How to Turn Old Jeans into Swanky Sunglasses

If you have old jeans lying around, why not upcycle them into stylish sunglasses?
Christopher McFadden

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In need of some new sunglasses? Have some old jeans lying around?

Then why not kill two birds with one stone and make some sunglasses from your old jeans? While it might sound like a ridiculous idea, the following guide will take you through the process of turning junk jeans into funky sunglasses.

Let's follow a special process created by a company called Mosevic, which has developed a technique for doing just that!

jean sunglasses complete
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

The first step is to cut up the old jeans into roughly equally sized strips and rectangles.

jeans to sunglasses strips
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Next, the bio-resin is prepared, as per the manufacturer's instructions, and the jean strips and rectangles are soaked within it. 

Next, excess resin is strained off and a pile of rectangular pieces is created on a plastic sheet. 

jeans to sunglasses layers
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Roughly halfway through the layers of rectangles, the resin-soaked strips are folded over and placed onto the base layer of rectangles, as shown in the video. 

jeans to sunglasses strips 2
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Next, more layers of jean rectangles are added to the pile until all pieces have been used up. Now, the entire pile of resin-soaked denim is placed into a press and any excess resin is squeezed out.

Mosevic has developed a special mold frame, especially for this process.

jeans to sunglasses press
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

After letting the resin cure, Mosevic trims off any excess dried resin from the frame edges and liberate the jean-resin sheets from the frame. 

Here is what it looks like after this stage has been completed. 

jeans to sunglasses sheets
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

The next stage of the process is to machine the sheets into the basic sunglass shapes. Mosevic secures the resin-denim sheets onto a base frame and then use a machining tool to cut out the sunglass frames, arms, and other components. 

jeans to sunglasses machine
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

This part of the process is automated, but you can try your hand at it yourself.

jean sunglasses rough shape
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Where applicable, parts are painted and laser etched to include branding and decoration. Other custom made components are also produced, including steel core springs, hinges, etc.

jeans to sunglasses components
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Next, the arms of the sunglasses are assembled. Metal components are adhered into place, secured, and left to cure.

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At the same time, a final layer of denim is added to the metal-denim-resin laminate to complete the arms. The entire assembly is then pressed to hold them in place until adhesive and resin have fully cured. 

jean sunglasses arm assembly
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Once cured, excess denim is trimmed off using a specially designed frame and a Dremel. The arms are now complete and ready for final assembly. 

jean sunglasses arms complete
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Next, the main sunglass assembly can begin. 

Like the arms, metal reinforcements are adhered into place using a special frame -- just like the arms. 

jean sunglasses main assembly metal
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Once complete, another layer of denim is added to cover the metal parts. The entire assembly is then held in a press, once again, until cured. 

In the meantime, the arms are also attached to the main sunglasses assembly and also held in specially designed frames to ensure they are aligned precisely. 

jean sunglasses arms attached
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

The assembly is then left to cure. Once dry, the sunglasses are then removed from the frame and are looking more like a real pair of sunglasses than you'd find at an optician's. 

jean sunglasses almost complete
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Once again, excess denim material is trimmed off the sunglasses. This is done by hand. 

jean sunglasses trim excess
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Next, the sunglass arms are removed and the frame and arms are sanded down to provide a smooth edge on all sides. 

jean sunglasses sanding
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

Scrapers are also used to tidy up parts of the sunglasses, where required. According to the manufacturer, the entire process has taken many years to perfect. 

jean sunglasses scraper
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

The process is quite labor-intensive and it takes, roughly, two or so weeks to make a small batch of these jean sunglasses. 

A mixture of power tools and hand tools are used to scrape, sand, and polish the frames and other components until just right. Each one is constantly checked by eye and calipers to ensure the creator is happy with each and every piece. 

jean sunglasses caliper
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

One of the final finishes is a coating of natural wax to protect the denim and exposed metal components. Like other parts of the process, the wax is applied by hand. 

denim sunglasses wax coating
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

This coating also makes the sunglasses waterproof. With the frames effectively complete, it is time to add the lenses. 

To do this, the frames are heated to allow the lenses to simply be popped into the frames. 

jean sunglasses lenses
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

With the lenses in place, the final step is to curve the sunglass arms so that the glasses fit snuggly on a human head. Once complete, the sunglasses are given a final polish and visual quality check before being packaged and sent to the customer. 

jean glasses qa
Source: Mosevic/YouTube

These sunglasses come in a range of styles and colors. If you want to see Mosevic's full range, check out their website here

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