Wooden Glasses Frames Hack




Introduction: Wooden Glasses Frames Hack


Wood is a great material - it's cheap, easy to work and looks visually pleasing. People have made wood tables, wood chairs, wood houses and even wood cars!

But when I wanted some fancy wooden glasses frames, I found out that there are no cheap(ish) ones ($150 - $300!). Sure there are the plastic "wood" ones from Zenni optical and others but they are still in the $50 range. I thought I could do much better with the frames I already had. So here is my guide to

The Wooden Glasses Frames Hack

Note, these are not sunglasses nor is this a guide for the complete glasses - only the arms (hence the term, 'hack')

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Step 1: Supplies

As with all instructables, you should first make sure you have all the required materials to complete it. So for the wooden glasses frames (or arms to be specific) you will need:

  • A piece of wood - this needs to be:
    • reasonably strong, as it will be cut very thin
    • long enough for the arms - the length I used was x
    • wide enough for the arms - the width I used was x
    • cool looking
  • some sort of glue
  • finisher - can be wax, varnish etc. (I used wax)


  • belt sander - smooth and rough belts are reccomended
  • jigsaw
  • dremel type tool with sanding & small drilling attachments.
  • clamps, etc

Because this is a hack, we will not be making the lenses and or front frame of the glasses; this would be more work than it's worth. We will only be modifying the arms. I expect that you will have your own glasses that are easily modifyable. This means they have a way to detach the arms and attach different arms. You can see this easily on my own personal ones however your glasses arms may not be hackable - sorry!

Step 2: Marking

To start with, detach your arms from your glasses and put the main glasses frames back into their case for protection. You will need these later so don't put them away just yet. In this step you need to get your arms and placed them face down on your wood piece (see the picture). This will allow you to mark the outline out in pencil for where you should be sanding/cutting.

Step 3: Cut #1

Now that the piece of wood marked, head over to your jigsaw and clamp the wood so that you can saw the middle and create the two pieces of the wood. The video shows this better than I could explain it. Make sure to cut each piece down to as little wood as possible as the less wood there is the less you need to sand it off.

Step 4: Sanding

Now it's a simple part of the build - all you need is to sand the wood down to the markings you created in the third step. After that you should have something looking like the picture above. Try to make the two pieces as close to the same to each other as possible. Although a bit of difference between the two adds to the rustic effect.

Step 5: The Second Plane

The second plane is the way we will make the bend at the end of the arms. For the first part of this instructable, you have been sanding and cutting a flat object on one side of the wood. Now we will switch over to the top plane to cut the bent part at the end of the glasses.

To mark out this just turn your original glasses arms onto their top and mark it out. Make sure to see the video to get a better idea of what to do.

Step 6: Sanding the Second Plane

Now that you have the wood marked, proceed to sanding out the arms.

Be sure to try to mimic the original arms as close as possible. This will ensure they fit the same on your face as the originals did.

After that you need to smooth the edges as these will be rubbing against your face frequently and could hurt your face if not smooth. I used the Dremel tool with the sanding attachment to do this.

Step 7: Dissassembly

Grab those glasses frames out of hiding and take off the old arms because we will now be putting the new one.

But before this, a hole is needed for the inserts to go into. To do this grab a drill bit that is bigger than the insert of the arms and smaller than the wood. Also, make sure to mark how far down the insert goes to the arms.

After that mark the same length and a bit extra on the drill bit using tape (I didn't do this).

Drill down the flat end of the arms down to where the tape is. Note: Don't mess this up and have the drill bit come out the edges. This is very hard to fix and will ruin the look of the frames.

2 drill holes may be needed to get the width of hole needed for the insert to go into.

Step 8: Attachment

In this step, you will be actually attaching the arms to the glasses frames. This is a simple process but here are a few tricks to help it look better in the end.

Grab your hot glue and start the heating process. After the glue is in a melted state make sure you have enough reserve glue and start by laying a layer of molten hot glue onto the first insert. Quickly insert the arm making sure it is the right one and move it around a bit making sure it is fully inserted.

Use the needlenose pliers to get rid of the excess hot glue that comes out the end. Make sure to do this before it dries.

Now just do this for the other one. That's it for this instructable.

If you read this far that means you must be interested in my Instructable. Voting for it in the contests helps me level up my equipment and helps me make even cooler Instructables in the future. Thanks for reading!

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Nice! That looks like an awesome CNC project to me (To those who have one)!

    Yesterday I scavenged some beech wood from a baby crib that was in a dumpster, And it is incredibly strong! It think it would be pretty cool to cut it (Or am supposed to say mill?) with a CNC machine, And then bend it with hot water... :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes, this is definitely a cnc project. I have never tried bending the wood with hot water though - Ill keep that one in mind for future projects!


    Reply 3 years ago

    I've never bend wood before, But I've seen people do it with Plywood. I figure it should work for solid wood too...