Last Halloween, I
invited a few friends of mine to my cottage, built in the Victorian
era and located in the woods with other abandoned cottages, for a
haunted weekend. Keeping with the Victorian penny dreadful theme, I
was costumed as Sweeney Todd, with a handmade tailcoat. But even more
impressive was my friend Emily, who invented an entire character and
made a whole outfit to go with it.
consisted of a pair of cotton floral print fabric spats, a
penny-farthing brass necklace (a penny farthing is an early bicycle,
with one large wheel and one small), watch-piece earrings, a
brass-colored ray gun made from a plastic water gun, and leather
goggles suitable for Amelia Earheart. All of which she made by hand.
Goggles are the
quintessential accessory for a Steampunk
outfit. Emily’s were made recycling readily available
household objects, some of which would have been thrown out if not put
to the use of costuming. Working with only a plastic soda bottle, two
jar lids, a softball, spray paint, a strip of leather, and fasteners
to create her beautiful work of art. Sounds impossible, right? Here’s
Instructions for Steampunk Goggles
To put everything
together, you will need superglue, basic sewing supplies, and sharp
First, snip into
and removed the leather from an old softball. (Softballs are
slightly larger than baseballs, so you have more material to work
with.) When the leather is opened flat with the thick stitches of
the ball on the outskirts, it creates two curved shapes perfect for
the base of goggles. Cut out the inside of the two circles, holding
up the leather against your eyes to make sure they are the right
Spray paint the
leather of the softball to match the color of your leather strap.
(Emily’s was black.) You can use an old belt for your leather strap
if you would rather not buy new, expensive fabric.
Add a thin strip
of leather between the circles by sewing (if you have a heavy-duty
machine) or gluing. This will fall at the bridge of your nose when
completed, and the size of the leather strip should be estimated by
your face, making sure that it is long enough so that you can see
clearly from both eyes.
Add a strip of
leather to the side of each circle, where the curve begins to get
small. These strips should be long enough to fit around your head.
Again, these strips can be sewn or glued on. Emily used metal fabric
fasteners to attach them which is practical and fits the artistry of
the goggles perfectly.
To fasten the
goggle base at the back of your head, sew a piece of elastic sewn
between the two leather straps, measuring so that the base is just
tight enough to stay on your head when looking through. This will
allow you to put on and take off your goggles easily. You have now
created your goggle base.
The size of the
lids should be slightly smaller than the perimeter of the leather
circles, and can be taken from jarred food, like preserves or fruit.
Cut out circles from the lids, making sure the circles here are
slightly smaller than the circles cut into your leather.
Take a clear
plastic, one liter soda bottle and cut two circles from this. These
will need to be slightly larger than the circles cut from your lid.
Glue the clear
plastic circles onto the lids from the inside.
Glue the lids
onto the leather.
If you would like
to add decorations, lace and watch parts would compliment the goggles
perfectly. Or, be creative and decorate your goggles any way you’d
like. Congratulations, you have successfully completed your first