Picture of Disco Ball Helmet
Why make a disco ball helmet?  Because it's awesome.  Nuff said. 

I've seen disco ball helmets before, but they didn't satisfy the perfectionist in me.  No haphazardly glued plastic mirror pieces here, this is the real deal.  If you would like to make a proper disco ball helmet, read on. 

• Note: This disco ball helmet uses real glass, as it is intended as a costume piece (to be paired with a disco backpack, coming soon!).  If you want it to be functional, acrylic mirror would be safer and lighter weight (though not as shiny and reflective).

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
You will need:

Mirror tiles: I used mirror tiles that come backed with fabric.  This makes the whole process MUCH faster.  You can purchase it from Kit Kraft.  I had quite a bit left over, I probably used one half to two thirds of it.  They also sell mirror tile by the row, but it's still more cost effective to buy the sheet.

Contact cement: I just barely made it through with one bottle.  I would recommend getting two.

Helmet:  I spent a lot of time choosing what kind of helmet I wanted.  I settled on this vintage Bell motorcycle style because of it's spherical shape and clean lines.  Real bell helmets of this style are quite expensive, but you can find cheap knock offs on ebay.  Search for "vintage open face motorcycle helmet" to find a helmet similar to the one used here.

Glass cutter (not pictured): For cutting the tiles to shape along the edges of the helmet.  Easy to get at a hardware store.

Metal Saw (not pictured):  Most of the vintage style helmets have snaps for a visor which need to be removed.  There may be another way to remove them, but I happened to have a jeweler's saw handy which did the trick.
PlayaSoul made it! mbilbo3 years ago
Yooooo Mirroman!!

I just finished making mine, didnt take all that much time at all ... THANK YOU so much Natalina for posting this, can't wait to rock out my disco ball helmet on the playa this year!

Check it out -
Natalina (author)  PlayaSoul3 years ago
Awesome! I'll be out there too - I'll look for you two on the playa! So glad you enjoyed the Instructable!
Looks good. So now, if you get a pair of clear lens goggles (ski, motorcycle, ATV) - you can glue the round mirrors you get at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, or use any left over Kit Kraft squares, onto the lens. You can see perfectly well through the interspaces between the mirrors. Snorkling googles and a paintball mask work well too and you can completely glue all over the mask. Use the same glue as the helmet and you won't lose any as MOOP. The weight on the mask can be overcome by rigging a band over the top of your head like on a Petzl headlamp. --Mirrorman
toomim3 years ago
This is beautiful! I am very excited with the technique youve found. I am trying to choose between acrylic and glass tiles. How much heavier are the glass ones? Well, how much weight did the glass ones add to your helmet?
Natalina (author)  toomim3 years ago
Hi toomim,

The glass added a good 2 - 3 pounds, which doesn't seem like a lot, but it's pretty heavy! I can wear it for an hour or two, but I'm sure plastic would be a lot more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
monnsqueak3 years ago
As far as safety issues go, I stress that that designer/creator is doing the right thing by stressing this is a costume piece - something I was told at my learner motorcycle course is that glues, paints and certain stickers can compromise the integrity of the helmet shell, so do your research before you make a non costume piece.

Awesome work on this one, it's utterly delightful. I'm looking at it and thinking how much fun it'd be to adapt to a bicycle helmet ;) hehe!

Cannot wait to the see the matching back pack x
It looks pretty, BUT will it still protect the wearer? Painting a polyurethane helmet renders it useless because any crack in the paint propogates through the helmet itself.If the cement used here does the same then it is best forgotten. Sorry to be a party pooper.
Even if it dosen't change the physical structure of the helmet (It does) make it so that glass is right by your eyeballs ready to fly off and make more cuts when you crash (It most certianly does) and also make the entire thing have little sharp edges where you can get your hand cut just by rubbing up against it (maybe, maybe not) it does one thing for sure:

Distract the HECK out of other drivers with little perfect flashes of sunlight.

I'd be willing to bet it was illegal based on that fact alone.

(great work on the writeup/project.)
Meh. Chrome helmets are DOT approved. Giant chrome pick-up bumpers are DOT approved. All kinds of things reflect sunlight. Get over it.

And "distraction" would be a good thing with most of the car and truck drivers I see on road these days...distract them from their conversations. Distract them from their texting. Distract them from their eating and drinking whilst driving. Maybe, with enough "distractions" they MIGHT actually pay attention.

Yeah, I know...I kill me.
Well why not mirrored windows on cars then? Oh right, because they are at EYE LEVEL and reflect the light back into the eyes of the drivers. Just as this helmet would do.

And I have seen plenty of cyclists (both motor and human powered) do some crazy stuff on the roads. Cutting in and out of lanes, changing lanes way too close to cars, riding the line when traffic starts to back up (not when it is stopped--that is okay with me) and jumping curbs to turn right on red, wheelies, not holding the handlebars and changing the radio on their console, flipping off drivers they pass...

Bad drivers come on all number of wheels--two and four. Is the kid who is blasting his stereo with 4 friends in the car worse than the old biker who think he owns the road with his straight pipes making it so nobody can hear anything for a half mile in front and behind him? I think they are one in the same. I don't think that loud pipes save lives and no study that I have ever seen has shown a statistical significance that loud pipes save more lives than not. I think better drivers would save more, and more difficult tests to even get your license would do more good than some loud pipes ever will.

