How to Make Wooden Sunglass Frames: A Beginner's Guide

Are you tired of the same old plastic sunglasses? Want to stand out in a crowd with a unique accessory? Why not try making your own wooden sunglasses frames? Not only will you have a one-of-a-kind pair of shades, but you’ll also get the satisfaction of creating something with your own two hands.

Making wooden sunglass frames may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and materials, it can be a fun and rewarding project. There are many different techniques and styles to choose from, whether you prefer a classic wayfarer shape or a more modern, geometric design. And the best part is, you can customize your frames to fit your personal style and taste. Plus, wooden frames are lightweight and comfortable to wear, making them a great alternative to traditional plastic frames.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of making your own wooden sunglass frames. We’ll cover everything from selecting the right wood and tools to cutting and shaping the frames. With a little patience and creativity, you’ll have a stylish and eco-friendly accessory in no time. So, grab your tools and let’s get started!

Understanding the Basics of Wooden Sunglasses

When it comes to making wooden sunglasses, understanding the basics is crucial to achieving a successful outcome. In this section, we will discuss two important aspects of wooden sunglasses: the types of wood used and the importance of grain direction.

Types of Wood Used

Selecting the right type of wood is essential for creating high-quality wooden sunglasses. The wood must be both durable and lightweight, while also being suitable for the design you have in mind. Some popular types of wood used for making wooden sunglasses include:

  • Bamboo
  • Ebony
  • Walnut
  • Maple
  • Zebrawood
  • Rosewood

Each type of wood has its own unique characteristics, such as color and grain pattern. It’s important to choose a wood that not only looks good but is also strong enough to withstand the stress of everyday use.

Importance of Grain Direction

The direction of the grain in the wood is another important factor to consider when making wooden sunglasses. The grain direction affects the strength and durability of the frames, as well as their appearance.

When cutting the wood for the frames, it’s important to pay attention to the direction of the grain. The grain should run parallel to the long axis of the frame, as this provides the greatest strength. If the grain runs perpendicular to the frame, it can weaken the wood and make it more susceptible to cracking or breaking.

In addition to affecting the strength of the frames, the grain direction can also affect the appearance of the sunglasses. The grain pattern can add an interesting and unique texture to the frames, giving them a natural and organic feel.

By understanding the types of wood used and the importance of grain direction, you can create beautiful and functional wooden sunglasses that will stand the test of time.

Tools and Materials Needed

To make wooden sunglasses frames, you will need a variety of tools and materials. Here are the essential items you will need to get started:


  • Saw (hand or power)
  • Sandpaper (80, 120, and 220 grit)
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Dremel tool with sanding disks
  • Small screwdriver
  • Brush


  • Wooden veneer (straight grain and flexible)
  • Lenses and hinges from store-bought sunglasses
  • Super glue
  • Walnut oil and beeswax for wood finish
  • Clothespins

When selecting your wooden veneer, choose a type that is flexible and has a straight grain. This will make it easier to shape and mold into the desired frame shape. You will also need to purchase lenses and hinges from a store-bought pair of sunglasses to use in your wooden frame.

In terms of tools, a saw (either hand or power) will be necessary to cut the wooden veneer to the correct shape and size. Sandpaper of varying grits will be needed to smooth out any rough edges and ensure a polished finish. Wood glue and clamps will be necessary to hold the frame together while it dries.

A Dremel tool with sanding disks will be useful for shaping and sanding the frame, while a small screwdriver will be necessary for attaching the hinges. A brush will be necessary for applying the wood finish, and clothespins can be used to hold the frame together while the glue dries.

With these tools and materials, you will be well on your way to creating your very own pair of stylish and unique wooden sunglasses frames.

Designing Your Sunglass Frames

When it comes to designing your wooden sunglass frames, there are a few important things to consider. In this section, we’ll cover the basics of choosing the right shape and creating a template for your frames.

Choosing the Right Shape

The shape of your frames will play a big role in the overall look and feel of your wooden sunglasses. There are a few things to consider when choosing a shape:

  • Face Shape: Consider the shape of your face when choosing a frame shape. Round faces often look best with angular frames, while angular faces can benefit from rounder frames.
  • Style: Think about the overall style you want to achieve with your sunglasses. Do you want something classic and timeless, or something more modern and trendy?
  • Functionality: Consider how you will be using your sunglasses. If you plan on using them for outdoor activities, you may want a more wrap-around style to provide better protection from the sun.

