I made these goggles for the dust in the desert at Burning Man. I am posting these images as instructions for those who might want to try making some of their own. 

Good goggles for the desert are hard to find and they are very expensive if you do.

These are made from an old leather jacket, and from two pieces of tempered and UV resistant glass that I got from the halogen 'puck style' lights. I popped the glass out of the plastic ring. They also sell tinted circles that can be used for torch brazing which would be great. I wanted these for night also, so I'm leaving them clear.

Once I worked out how to design them, the whole process took about 3 hours. If you have any questions please email me. You can get the address from our website.


To check out some of our other junk go to www.windfiredesigns.com
or for current projects check our our windfire designs studio blog . Also thank you Ruth Whiting for taking the image featured on boingboing.

  • Paper templates for the two shapes that make the goggles. I found the shape of the two ovals [the mask] by laying cling film over my face. Ruth traced what she thought would be a nice shape directly on the plastic which was laid against my face. I then asked her to trace the actual perimeter of my eye. After that I just put the plastic on paper and cleaned up the shape a bit before cutting it out. I only found the shape of the oval mask
  • like this. Read on to see how to find the eyepiece shape.
  • This is the test piece for the mounting technique I came up with for the lenses. It just uses two strips of leather stitched into a piece long enough to go around the circle. They form a channel that holds the glass in.
  • Another shot of the test piece. This clearly shows the groove that holds the glass. This leather here is not the final shape off the eye piece cylinder.
  • The wire frame. This is not used in the final product. However, it was crucial to help find the shape of the eyepiece. I taped it to the leather mask so that I could bend it to my face, so I could keep that bend as I found the next shape, the eyecup.
  • Forming the wire to my face.
  • This was an important step because it allowed me to keep the shape of my face in the mask while I found the correct angle for the eyepiece. In the next step I have a paper cylinder that is inserted into the oval of one side of the mask.
  • This shows how the wire helped hold the form of my face while I found the shape of the eyecup. I wrapped a cylinder of paper around the lens and then positioned the lens at the correct angle. When I liked how it was sitting, I traced the line where the leather oval touched the paper cylinder.
  • Another shot of the wire and leather.
  • Looking at the eyepiece as it lies against the mask. This is the test piece, it's not the cylinder shape I used.
  • The structure of the eyecup without the lens mounted. I am about to sew it onto the leather mask. The triangle overlap near my right thumb is where the leather comes around on itself and is two layers, adding stiffness to the outside of the cylinder.
  • Here I am about to sew the eyecup to the mask. I am judging the alignment and also figuring out where and how to sew it. I haven't done this before, so, there are decisions to make.
  • I decided that to make the goggle fit my face properly, I needed the inner [against my nose] half of the circumference of the seam to be sewn as a normal seam and the other [outer] half to be top-stitched, basically lapped over. Shown in a future shot.
  • Here I am about to flip the seam and begin top stitching the eyecup to the mask around the outer edge. I intentionally didn't lock the ends of the inner stitch so I could partially flex it open as I flip this section of the seam.
  • Top stitching the outer edge to the mask. All of this stitching is zigzag of varied widths.
  • Another shot showing the top stitch. You can see the way the eyecup is folding flat towards the nose because of the inner seam being run that way.
  • The first test-fit of the eyecup. This is very exciting stuff, although my concentration as to how I feel about the fit doesn't show how giddy I am.
  • Here it's easy to see the way the seam flips from an inner to an outer seam around the oval. This helps with the angle, and the leather is so compliant that this worked really well and blended so naturally.
  • This is a test fitting of the glass. This glass came from a cheap halogen puck light. It is both tempered and UV resistant. It is not tinted, but this will be great for night use.
  • Piles of merino and silk in the background. Erin, adding black to the leather.
  • Almost done.
  • All together, polished, with the glass in. Also you might notice that there is now a piece of leather bridging the nose. I found that it needed a bit of tension here, but the outer layer was still forming a lovely seal against my face.
  • Front view, with the lenses in, and still a bit dirty from being handled.
  • I used a black bra strap for the elastic. It was hard to use a synthetic along with so much leather, but yeah, I'm happy, really happy with these.