I’ve admited before that I’m not a steampunk expert, but it seems like if one accessory is a staple of a fashionable steampunk wardrobe, it’s a nice pair of goggles. With the goal of saving time, I looked and looked for some regular goggles that I could transform with some paint. I thought with summer here I could defintiely find some good swim goggles or something. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything with the right silhouette. The quintessential steampunk goggles have round lenses, and all the ones made these days are oval and streamlined (as a former competitve swimmer, let me tell you that steampunk goggles are not what you’d want in a pool). So, once again, I decided to take a stab at making something new.
I looked at tons of tutorials, and thought I would try these airship goggles. However, they required cutting metal, and I just don’t have the equipment for that. One day, though, I was putting away my son’s old baby bottles and inspiration struck. These were so easy to make, so I thought I’d share how I made them.
2 baby bottles
faux leather (enough to make eye pieces and straps)
clear plastic cup
toilet paper roll
gears, rivets, nuts, etc. for decoration
You’ll need the bottle and lid. If you have a selection of them, like I did, find the bottle with the most interesting lid, preferably with no logo on it. The first lids I used for this project had “Evenflo” marked on the front, which I didn’t really notice until I’d painted them.
It was fine, though, because the second set of lids I found were much prettier. Once you find the right lids, paint them. I spray painted mine with a satin finish gold paint and added some Rub N Buff for a more aged look.
|Well, these are better anyway
Saw off top of bottle, retaining the threaded section to secure the lenses. I used a hacksaw and some help from my husband.
I made lenses for the goggles by tracing the top of the bottle on to a clear plastic drinking cup. I decided to use a colored cup for added interest. I was torn between pink and orange and ultimately settled for pink. After tracing the circles on to the cup, I cut them out using scissors. I then sandwiched each lens between the lid and the sawed-off top of the bottle and screwed the top on.
I used toilet paper roll to make a pattern for the eyepieces. I cut the roll to make a segment with the approximate depth I needed. I then cut one side of the segment with a curve. I kept holding it up to my eye and making adjustments until I got the correct contour for my eye socket. Once I got the right shape, I made a vertical cut so that I had a flat piece of cardboard that I could use as a pattern.
I added a quarter inch seam allowance when I cut out the eyepieces out of the faux leather except on the sides in which case I left a half inch seam allowance. The circumfrence of the toilet paper roll was slightly smaller than the lids, so I took that into account. Once I had the leather pieces, I hemmed along the top and bottom. I then wrapped the piece around the lid, marked, and sewed the ends together by hand.
I took a two-inch by one-inch strip of faux leather, folded it in thirds, and sewed. I then used the strip, cutting to fit, to make the nose strip. I sewed the strip to the eye pieces by hand.
I had a small buckle that I had cut off of an old wallet. It was silver, so I spray painted it gold. I cut two ten-inch by two-inch strips of leather, folded in thirds again, and sewed to make the straps. I attached the buckle to one strap and after measuring on my head to see how much I needed, attached it to one eyepiece. I attached the other strap to the other eyepiece. Finally, after measuring on my head again, I used and awl to punch holes in the strap without the buckle and attached grommets.
I haven’t decided if or how I should embellish them yet. I thought avout adding some (faux) rivets and maybe a gear on the sides. I feel like they’re a bit plain, but then again, the Baroness might use goggles that were pretty utilitarian. What do you think?