How to Make Shutter Shades Out of Old Sunglasses

Shutter Shades first came into being back in the 1980s, during the time of parachute pants and leg warmers. Back then they were called Venetian Blinders. Like all dead fads, this one has come back to haunt. Thank Kanye West for that, as he wore a pair of Shutter Shades in his video “Stronger.” The glasses grew a new fan base and gained a new name. Instead of buying the glasses for a party, costume or just for fun, make a pair using cheap plastic sunglasses.

Step 1: Pop the lenses out of the glasses, being careful not to break the glasses.

Step 2: Measure the distance across the front of the glasses and make note of the measurement. Measure the length of one lens frame below the bridge. Make note of the measurement.

Step 3: Cut two strips of vinyl so they are the longest measurement in length and 1/4-inch wide. Cut six strips of vinyl so they are the shortest measurement in length and 1/4-inch wide. Use the marker and ruler to draw the shapes on the vinyl and then cut them with the utility knife.

Step 4: Place the longest strips across the front of the glasses and near the top of the frame to make sure they will fit. The ends must touch part of the frame on both sides of the glasses. Repeat with the smaller strips, resting them across one lens frame and just below the bridge. If they do not fit, cut them a little longer. If they are too long, cut the excess length.

Step 5: Place a small dab of glue on each end of one side of one of the longest strips of vinyl. Press the strip, glue side down, horizontally across the top of the frame so part of the bottom of the strip covers the open lens. Press down on the glued sections a few moments to help it hold. Repeat with the second long strip, but glue it 1/8-inch below the first strip.

Step 6: Glue one of the smaller strips 1/-8-inch below the second long strip and across one lens frame and below the bridge. Glue the next two strips below the first. Glue the last three small strips to the other lens frame and 1/8-inch apart. Let the glue dry for several hours.

Step 7: Spray paint the glasses with a thin layer of spray paint. Coat the entire pair of glasses and let them dry. Spray paint a second layer to darken the color and to completely coat the glasses. Let dry completely before wearing.


The cheaper the glasses, the easier to pop the lenses out. Visit a dollar store for thick plastic glasses with loose lenses.

Use a thick, but flexible vinyl sheet because it cuts with a utility knife. If you use a thick, hard plastic, you will need a power tool to cut it. Cut the plastic on a hard surface or cutting board. The blade will cut anything underneath the plastic.

Use a satin finish spray paint so the glasses have a glossy look. Since glasses come in many shapes and sizes, it might be necessary to use more, or fewer, strips of vinyl. Adjust the width of the strips, if necessary, so that the strips cover the frame, leaving 1/8 inch of space between them.

Alternatively, use colored paper that matches the color of the glasses. Coat the paper with craft glue to make them stiffer. Once the strips are dry, glue them to the glasses.

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