate of the Sustainable Manufacturing program at California State University Chico. I currently consult with local businesses and provide freelance design work. I've been making things for ...


A few days ago my grandpa was giving me some stuff, and in the box was a bag of these old surgical eye patches he had from when he got a cataracts surgery done. I immediately grabbed them, seeing their project potential.

When I got home I tossed them on my worktable, and forgot about them. Today I was sitting around and this idea just popped into my head. It's simple, and has a great result. The eye patches are designed to limit light, so these would work as ski goggles or ambient sunglasses.

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Step 1: Materials

  • Eye patches. These are Sof Guard brand, and I have no idea where you can get them just like this, the Internet turned up no suppliers. You can get other mesh ones though.
  • 3D movie glasses- Available at movies, some let you keep them, most don't. You can steal them as many do, or get them online for super cheap. I found mine on the ground. Knock the lenses out, it's easy. You should probably already have a pair, if not, bad hipster, no cred.
  • Six tiny screws. I got these from an old circuit board I eviscerated. Look at Radioshack if you have none or can't find any

Step 2: Tools

  • Power drill
  • eyeglass screwdrivers
  • 1/16 drill bit
  • A vise helps. If you are super careful you can hold the pieces together and drill, but watch your fingers.
  • Hands
  • You can use a knife to scratch the brand name off the glasses if you want, I was too lazy to.

Step 3: Tear the Eyes Out

Tear the rubber rims off the eye patches. This is easy, it just pops off. Toss the rubber unless you have an application for it, they are neat shapes.

If you haven't already, pop the lenses of the 3D glasses out, pushing with your thumbs works well.

Step 4: Clamp

Clamp the patch lenses onto the glasses, as shown, and figure out which holes you want to drill though.

Step 5: Drill and Screw

Drill holes through the glasses frames at the points that match up with the chosen holes in the mesh lenses. Stick the screws through and tighten them. Effectively, you are done.

Step 6: Clean Them Up

I gave the "lenses" a good scrub to make them shine better. At this point, feel free to paint or other wise decorate your glasses.

Step 7: Style!

Show off your new glasses. They look a bit steam/cyber punk, and can be worn comfortably.

Any questions?

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    9 Discussions

    ilpuglow-key lysmith

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 6

    You could, but the screws are tougher and produce and overall cleaner project, with the bonus that if I ever want to disassemble the glasses, I can do so with minimal effort

    black holelsivad

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That would be 'pinhole glasses.' According to eye doctors, they don't improve you vision at all. Then again, they don't get paid for saying, "Yep, you can fix your vision for only a few bucks!"


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 7

    No, the eyepatch lenses are just to limit light from getting to eyes that might be light sensitive after surgery.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    those look pretty menacing.......good job :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Well, it's hard to describe... I wore them outside around noon and it definitely reduced the glare on things. They aren't the same as normal sunglasses, but they definitely reduce glare. The purpose of the mesh in the eye patch is to soften the effects of light on sensitive eyes after surgery. Heck, If I run into you at the next Maker Faire you can check them out in person.