Think Steampunk outfit and you usually picture a pair of Victorian-era metallic steam punk goggles, but who can afford them? You can! I’ll show you how to DIY and make your own goggles for cheap! All you need are some orange juice cans, and a trip to Dollar Tree!
I tried to keep it cheap and simple. However, since I already had the paint on hand and orange juice in the freezer, the Dollar Tree items and belt were my only expense.
Steampunk Goggles -What You Need:
2 frozen orange juice cans
- hot glue gun
- Spray Paint, Gold and Silver recommended
- Wire cutters, optional
- Safety Goggles
- Transparent Colorful Folder Dividers
- Party Tiaras
- reading glasses
- gold thumbtacks
- masking tape/painter’s tape (if not on-hand)
Recommended, not required
- Thin belt, got mine from a thrift shop
- Lid from Parmesan cheese container
- Grommets and eyelets
- Leather punch
Steampunk Goggles Preparation
1. First, drink up the Orange Juice – it is good for you and you look a little pale. Now, keep the containers AND the lids. These will be your lenses.
Note: Though tempting, don’t hot glue anything until after we spray paint!
2. Determine how long the juice can lenses should be. The longer they are the more gravity will try to separate them from the goggles. I went with about 2″ which is about two rows around the can of painter’s tape. I used the tape to give me a straight edge line for the next step. Keep in mind, we’re keeping the part of the can with the opening at the top.
3. Use a permanent marker to draw a line around the can, using your tape as a guide. We’ll be cutting along this with an x-acto knife.
4. Cut around the border, and be careful! I cut my finger at least once on this step (and once is all that I will admit to). Once finished you will have the barrels, or lenses for your goggles.
5. Next, cut out the center of the orange juice lids. This will be the borders for each lens.
6. Using one of the color divider tabs, cut a circle to fit in the juice cap. This will be the lens color visible to others when you sport your goggles, so pick a Steampunk color (I went with yellow).
6 a. I also popped out the safety goggles lens and used the divider to cut a yellow piece to lay over it. However, this was a step that wasn’t actually needed. This will never show, and only makes it harder to see out of the goggles (since you now have to look through 2 levels of yellow!). Skip this step!
7. Optional Lens: Parmesan Cheese lid. We had a lid from a generic Parmesan cheese shaker leftover from another project. This just looked really cool to me, so I cut off the snap-close flaps and made this my second goggle lens cover. I debated leaving one of the flaps on, but decided it looked 20% cooler without it. You could make the lenses different colors for this. I went with red and yellow. You will need to cut your color lenses to fit.
8. Place your lenses on the goggles for positioning. Make sure the ends of the juice cans are level against the goggle lens. We will be hot gluing this on later, so we want to be sure it is fairly level and doesn’t wobble.
9. Paint! Determine the color of the lens holders, the lens barrels and the goggles. I went with Silver and Gold. Tape up the parts that will be one color, paint, then let dry. Pull off tape, then tape up the other colors. Rinse, repeat.
10. Let the paint dry, this could take a while. Leave it outside on a warm day to speed the process. Notice how the barrels are both gold and silver. Also note the painted stripe down the middle of the goggle lens – this was added so no one could see your face between the lens barrels.
11. I chose to replace the elastic band on goggles with a Belt Strap. But, if you want to save a few bucks, there is no need to add a leather belt strap. The goggles come with an elastic band which works perfectly well.
However, I wanted to go all the way here! I went to a Thrift Shop and found a $2.99 super-skinny belt that was a perfect fit for the slots used by the elastic strap.
11 a. Cut the belt in the middle, put the ends through the slots, adjust to your head (yes, put it on), leave some wiggle room and be sure the belt buckle is at the back of your head.
11 b. Be sure to devise a way to connect the ends to the strap so it stays secure. I had a leather punch and some grommets and (very poorly) used those tools to make the belt a little more fancy.
Note: put the belt through the slots before you set the grommets, otherwise you will never be able to feed it through!
The grommet on the end of the belt is purely cosmetic, it can never be used for adjustments.
Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. I found these tools in my grandfather’s garage and since he has passed away, I had to guess as to how this tool worked.
End of Optional Step
12. Add rivet holes. Actually, we will be using the gold thumb tacks to simulate rivets on the lens caps. So, we need to drill a series of tiny holes around each cap. Use wire cutters to snip a portion of the pointy peg off the tacks. We need some peg to put in the drilled holes.
12 a. OR you could snip the entire pointy peg off the thumbtacks so all you have it the flat top, then hot glue the tops into place.
I found putting the tacks in the holes provided greater accuracy, but if you prefer not to deal with a drill, this works for most folks.
12. Glue things in place. First, hot glue the thumbtack rivets into place on the lens caps and let dry.
13. Next, glue the color lenses inside both lens caps. Do NOT use hot glue for this, it will melt the color lenses.
14. Once dried, hot glue the lens caps onto the barrels.
(sorry forgot to take pics of this step)
15. Once lens caps are dried, hot glue the lens barrels onto the safety goggles.
(sorry yet again forgot to take pics of this step)
16. Adding texture is key to making these Steampunk goggles look awesome. So for a nice textured border to the lenses, I used these Dollar Tree tiaras.
17. Just cut out a portion and fitted it to the goggles and pushed a tack through it, into once of the many vent holes on the safety goggles and hot glued it down on the underside.
Also notice the “trade show badge” clasp attached in the center. You probably have dozens of badge holders. Just rip off the clamp and secure it to the top center of your goggles. We will use this for the next step.
18. I really liked the jeweler’s loupe sets I’ve seen on Steam Punk goggles, before so I made my own from a pair of Dollar Tree glasses. Just snip off both sidesthe nose-piece and you are set!
19. Note in the image above that I secured the belt strap to itself via some bolts attached on each side of the belt through the grommets.
20. At this point, your goggles are probably nearly completed. You will want to add your own customizations to them, I am sure you will go way beyond what I’ve shown you here.
Reader Steampunk Goggles Gallery
Inspired by Cathleen who used this tutorial and modified it, I thought it would be fun to feature your Steampunk Goggles right here! So when you’ve made your goggles, send it in via email to darren at darrenwashere.com or just leave a comment, and I will contact you. Enjoy!
Steampunk Goggles Tutorial for Pinterest
I put this together because it is much more fun to share the full tutorial on Pinterest. So here’s a very brief rundown of the steps, perfect for pinning on Pinterest!