DIY: How to Make Your Own Lenses
There are a lot of simple do-it-yourself tricks that add some spice to the photography experience. Creating your own lenses is very cool and rewarding, but it doesn't exactly fall on the simple side.
DIY Photography has posted a great article about how to make your own lenses using spare and surplus parts. It's not as scary as it sounds, since you won't actually be molding the glass. It's more like assembly than creation.
You'll have to find a glass lens first, from an online seller or from a surplus shop. Anything that focuses light, whether it's a lens from a pair of glasses, binoculars or even a magnifying glass is a potential camera lens. Then it's a matter of measuring the focal distance and finally attaching it to your camera.
You're not going to get the sharpness of a store bought lens. Instead you'll be rewarded with a soft, dreamlike quality to your photos. You'll have some imperfections and aberrations, but that's the point. You'll end up with something that's interesting to shoot with, and absolutely unique.