DIY: Casey Neistat's Custom $150 Ray-Bans for $9
This is not your normal dazzling DIY post. Actually, this is my first DIY post on this blog and spoiler alert... I totally effed it up the 1st time through... To start, here's a quick background on who inspired this project: Casey Nesitat. He's a YouTube vlogger and filmmaker, and also the brain behind the app Beam. Ironically, I hated him originally when I first heard him on the podcast, Ask Altucher. I thought he came off as totally pompous. Recently though, Tim Ferriss also interviewed Casey and he seemed way more chill and intriguing, so I started to check out Casey's YouTube channel. Fast forward to three months later and I can't get enough.
Anyhow back to this DIY: One of Casey's trade marks is his weird, messed-up-on-purpose Ray-Ban Wayfarers.
Here's the backstory of the glasses and how the original pair came about. Casey made a whole video about them (of course).
Here's his super detailed DIY version of how to make his signature glasses.
Long story short, he basically destroys a pair of $150 Ray-Bans but I love how they look. I've never seen a pair of sunglasses quite like them. Since there's no way in hell I was going to destroy my already beat Ray-Bans, I did it the Bushwick way... so here we go.
Step 1: Go to Knickerbocker Ave. in Bushwick (or Canal Street in Manhattan or Walmart, etc) and buy the cheapest, $5 knock offs you can find (actually buy 2 pairs...just in case). The shittier and cheaper, the better (that way when you eff this up like I did the first time, you won't really care).
Step 2: Go to the nearest $1 store or hardware store and find the most basic, white, spray paint primer. It only cost me $4. The main thing here is to make sure it is labeled MATTE or PRIMER. You want something that will absorb dirt and not be shiny.
Step 3: THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP NOT IN CASEY'S VIDEO! Put masking tape/painter's tape completely over the inside of lenses (the side facing your face). Next, put masking tape on the outside lenses, but leave a small uncovered border about 1/4 inch around. It's ok if the edges are not even and jagged...it's supposed to look accidental and 1/2 scratched off. *Side note: the first run through of this project, I didn't put on the tape. I just spray painted over the lenses like Casey does. You can totally gently scrape off spray paint from REAL GLASS LENSES, but cheap plastic, made-in-China lenses purchased on the street...not so much. My project was what they call a "Pinterest Fail".)
Step 4 (aka THE FUN PART): Spray paint the shit out of those frames. It's easiest to spray horizontally going from side to side to make it even, but it really doesn't matter. Actually the more haphazard, the better. There's something so cathartic about spray painting something...
Step 5: Allow spray paint to dry for 2 hours. Go day drinking (actually who's kidding...this is the FUN PART).
Step 6: Sober up (or don't) and start peeling off the painters tape. Grab a plastic utensil or even your fingernail and start to gently scrape off the paint randomly on the frame. Casey does this with popsicle sticks, but I found it doesn't really matter what you use as long as you don't scratch too hard and accidentally start scratching the cheap frames themselves. You can leave the 1/4 boarder on the lenses as is or gently scrape more off with your fingernail.
That's pretty much it. I love officially Casey Neistat, but there's no reason to buy ridiculously expensive sunglasses and remove the logo and proceed to destroy them. Instead you can easily do this for 1/10 of the price. Next time I want to get some matte neon pink or green spray paint and try this again to personalize it even more!
Happy Pinterest-Failing folks!