Make Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing Goggles

Solar eclipse “glasses” are a safe way to view the Sun during partial stages of a solar eclipse. But they are a bit awkward to use and the fact that bright sunlight surrounds the glasses makes the viewing not optimal or comfortable. Most people don’t actually wear the glasses with the temple pieces behind their ears; they just hold them up to their eyes when they want a view of the Sun.

Enter solar eclipse goggles. Experience with welder’s goggles indicates that enclosing the eclipse glasses in goggles creates a MUCH more pleasant and enjoyable viewing experience. Below you may find a template and instructions for making cardboard solar eclipse “goggles” in which you can fasten either commonly available eclipse glasses* (with plastic solar filters) or #14 welder’s glass (suitable for Sun viewing). The photo at right is of the inside of the completed solar eclipse goggle made our of a cereal box with #14 welders glass secured inside. More photos are below.

A Sun goggle made out of a ceral box, with #14 welders glass secured in it

Instructions

  1. Print the the solar eclipse goggles template (at right). First save the image or open it in a new tab/window for printing. Print on heavy paper stock if possible.**
  2. Glue the template (blank side down) onto medium or lightweight cardboard. A large box for cereal or crackers works well.
template for sun googles
  1. Cut along the solid lines with scissors or a precision detail cutting (e.g. X-ACTO) knife.
  2. Fold along the dashed lines. Use a straightedge (e.g. a ruler) to make clean folds.
  3. Position one of the tabs (with big black dot) so that the long folded edge of the tab is right under the adjacent cut edge that is about the same length. Then secure that edge with tape. Optional: put a tiny bit of glue on and around the black dot first. After the glue dries, the tape could be removed.
  4. Repeat step 4 with the other 3 tabs.
  5. Secure eclipse glasses behind the front opening with tape. Make sure the glasses completely cover the front opening with no cracks that would allow light to leak through. Alternatively secure #14 welder’s glass behind the front opening, with no light leaks. Duct tape can work well for that.

This photo shows an early version of solar eclipse goggles with eclipse glasses taped in. You can leave the temples of the glasses on, cut them off, or fold them down depending on your preference.

This is a front view of an earlier prototype of solar eclipse goggles is made with a file folder.

Solar eclipse goggle made with lightweight cardboard

Another front view of an earlier prototype solar eclipse goggle made with lightweight corrugated cardboard and has #14 welder’s glass secured behind the front opening.

This photo (right) is of the professional welder’s goggles that inspired the development of the cardboard solar eclipse goggles shown on this page.

This page respectfully submitted by Alan Gould, former planetarium director, Lawrence Hall of Science.

* Sources of solar eclipse glasses:

Source of welder’s glass: https://safesolarviewing.com/

** Optionally, if you want to make more than one cardboard goggle, use the template to make a stencil for marking the outline to make as many copies as you like. Since the dashed lines will not be duplicated using this stencil technique, the tiny squares at the ends of the dashed lines are to indicate the vertices you can use for positioning the straight edge for folding.