You can do whatever you want, of course. I'm just providing a counterpoint to yours. I'm not even mad.
Mirrored windows are illegal in most places because to mirror a window, you need quite an extreme level of tint, which is illegal.
You are SO right!! ANYTHING to make cagers see us is positive! My car is totally covered with mirrors, daily driver for 4 years. They see me! Now I just need a helmet to go with my non-art motorcycle. ;)
Where did you find that information? I've seen helmet instructions that reccomend polyurethane paint.
Hi, sorry, new to this site, so have posted my reply separately below
Any water based paint or glue should be fine too I'd imagine.
It all hinges on whether the substance used will lead to crack propogation. I for one would not like to find out that it does when involved in an accident.
Your arre correct, polyurethane paint is o.k. but only polyurethane paint. I got the information from when I worked in the motor industry and one of the vehicles we manufactured had polyurethane 'bumpers' which were painted body colour, but the paint was not polyurethane. The smallest bump resulted in the bumper splitting in two. Polyurethane paint does not crack and thus does not propogate a crack. Most, if not all, other paints do crack and thus cause a problem. I have seen video of a polyurethane crash helmet that had been painted in some other paint than polyurethane dropped on the floor and it just shattered. It was obviously of no use in an accident.
I wonder how many people here read the instructable...
This might be the case. I wonder if the mirrors would just come off the fabric? If it is real glass then there is another concern....shrapnel.
ablufia3 years ago
awesome + sauce = this !
dannydraait3 years ago
Looks so perfect!
I do some deejaying and did the same thing once with a pair of headphones.
I used an old discoball(...) yes, one by one... every lttle mirror...
So if I'll have to make one again, I surely do like you and buy the sheets :)
I used a superglue 'cause I wanted to make sure that I won't have a bag full of little mirrors and a lot of bold spots on my phones, haha.
Natalina (author)  dannydraait3 years ago
Those are awesome, thanks for sharing!
lironess3 years ago
LOL PEOPLE!!! She Plainly states this is for COSTUME not practical use. It is for fun not to blind people.
Aha..... you are quite correct. {:o)
Mind you.... I'll bet a good few would want to ride with it and look real cool.
I guess in reality, fools will never listen to sense, and those with brains would figure it out for themselves, eh? {:o)
She also plainly states:

"If you want it to be functional, acrylic mirror would be safer and lighter weight (though not as shiny and reflective)"
jgraznak3 years ago
Most snaps of this style are put on with blind rivets. You can usually just drill inside the snap with a drill bit slightly larger than the rivet and the head of the rivet will let go, allowing you to push it through the other side.
Natalina (author)  jgraznak3 years ago
Thanks for the tip!
noahw3 years ago
This is a disco helmet done right - nicely done.

Where do you see yourself wearing it most? Around town, on a motorcycle, at a new years eve party?

Are the seems between the tiles smooth? I'd envision myself touching my dome head a lot.
Natalina (author)  noahw3 years ago
So far I've worn it to parties and snowboarding. And once I get the party backpack done, it will be awesome at burning man or halloween!

And yes, the seams between the tiles are pretty smooth, although there are a few less smooth areas around the edges.
scoochmaroo3 years ago
Very impressive!! Here are your shoes to go with it: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-SEXY-MIRROR-SHOES/.
Now we just need to make you some disco pants!  Maybe BetaBrand can hook you up in exchange for some awesome photos like these!
Natalina (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
Awesome look. Problem is most knobs in cages still won't see you, so don't worry for a second about "blinding" them. If it gets even a little of their attention away from jabbering on their phones like magpies or texting (I guess they feel that their car knows the way home) then it's a job well done. Might be a good notion to mirror-out the middle finger on one of your gloves, too.
Absolutely. Anything to wake them up out of their trance. I wouldn't even worry about using this "costume piece" on the road. If you're in an accident where this helmet is struck, you're going to have a lot more to worry about than a few small pieces of glass.

"Loud pipes save lives."
BytePilot3 years ago
All the Yes in the world! I'm very tempted to do something similar

Glass for costume, Acrylic/polycarbonate for actually riding with,

A rudimentary knowledge of the optics of reflective spheres for anyone saying "OMG WTF BBQ U blinzorxz me!"
A sphere, or faceted sphere is not the same as a plane mirror of the same size.
People will not be blinded by driving behind someone wearing a helmet like this any more than they are blinded by the chrome sidelight pods on a vespa.

Alas it also won't make an immense difference to rider visibility.
Better than black, not so good as plain white or yellow.
paqrat3 years ago
I would also be concerned about reflections of sunlight blinding other drivers. Otherwise, great looking helmet.
Malobot3 years ago
This is dangerously badass.
wblack33 years ago
MrRedwood3 years ago
Unless you're quite tall, it might have been nice to finish the top using a similar technique.
I love anything wacky, and think this is great... BUT.... as a Old Greaser who's been riding for some forty-two years, (and I'm a Fully Certified Nutter at that, so believe me, I'm not known for my caution) I beg you or anyone making this not to actually use it whilst riding a bike. Slide down the road wearing this and you'll be in a world of broken glass.... Believe me, your eyes and face at the very least won't thank you for it.
As a fun thing and maybe a party thing or whatever.... great stuff.
PLEASE don't feel criticised.... I mean well. {:o)