How to Make Custom Sunglasses

Create your own customized designs with blank sunglasses.
Create your own customized designs with blank sunglasses. (Image: sunglasses image by timur1970 from

Designer sunglasses generally cost more than the run of the mill sunglasses without any trim. They are referred to as blanks and they are the perfect base for customization. Embellished sunglasses make great gifts or they can be used for a small business promotional event. By choosing complementary flat-back trims such as rhinestones or nail-heads and sketching a pattern placement guide, the sunglasses will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind creation. Though the application process is often time consuming, the end result is a pair of stylish customized sunglasses.

Things You'll Need

  • Blank sunglasses or "blanks"
  • Clear graph ruler
  • Flexible tape measure (optional)
  • Graph paper
  • Drafting pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Flat-back rhinestones, nail-heads (your choice)
  • Pointed tweezers
  • Permanent glue cement adhesive

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Measure the width of your blank sunglasses’ side leg with a clear graph ruler or flexible tape measure. The same applies for wide rims with room for customization. Measure the width and length which will most likely be less than 1/4 inch.

Sketch the side leg outline as well as the wide rim outline on graph paper with your drafting pencils using the measurements from step 1.

Draw your customized pattern within the outline sketches with colored pencils. For instance, design a flower motif for wide side legs and choose trims such as crystal flat-back Swarovski rhinestones. Another concept for thin side legs is to develop an alternating stripe pattern using silver and copper nail heads.

Lift each flat back rhinestone or nail head with pointed tweezers which have an angled head. Position the trim directly onto the sketch from step 2. You will be using this as your placement guide as you customize your sunglasses.

Fold the side legs and lay your sunglasses flat on your work surface. As an alternative, hold the leg in your hand during application.

Choose a specific starting point to place your first rhinestone. For instance, if you have a centered motif pattern for the leg, start the pattern from the center and work towards the side leg ends. If the motif is near the rim, use this area as your starting point and work towards the end of the leg. Placing your rhinestones randomly will produce an uneven design pattern on both legs.

Lift one rhinestone with your tweezers and dip the flat back into permanent glue cement adhesive. Do not submerge the rhinestone into the cement.

Position the flat back onto the side leg following your colored sketch from step 4. If the flat back does not slide out of place, continue to apply the subsequent flat backs. If your trim slides, it is indicating you have applied an excessive amount of jewelry cement. Use a disposable cotton swab to remove the excess cement and re-apply.

Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have completed each customized leg. The same steps apply for the sunglass rims. Let the sunglasses dry prior to wearing them.


  • “Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts;” Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; 2009
  • “Making Vintage Jewellery: 25 Original Designs, from Earrings to Corsages;” Emma Brennan; 2006
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