Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Altered Bike Helmets

 My husband and I don't wear bike helmets.  I know, I know we should, and we have gotten a lot of grief about this lately from our friends.  We are getting ready to go see our children and grandchildren and this summer we are going to bring our bikes.  Most of our grandchildren are old enough to ride bikes now and we want to be able to ride with them.  Of course they all wear helmets and as a Papa and Nana, we don't want to set a bad example so we are going to wear helmets.  One of my problems with the helmets is that they are so ugly.  So I decided to see if I could alter the helmets to something more fun and funky and not effect the integrity of the helmet. 

First I started with a trip to the store and my husband and I bought two of the bike helmet above, which is certainly not very fashion forward.  I know, I know, safety first, but why not have both?  My husband used sandpaper and scratched up the surface.  Then I used a cotton ball and alcohol and cleaned the surface of the helmet. Actually this is my husband's helmet.
 I painted the inside of the black air vents and the black outside foam band with navy craft paint on my husband's and purple on mine.  I started on one area and then I used Liquitex Matte Medium and a small paint brush and painted a small area with the matte medium and then put a small piece of fabric down, smoothing down the fabric as I went.  I then covered the fabric piece with more matte medium and went to the next area overlapping the fabric pieces and repeating the process with the matte medium and fabric so there were no open areas of white on the helmet. Covering the whole helmet.  I used approximately 1 1/4 to 2" pieces of fabric.   I put fabric just inside the curve of the air vents.  I did not put fabric on the foam pieces around the outside of the helmets that touches your head.  I thought it might not be too comfortable.  I found using a bias piece of fabric on the points of the air vents worked really well covering that area.
 After covering the whole helmet with fabric and matte medium, I checked to make sure the helmet was totally covered and that the fabric pieces were flat.  Then I covered the whole helmet with another coat of matte medium and let it dry overnight.  After letting it dry completely, I put on one coat of Liquitex Gloss Varnish.  Let that dry completely and finish with one more coat of gloss varnish.
This helmet is mine.  What happened is that my husband liked my helmet so much that I volunteered to do one for him and the USA one is his.  He picked out the fabric and I think both of these bike helmets look super cool and very funky.  I am very happy with how they turned out.  One last thing.  Modge Podge is also a product that could be used, but I  have found that a Modge Podge finished product is sticky, which is a problem.  The Liquitex product is not sticky.  It costs more but is well worth it.  Now my husband and I are ready for our bike time with our grandbabies.  Next is to alter my motor-scooter helmet. 


  1. that is totally awesome...thanks for sharing it on the quiltart site!

  2. So clever! I'm sure you'll turn a few heads.

  3. Very FUN! Just like you. I have a really old fashion bike helment that is round shape. I got a free 3 wheel bike that needs work. Well see how far that goes. LOL.

  4. These turned out really nice! I think my grandson might like to pick out fabric for his helmet. Thanks for sharing.

  5. These are great! What a wonderful idea!

  6. Maggie, these look great. What fun!
    |However, I wonder if the products used might do something to the safety of the helmets. Apparently that thin plastic shell is considered part of the safety structure for equestrian helmets. No doubt you can check this out with the manufacturers.

    But better anything on your head than not I reckon. Good for you for setting a good example for your grandchildren. Pat yourself on the back!


  7. These are great, Maggie! I hope they will make you want to wear them for all your biking for safety. You'd better take your Matte Medium with you when you visit--those kids will want you to do their helmets, too!