Spy Glasses for Grown-ups A Tutorial

It was an absolute delight to demo the spy glasses construction on KATU morning news.  I’ve re-posted the directions if you’d like to make a pair of your own.  For more deviously fun projects you can pick up a copy of Criminal Crafts here, or come on out to Powells Cedar Hills Crossing on May 16th where I’ll be doing a reading and signings OR join me and my buddies from SCRAP at Beulahland on the 17th for flaming cocktails at SCRAP Noir, where there will be crafty kits for sale and other fun give-aways.

On to the tutorial… The kids accuse me of having eyes in the back of my head and you know what, they’re right.  I’ve crafted up some stylish glasses with custom fit wing mirrors so I can look ahead of me and see who’s checking out my ample assets in the back.  These are super quick and easy to make, you’ll need a glue gun and cut-able plastic mirror sheets which you can pick up at the craft store or on-line.

The most important part of this project is finding the right glasses to modify.  First, you want something hip and fun, no sense leaving the house looking like a meff.  Look for glasses with lenses and frames which are as flat as possible.  If you try to put your mirror piece up against a curved lens you’re gonna get distorted images like at the circus.  Keep in mind that the bigger the frame the more space you’ll have for a mirror and a large field of vision behind you, also with big glasses you look like Edith Head, style points all around!

Ok time to get to work. Gather up your supplies, you’re going to want: Mirror paper, scrap paper, ruler, scissors, pencil, grease pencil and dark lens sun glasses.  The dark lenses hide the mirrors so make sure you get something a black as possible.  Avoid the mirrored ones too, they make you look like a cop and the idea here is to be in disguise not give away the gag.

Step One:  Gently lay the glasses face down onto scrap paper and trace around front frame.

Measure your right frame area into thirds.  Mark a vertical line 1/3 away from outer edge of frame.  Repeat steps for left side.

Cut template silhouette, discarding center piece.

Set scrap template on back of glasses and adjust to fit on frame, depending on frame style and fit, you may need to trim around hinge area.

Trace template onto back of plastic mirror sheet and cut out.

Set mirror pieces on frame and temporarily tape in place.

Try on glasses you should be able to see in front clearly and behind yourself as well, adjust mirror  as needed.  Mark placement on frame with grease pencil or masking tape and REMOVE mirrors from the glasses.

Layer hot glue onto glasses frame and let cool.  DON’T PUT MIRROR ON YET.  When the glue is cool set mirror in place and check for fit.  Can you see behind yourself?  If yes add small layer of hot glue and set mirror into place.  If no either break off glue and try again or build up glue until adjusted for rear viewing.

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