For White Wonderland I decided I would equip myself and some of my friends with some white stunna shades, but not any white stunna shades; ones that had the ability to diffract light and create rainbows in your vision. After my friends Kevin and Christine hooked it up with a pair of similar glasses for EDC and everyone had gone crazy over them since then, I wanted to make my own to gift to my friends for our NYE experience. Everyone liked them quite a bit, so I figured I would put together a brief guide to make your own.
The two key ingredients here are Prism Diffraction Firework Glasses which you can purchase on Amazon and Stunna Shades which can be purchased on Amazon as well (no link for the stunna shades as they change price constantly, just search Shutter Shades and you will be presented with plenty of options. Order however many you want to make (in this case, 10 pairs, so I had some diffraction glasses left over.) Once you have your materials, the first step is to separate the lenses of the prism glasses from the actual cardboard frames. This can be done by hand by peeling them apart or with an exacto knife. I recommend a combination of the two. Quite often, the peel won’t be perfect and you will be left with cardboard or glue or both still on the plastic diffraction lens. This is not an issue, just do all of your peeling at once, it is much easier. Once you have peeled your lenses, next step is to dunk them in warm water. This helps separate the cardboard and glue from the lenses.
As you can see I am a hipster, so I drink out of mason jars. After letting them soak for an hour if you are impatient, overnight if you have the time, you can pull them out and rub any remaining cardboard off with your fingers. Next, bust out your Goo Gone (which you can find at a hardware store) and some q-tips. Time to attack these babies like your favorite dj is counting on your glasses for his perfect set, which he is not. Do it anyway.
A bit hard to see, but I put the lenses on a plate that had Goo Gone on it, let them soak and then rubbed the glue from the frames off with a q-tip. Hard to get these perfect but if you put in a bit of time on each, it makes a significant difference. After getting the glue off, I rewashed them with a bit of warm water and dish soap to get everything off and to let them dry.
Black paper was really helpful for keeping track of them. Once they dry, test size them against your shutter shade. Remember you want it to cover most of the area you see through, so try holding them on the inside of the glasses while you look at light. That should give you a good test run. Next, take your Modge Podge (art store for this) which is a waterbase sealer, glue, and finish. Put a bit on a plastic plate, use a new q-tip to apply it to the inside of the shutter shade on the top inside and multiple of the bars that run across so that the lens will stay securely. Once the Modge Podge is on, place your lens on it so it secures to the shutter shade. Repeat this with the other side. Let it dry a bit, then test to be sure it is in a position on the shutter shades that you like and will work with light. Once you are satisfied, repeat this for each of your pairs with a lens for each eye. Try not to apply the Modge Podge too thick to make sure it just covers the spot you are trying to attach the lens. Once you complete each side, place the glasses near an open window to help them air dry.
Yelling at them to dry faster is a popular technique that does not help speed their progress in the least bit. Also, please ignore the handcuffs and rubber chicken, what I do in my own time is my business. Once they have dried, you can turn off all the lights in your house except a couple and test them out. My favorite method is walk towards the light while moving your head back and forth toward your shoulders like a crazed giant bug with swag shades. Hopefully you should get something like this:
Clearly it will be better, because your eyes do not suck as much as my camera. This pair lasted the entire sweaty night at White Wonderland so they tend to be pretty durable. They are fun to give away, if you purchase your materials in bulk, it will likely cost you about $6 a pair that you make. However, unless you really love that $tunna $hade $wag, I highly recommend making them with clear glasses, as the bars across the shutter shades interfere with your amazing view of the pretty lights and all the awesome diffraction that is going on.
Two other warnings: First, everyone is going to want to be your friend with these, because they are awesome. Lend them out to friends and strangers, just keep an eye on them. Not everyone is cool, and some people like to try and walk away with them. If you have extras, this is not the end of the world but if you only have one pair, keep that shit on lock! And by lock I mean hope no one jacks them.
Second, this takes at least 2-3 hours minimum. Best to prep and soak the lenses one night and finish the job the next. Or go the easy and also really cool route and just acquire yourself an pair of PrizmEyez.
Seriously these things are boss, and require much less effort then making your own. PrizmEyez are the only option for hard plastic prizmatic lenses. Not that making your own is a bad option at all, it just takes work, money, and time. These just require money and internet. If you want to pick up a pair of your own check out their website, as they have many options, color choices, and that awesome sunglasses string that I could have sworn went out in the late nineties. Fortunately that string will help you keep your newly acquired awesome rainbow makers. And remember, no matter which direction you go, get ready for this in your eye!
Peace, love, and rainbows y’all.