Steampunk Goggles for the Lady

Firstly, gather your materials…of course, you can make your goggles as inexpensive or expensive as you want, depending on the parts you use. The more things you can find in thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, dollar stores, etc., the cheaper you can make your goggles. These didn’t cost me too much, but I was lucky enough to already have some of the components floating around the house and in my craft stash. Theoretically, you could make these for under $20 definitely, and maybe even under $10!

For these particular goggles I used:
- Two silver-toned plumbing couplers purchased from Home Depot
- One small buckle for a purse, purchased at JoAnn’s (or you could take one off an old purse you own or bought for 50 cents at a thrift store)
- Small copper-colored “brads” which are used for scrapbooking, purchased at JoAnn’s (you can also find other cool findings that are for scrapbooking that you could use on your goggles)
- One copper “bracket”, purchased from Home Depot (I don’t remember exactly what it is called, but it’s in the section by the copper tubing and connectors, etc.)
- Copper colored jewelry findings, which I purchased from ebay. I don’t remember the name of the store, but ebay always has stuff like this. Or, you can haunt thrift stores, flea markets, etc. for Victorian-looking findings.
- Brass rivets from Tandy Leather (I was fortunate enough to have my father give me a bunch of his leather working supplies)
- Spare pieces of leather. JoAnn’s sometimes has leather pieces. You could also get some scraps from Tandy Leather, from an old leather coat or skirt, or you could use straps from a purse or I’ve even seen someone use a dog collar!
- Waxed thread for leather (or you could use a heavy duty upholstery thread in a dark or a beige color)
- Glue (I used E6000 or Goop, they are both about the same.) When gluing parts, make sure they dry thoroughly before moving onto the next part. Clamping helps immensely too!
Something to cut your leather with. Leather scissors work the best, but they are expensive and not everyone has them or has access to them. You may need to use an X-acto blade or utility knife. Be very careful! And go slowly when you are cutting, both to save your fingers and your work.
- Paper to make a pattern
- Something for lenses. You can use the lenses out of those cheapo “hippie” glasses that are out every Halloween, or Harry Potter glasses or you can use the curved portion of a soda bottle! I just discovered this on someone else’s tutorial, and it works like a charm.
- Needle for use with the waxed thread…something with a big enough eye. I used a curved upholstery needle and this worked well. 
- Metallic spray paint in copper.

First I spray painted the plumbing couplers copper. You could do this with bronze if you want bronze goggles. I originally was going to use some rose-colored lenses I had from a pair of those Halloween hippie glasses, but later on decided to use green from a Sprite soda bottle. I used the lenses to trace around, as they fit perfectly into the couplers. Keep the black rubber washer that comes with the couplers, as you will be using those later on.
Next, I took some of the copper colored scrapbooking brads, bent and broke off the little pointy parts, and then used E6000 to glue the head of the brad onto the little indented parts around the outside of the couplers.
I then took a piece of paper and made a little pattern that was wide enough, when curled up, to fit inside the back of the coupler. The shape can basically be whatever you want, but I went for a sort of “hill” shape. The “top” of the hill will eventually be the “side” of the eyepiece. When making your pattern, try them on by your eye, to make sure that it is the width you want, the shape you want, etc. I then cut two of this shape out of leather (I’m not sure what ounce the leather was I used, but it was about 1/8” thick) and stained the leather with “Cordova” leather stain, which is sort of a reddish-brown color. Conversely, you could use leather that is already colored.
I made another pattern piece which would become the extension on my side pieces. I’ve seen different shapes used; Y shapes, triangles, etc. I wanted a rounded, sort of feminine Victorian shape, and this is how mine came out. I cut two of those shapes out of my leather, and stained them “Cordova”. The picture shows how I will eventually attach the jewelry finding pieces.
I then determined the approximate distance around my head from where the narrow end of the side pieces ended, so I could determine how long I would need to cut the attachment straps. The side that will contain the buckle needs to be shorter than the other side, but also needs to allow for being folded over with the buckle “sandwiched” between. I then cut straps from my leather, about ½” wide and the length I figured out they should be, and stained them “Cordova”. I took one of the copper brackets to use as a nosepiece. In order to make this a little more comfortable in case it actually came into contact with my nose, I cut a small piece of thin leather and glued it to the underside of the bracket. Before I did that, though, I bent the sides of the bracket up with a pair of pliers, so that I could eventually connect my two goggle eyepieces to the center nosepiece.
Using the brass rivets, a rivet setter, and a little E6000 just to help hold it, I connected the “Victorian” side pieces to the curved eyepieces, on top of the little “hill” part, and I connected the shorter strap to one side of the “Victorian” piece (narrow end).

At this point, I attached the jewelry findings to the “Victorian” side pieces using E6000 glue and one of the little scrapbooking brads, which I stuck through the two “loops” in the ends of the jewelry findings and then through the leather, connecting them together and to the leather. The rivets are actually hidden underneath these finding pieces. This part allows you to be completely creative. You could just leave the rivets exposed, you can attach any kind of cool finding you have, or you could just make a really neat shaped piece of leather here and glue or sew it on, skipping any rivets altogether…it’s really up to you. (Excuse this picture, it’s a little blurry)

I then figured out where the buckle would go when I overlapped the other end of the short piece, and punched a small hole for the buckle tongue (is that what it’s called?) to go through. I spray painted the buckle copper (it was brass). I then put on the buckle, folded over the leather and attached it with a rivet. On the long ended strap, I rounded off the end, and punched about 3 small holes (for the buckle tongue) spaced about ½” or so apart. If any of this is confusing, you can see where I put the rivets on the finished picture and how I attached the buckle. I then punched very small holes (about 3) along the short ends of the eyepieces, brought them together and sewed them in a “circle” using the waxed leather thread. Using E6000 glue, I glued the black plastic washers that came with the couplers to the ends of the eyepieces.
Taking the little copper and leather nosepiece I made earlier, and using waxed leather thread, I attached the nosepiece between the two eyepieces, using the holes in the sides of the nosepiece (that were already there in the bracket) and the holes already in the leather from sewing the eyepieces. I just threaded the waxed thread through the holes using the needle, connecting it all together.

I decided I wanted green lenses instead of the rose-colored ones, so I cut out lenses from a green plastic Sprite bottle and placed them inside the couplers. I then just stuck the couplers onto the eyepieces; the washers hold the lenses in and the couplers onto the eyepieces, BUT, you can also take them back off and replace the lenses with a different color, should you so choose!
And, Viola! You are done! Hopefully this wasn’t too confusing. If you have any questions, need anything clarified, if it appears I left anything out, etc. don’t hesitate to ask me!

The ebay store I got my Victorian copper findings at is called Foxy Findings.


Denise Schnaubelt said...

Very cool. I really like the looks of those and your tutorial makes them sound easy. I have hopes! Nice job. Thank you for posting this.

Kitty81 said...

I was thinking that if you couldn't find or afford to get the leather for the goggles, there are some very cool techniques that you can use with craft foam to make it look like leather I did this to make a "leather" bracer for my son for Halloween one year). Also for the strap, you could use either a thin belt that you own or a cheapo from a thrift store. You could just cut it in half and then trim it to the length that you need. You could even use rivets with the existing holes in the belt, which I have done to spruce up a belt before. Thank you for sharing this. :)

Joanne Cleghorn said...

I read your post and i really like your post.Thank you for sharing this post.
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