Steampunk Goggles

The Steampunk fashion is fun and full of so many possibilities.  I find it particularly fun to make stick horses in this 19th century inspired  theme.  While I could go into a lot more detail on these projects to really play out the steampunk in all of its glory…I kind of keep it toned down a little more for the sake of time more than anything else…but boy do I have more ideas!!

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to make some simple goggles that make a statement and how to attach them to your stick horse with a pieced together bridle.


You Will Need:

  • – Inexpensive swimming goggles that can be dissasembled (I got these for $1 at a dollar store)
  • – Paint (I used this metalic hammered copper)
  • – Small brads in the size you prefer.  You can get these on Amazon or go to your local craft of scrapbook store and pick out a size and color(s) you’d like
  • Rivets and rivet setter (optional)
  • – Leather hole punch (optional)
  • – Super glue (this one is my favorite…the gel is easy to work with!)
  • – Nippers (to cut the brad stems)
  • Braided trims, leather strips, necklace chains, jump rings, etc (for the bridle)
  • Steam punk gear charms (optional) 
  • – Handheld drill or awl (optional)
  • – Ultra fine sand paper (360+ grit)

Step 1: Take those goggles all the way apart.  Discard the nose strap and head strap…or better yet, save them for another project.

Step 2: Sand the plastic frames with a piece of ultra fine sand paper until they no longer have the super smooth shiny surface.  This will allow the paint to stick to them much better.

Step 3:  Paint the frames.  I used a hammered metallic spray paint…in which case, spray in a well ventilated area.  Paint multiple coats until you reach the look you like.  Allow to completely dry.

Step 4: (optional) Drill holes into the lenses to place the brads.  The size of the hole needed depends on the brads you are using.  Alternatively you can use an awl to create the holes, but that is a bit more difficult.  The number of holes you need depends on how many brads you want to put on your goggles.

I use holes to help hold the brads in place.  You can forego the holes and simply glue the heads of the brads onto the frames, they may not hold as well.

Step 5: Prepare your brads.  You need to use the nippers to trim the ‘stems’ off the brads.  Leaving them on causes too much bulk on the inside of the frame and prohibits the lens from fitting back in place. Leave just enough of the stem that it sits in the drilled holes but doesn’t protrude out of the hole.

Alternatively, if you are not using holes to place the brads, trim the stems from the brad head and press the remaining stem flat into the inside of the brad head so it will sit flat on the frame.

Step 6: Put the lens and rubber piece back into the frame.  Place a small amount of glue into a drilled hole and place the cut stem of the brad into the glue/hole.  Press it flat against the frame.  Continue with the remaining brads/holes.  (how many brads you use is entirely dependent on how you want your goggles to look).

Alternatively, if you didn’t drill holes, put glue into the inside of the brad head and then place the brad head onto the frame where you’d like it to be.  Hold until it dries enough to stay.  Continue with the remaining brads.

Now your goggles are starting to look steampunk-ish…let’s add some straps.

Step 7: Add the side straps.  I used a leather braided trim.  The width of the trim will be determined by the goggles you use.  The length of each strap depends on your particular project.  I leave it longer than I need and trim it when I am attaching it to my project.  Thread the trim in where the elastic head strap once was.  Pull it through so there is enough to overlap a few inches.

Step 8: Use a rivet to secure the the two layers of strap to itself by punching a hole into the strap and using a rivet setter to secure the rivet.

Alternatively, you can stitch it together by hand or with a sewing machine.

Repeat with the other lens.

They are looking more and more steampunk-ish!

Step 9:  Add the center strap to connect the lenses in the same manner you connected the side straps.  The length of this strap depends on your project.  When I place it on my stick horse, I like the goggles to sit just above the eyes so I fit the strap to allow the goggles to sit how I’d like.

Now your goggles are ready to add to your project.

Step 10:  This step considerably varies depending on what project you’re putting your goggles on.  You may even opt to attach a buckle to the goggle straps and leave it at that.  If you’re putting them on a stick horse, etc, then you may want to create a steam punk themed bridle to attach the googles to.  I use a variety of trims, necklace chains, rivets and gear embellishments to create my bridle.

The easiest way is to piece the bridle right on the horse.  I don’t follow my normal bridle measurements, I just piece it together.  Folding one trim over over the other and pinning it where the pieces  connect, removing it from the horse, attaching a rivet to secure it (you can stitch it) and continuing in that manner until the bridle is finished.

You can see the two different ways I made these bridles at the nose band.  For one I used a ring to connect the side strap, nose band, chin strap and reins.  For the other, I folded the trims over each other and secured them with a rivet and used a jump ring threaded into the trim to secure a necklace chain for the chin strap.  I also opted for no reins.  

The gear embellishments are a fun addition to the bridle and even the goggles…really they are a must for steampunk.

You can see I pieced together leather and braided trim to create the bridles strap on one, and embellished it with an awesome metal flower I found.  On the other one I used just one trim for the bridle straps.  On both, the goggles are connected to the bridle strap by wrapping the strap around it and riveting it to itself to hold.

On both I added a chunky necklace chain for a very loose throat strap.  I added it to the bridle straps using jump rings, as well as attaching some gear embellishments.

Here is a better look at the throat and chin chains and the connecting strap on the goggles.

Bottom line…have fun, get creative and enjoy the process!  Both of these were made using my Mustang Stick Horse design, faux upholstery leathers and synthetic hair extensions.

Want to know how I made those lush long eyelashes…check out this tutorial.

Here’s a great image for Pinterest!  Pin now and save this project for later.