Once you have a general idea of the shape you want, you can start creating a template.

Creating the Template

Creating a template for your wooden sunglass frames is an important step in the design process. This will help ensure that your frames are the right size and shape, and will make it easier to create multiple pairs of sunglasses with consistent sizing.

To create a template, you can start with a basic outline of the shape you want. You can then use this outline to create a more detailed template, including measurements for the width of the frame, the height of the lenses, and the angle of the arms.

There are a few different ways to create a template, depending on your preferences and available tools. Some people prefer to draw their templates by hand, while others use computer software to create a more precise design.

Once you have a template, you can use it as a guide for cutting and shaping your wooden frames. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful and unique wooden sunglass frames that are perfect for your style and needs.

Cutting and Shaping the Frames

Cutting the Wood

When making wooden sunglass frames, the first step is to cut the wood to the desired size and shape. You can use a table saw or a band saw to cut the wood into the rough shape of the frames. It’s important to use a high-quality, durable wood that can withstand wear and tear. Some popular choices include cherry, maple, and walnut.

Before cutting the wood, it’s essential to measure the size of the lenses and take into account the width of the nose bridge and the length of the temples. You should also consider the thickness of the wood and the desired thickness of the frames. Once you have these measurements, you can cut the wood to the right size and shape.

Sanding and Shaping

After cutting the wood, the next step is to sand and shape the frames. Start by sanding the rough edges and corners of the frames using a coarse-grit sandpaper. Then, switch to a finer-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface of the wood.

Once the frames are sanded, you can start shaping them. You can use a router or a Dremel tool to create the desired shape of the frames. Be sure to take your time and work carefully to avoid making any mistakes.

When shaping the frames, it’s important to pay attention to the details. You can use a template or a guide to ensure that the frames are symmetrical and well-proportioned. You can also add decorative elements such as patterns or engravings to make the frames more unique.

Overall, cutting and shaping the frames is an important step in making wooden sunglass frames. With the right tools and techniques, you can create frames that are both functional and stylish.

Assembling the Sunglasses

Congratulations on making it this far! You’re almost done with your wooden sunglasses. In this section, we’ll cover how to assemble the sunglasses with the lenses and arms.

Installing the Lenses

The first step is to install the lenses. If you’re using lenses from store-bought sunglasses, you can simply pop them into the frames. If you’re using custom lenses, you may need to have them cut to size. Here are the steps to install the lenses:

  1. Clean the lenses with a microfiber cloth to remove any dust or debris.
  2. Insert the lenses into the frame grooves, making sure they are centered and level.
  3. Gently press down on the lenses to secure them in place.

Attaching the Arms

Now it’s time to attach the arms to the frame. You can use hinges from store-bought sunglasses or make your own hinges out of wood. Here are the steps to attach the arms:

  1. Mark the location of the hinges on the frame and arms.
  2. Drill pilot holes for the hinge screws.
  3. Attach the hinges to the frame and arms using screws.
  4. Test the hinges to make sure they open and close smoothly.

Once you’ve installed the lenses and attached the arms, your wooden sunglasses are ready to wear! Make sure to store them in a protective case when not in use to keep them safe from scratches and damage.

Finishing Touches

Applying a Finish

Once you have shaped and sanded your wooden sunglass frames, it’s time to apply a finish. A finish will protect the wood from moisture, sunlight, and wear and tear. There are many different finishes you can use, such as oil-based finishes, water-based finishes, and wax finishes.

Before applying the finish, make sure the frames are completely clean and dust-free. You can use a tack cloth or a soft-bristled brush to remove any dust or debris. Then, apply the finish according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You may need to apply multiple coats, depending on the type of finish you choose.

Adding the Hinges

Once the finish has dried, it’s time to add the hinges. You can purchase hinges specifically designed for wooden sunglass frames, or you can make your own hinges out of wire or metal strips.

To install the hinges, use a small drill bit to make a pilot hole in the frame where the hinge will be attached. Then, screw the hinge into place using a small screwdriver. Make sure the hinge is secure and the arms of the frame move smoothly.

Congratulations! You have now completed your own unique pair of wooden sunglass frames. Enjoy wearing them and showing off your craftsmanship.

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