How to Make Steampunk Goggles (Part 2)

Ready to finish your steampunk goggles? Let’s go!

In part one of the steampunk goggles tutorial, we started with a pair of cheap welding goggles and applied Rub ‘n Buff to make the plastic look like aged metal. The plastic parts were then buffed and allowed to cure for about a week.

The end result looked like this:

I went ahead and added a few more layers of metallic colors for some more texture. I also took some gears from the Bag of Gears and glued them onto the knobs on the side. What’s more steampunk than a gear that serves no apparent purpose?

Now it’s time to tackle the straps and bridge. The goggles came with an elastic strap and plastic covered metal chain bridge. That’s not terribly Victorian. I’ve got a bag of scrap leather, though you could use faux leather, canvas, or other fabric for this. I started by cutting a thick rectangle slightly larger than the existing bridge piece and notching it on either side.

Next, I flipped the leather over, rough side up, and tacked the center down using Fabri-Tac. The end result should look something like a sideways letter I.

You’re going to take the finished strap and feed it through the notches on the sides with the glued portion pointed toward the inside. That’s going to make your bridge, and the thicker portions of the “I” shape will hold the bridge in place. Don’t worry if it looks ugly on the inside, nobody is going to see it once you screw the dark lenses back on. If it really bothers you, you can glue it down on the inside, but this isn’t structurally necessary.

Next, it’s time for the straps. When you disassembled the goggles, you should have saved and Rub ‘n Buffed the existing plastic buckles. You can use the old elastic strap as a template for the length and width of your leather (or canvas or faux leather, depending on what you decide to use). If you use scrap leather, you’ll want to thread your leather through so that the buckles actually adjust on the inside of the goggles. That way you can hide the rough side of the leather.

Don’t forget to put the side buttons and gears back on. You should also double check that your Rub ‘n Buff has completely cured and that you’ve rubbed off any excess (otherwise they’ll double as practical joke goggles when you try wearing them and end up covered in silver paint.)  Once you’ve done that, your goggles are suitable for wearing or mounting to your favorite Victorian-style hat.

Happy  costuming!

 

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Marziah Karch has written books on topics like Android and LEGO robotics. She is also writes for About.com for money and GlitterSquid for fun. She lives in Portland, Oregon and still works a day job. Because she apparently has free time on top of all that, she is also a doctoral candidate researching the information behavior of independent game designers.