I'm a firm believer that visibility is an important part of staying safe while riding a bicycle on the road but I also think being unique, different and noticeable can help just as much.
Car drivers say to themselves, "What the heck is that," "Look at that wacko" and "That looks really cool!" Secretly those translate to "I'm going to slowdown" and "I'm going to give them some more room on the road."
Since putting on my feathers and flames helmet covers it's hard to go around town without other cyclists and drivers making positive comments. My hope is that kids see me and realize that helmets don't have to be boring, they can be cool too!
Disclaimer:Your helmet wasn't designed or safety tested with this cover attached. Using a helmet cover or any helmet accessory is at your own risk. Ride Safe!
Step 1: Templates, Tools and Materials
Here are a items you'll need to complete this project:
Helmet - We'll be using your helmet to shape and fit the foam to the right size.
6 - 12" x 18" Foam Sheets(colors of your choice) - I like working with foam sheets because they are colorful, easy to work with and flexible. You'll need 2 sheets for the bottom layer and 4 sheets for cutting the feathers and flames. I'll be using two different colors, one for the bottom and one for the feathers but feel free to be creative with your color choices. Specifically for this project I used Creatology Foam Sheets from Michaels - Link HERE
Cutting Tools - Xacto knife, Rotary Cutter or even Scissors will work. This is for cutting out the paper templates and foam pieces. Always be careful when using sharp cutting instruments!
Tape - This will be used when building and shaping the bottom layer on top of your helmet.
Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks - We'll be using hot glue for assembling all the pieces of the helmet.
4 - Velcro Strips - Velcro holds the cover to your helmet securely and also allows for quick removal.
Templates - Please print out the templates that are attached to this step. Be sure to print them out "Actual Size" do not zoom or shrink!
Step 2: Cutting Pieces
The Bottom Layer is made up of two pieces - Front and Back. Use the provided templates and mirror the shapes for the final piece. Use the photos to see what the final shapes should look like. Feel free to customize your Bottom Layer to the shape and vents of your own helmet. You may want to size the paper templates on top of your helmet before cutting out the foam pieces.
The Feathers and Flames templates will help you get started as a guide but don't forget to be creative. Using the templates I cut out 6 of each shape and size to get started. You can always cut more if you need a certain piece later on.
Once you have all the pieces cut out we're ready to start assembling!
Step 3: Assemble Bottom Layer
Start to shape the Bottom Layer pieces around your helmet starting with the Back piece. The extra length on the Front piece gets tucked under the Back. Use tape to temporarily hold the pieces together. Check to make sure the Bottom Layer is covering the bottom edge of your helmet. Once you're happy with the fit remove the bottom layer from your helmet and use hot glue to attach both pieces together. This wont be seen by anyone so make sure you use plenty of glue for strength.
Next we'll create the mounts for the Velcro straps. Use your extra foam and cut 4 - 1.5" x 3" rectangles. Use the attached photo to guide you for the general location. Use your helmet for the final placement. It's important to align the Velcro to where the holes are located on your helmet. Use hot glue to attach and remember these are holding everything from being blown off your helmet.
Once the Bottom Layer is completed use scissors to trim off any overhanging foam from the back and bottom edge of the helmet. Make sure you're only cutting the foam and not any other pieces of your helmet like your chin strap!
Step 4: Assemble Feathers and Flames
Now for the Feathers and Flames!
Lets start with the crest on top of the helmet. Take 5 to 6 small sized shapes and lay them out flat overhanging each other halfway and glue down the middle (see picture). Now you can take that section and flare out the bottom edges to glue the whole piece to the top of your helmet.
Next go to the front and pick out 3 medium sized pieces. 2 of these pieces will be the first layer glued along the bottom edge and the 3rd piece will be glued on top covering the center gap. Start by only using a small amount of glue to attach each piece. This way you can decide to remove or tuck the other pieces under or over before finally gluing everything down. When covering the front section allow gaps for some ventilation. Remember the two sides don't need to be identical. Work your way down the helmet using larger pieces towards the back filling in the shapes as needed. To blend the shapes into the crest angle pieces up from the helmet into the crest. Use my pictures if you need a little inspiration or direction with layering. Remember if you get stuck just flip the helmet and work on a different section.
When all of the Bottom Layer is covered you know you're finished. Go back over and add hot glue where needed. Remember you can always trim the foam to make your final adjustments even after everything is in place.
Step 5: Go Outside and Spread Your Wings!
You did it! Now get on your bike and give it a try!
Always remember to Ride Safe!
If you created your own helmet cover post it in the comments below!