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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).
 
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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.
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PACW2 years ago
I agree with the other commentators that in hoping that you don't kill anyone. If I had put this much effort into an instructable and had provided more than one 'danger' warning and then had people who obviously didn't read the text criticizing me, I would be sorely tempted to grab the straps and swing the helmet around like a sparkly mace until I hit someone upside the head!

This is actually a perfect instructable. The pictures are clear and illustrative. The text is well written. The project itself is unusual, but not so arcane as to be of interest to only 5 people. It is appropriate for both genders and most ages. It is within the ability and budget of most readers. Even bacon could not improve this!
Natalina (author)  PACW2 years ago
Thanks PACW! Eating bacon while wearing a disco ball helmet is always encouraged :)
Natalina (author) 3 years ago
Hi all, just remember that this is a COSTUME piece. It would be dumb to use anything with glass on it for protection against concrete. And even an acrylic version would be distracting for drivers, albeit awesome. Party on people!
MelissaD42 months ago

You are a disco genius! I'm going to attempt this and send these to friends as gifts. I'm also in love with that hoodie and see that the site still sells them and I need one. Without sounding like a creep..can you tell me what your measurements are and what size you ordered? I find that I'm always inbetween the sizes of sizing charts. Based on their chart - I could be a small or medium.

KDS44441 year ago
KitKraft, mirror sheet, ½" tiles, 576 sq. inches, $63.95+shipping (for me, $0.00, I live next door), cost works out to: $0.11 per sq inch (which is not a bad deal for mirror glass tiles of this size, though you have to spend $64 to get it, usually plus shipping). eBay from a place called Blue River Mosaic in Florida somewhere, 1000 ½" tiles for $22 including shipping, works out to just under $.09 per sq. inch... Though you don't get the tiles in nice sheets. Difference is only 2 cents per sq. inch, but if you don't need the four sq. feet of tile being sold by KitKraft and don't mind having to do the assembly yourself, eBay may be a better deal for some. That's all. Have ordered mine and am going to be following this Instructable closely as I make it!
Natalina (author)  KDS44441 year ago
Yep, there are probably cheaper options out there. Thanks for the info. I found that the fabric backing was key for making neat rows, but you could totally do it tile by tile with a little more patience. Good luck - I'm sure it's going to turn out awesome!
KDS4444 Natalina3 months ago

!

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elliottslam6 months ago

Hello! I'm interested in making this happen! How many sheets or mirror tile did you buy for your helmet?

Natalina (author)  elliottslam6 months ago

1 is plenty.

nathan.ackley6 months ago

Hey there! Love this. Any chance I could persuade (ok, beg) you to create one of these for me if I source the helmet (paid gig of course)? You can track me down on facebook under the name nathan ackley

thanks!

deeptrouble6 months ago

Natalina -

EXCELLENT work!

I have made several versions of a full body Disco Ball Halloween costume, and your work here, inspired me to make an ACTUAL full body Disco Ball this past Halloween. Check it:

http://www.deeptrouble.com/2015/01/12/halloween-20...

THANKS! & I give you props in the post.

Natalina (author)  deeptrouble6 months ago

Oh nice! Thanks for the shout out! I'd love it if you could post some of your photos here, it's always fun to see what an ible has inspired :)

Party on!

deeptrouble made it! Natalina6 months ago

tada. Check the YouTube video too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5rA4kNrIjw&list=UUIZTOYNMH0ATcEUlOlEcIoQ

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Natalina (author)  deeptrouble6 months ago

Awesome!

mdlmusic10 months ago

Great instructable. I'm thinking I'll get a kid's plastic army helmet and make it into a disco ball hat to use as a prop for my one-man band. When I play a disco song, I can shine a flashlight at my head and spin around.

That would be epic!

RobertGoldring11 months ago

i've got to go to a party later in the year with two people getting married that are bikers, i might wear this to the evening dance, great design.

tmunki12 months ago

hi there,

I've made a bit of a schoolboy error with my disco ball helmet and bought quite big mirrored tiles, it doesn't look too bad up to now but there's some gaps, is there anything you would advise to use - was considering some kind of grouting?

Thanks!

Natalina (author)  tmunki12 months ago

Depends on how much work you feel like doing. For a really perfect looking finish I would suggest cutting the tiles as I did to finish the edges, at least for the largest gaps. I'm not sure about grout, depending on the size of the gaps it could look more conspicuous to use grout than doing nothing, I actually wondered about doing that with mine but noticed that real disco balls don't fill in their gaps, so I left them (my helmet is silver underneath though, so it is not very noticeable). Sorry I can't give you a more precise answer, good luck!

iceng1 year ago

LIKE, it must have taken a lot of delicate time.

KDS44441 year ago
It looks like you centered each row on the front face of the helmet and made the rows alternate by a half-tile as you placed each new row on top. Is this so? Or was there some other factor which produced this apparent symmetry?
Natalina (author)  KDS44441 year ago
Yes you are correct. I aimed to stagger them evenly in the front. Because the helmet is spherical and not a cylinder the effect isn't maintained on the sides and back, but at least it gives a nice effect in the front.
Chloe82 years ago
I love bling bling!
KDS4444 Chloe81 year ago
Have also discovered that using the contact cement is actually critical: I tried using hot glue for a few pieces at first and man, what a mess: the pieces wouldn't lay down completely flat, and though they looked smooth enough at first glance, they were actually buckled slightly and were never going to give me that "disco ball" feeling of nice, uniform, curved sparkle. Plus the glue got on the front of some of the pieces and, well, let's say that contact cement will allow the glass to set right up against your surface with a strong, thin, flexible, durable bond— all of those are really important and I had no idea. Gha! What a disaster the final thing would have been had I been foolish enough to go on with the hot glue! Contact cement is the ONLY way to do this. I should listen better.
Natalina (author)  KDS44441 year ago
Yep, although I love hot glue, it doesn't last, especially on a smooth surface. I've made other disco things using hot glue, and even with the added bond of fabric to fabric, several of the pieces have fallen off. But the disco helmet is solid to the this day. Just make sure you use lots of ventilation, contact cement is nasty stuff in that respect. Props to the hardware store that helped me pick it out as my adhesive of choice for this project.

I'd love to see your helmet when you're finished!
Oh, you will. You will see it. I promise!
As a daily rider I think that this is a great idea.

Been riding since 1983 and logged over 90,000 miles. 30,000 miles in the last three years.

Almost every ride, I get either turned into (by someone turning left in front of me, or pulling out in front of me) or cut off by drivers who do not "See me". Most do not even look. Some drivers are watching and seeing me.....some.

Only through defensive skills learned in training and weekly practice, do I make it safely to work and home again.

Too many times you read about a driver telling the Police "I never saw them." when standing over the wreckage.

If this helps a driver see a motorcyclist then it is fine by me.

Yes, I know there are bad motorcyclists who do stupid things....I am not one of them. Please do not lump every motorcyclist in to this one group.

I ride to live.

Ride Safe!

Been riding motorcycles since 1964. Seen almost every crazy thing on the road. Recently added 60 LED strip of lights to my brake lights. Lights up the sky! Also a totally chrome color helmet to better see me. My wife says I stand out much better. Maybe those texting , phoning, morons will take notice! Ride safe.
I don't mean this to be snarky, but why are motorcyclists so dramatic now? I spent my youth on motorcycles and we were never this dramatic.
Back in the day we didn't have as many people using phones to get distracted while driving. Take a day and watch other drivers...I guarantee you will see a few looking down in their lap. I used to be one of those people until I almost had a wreck because of it.
Lose a few friends to careless drivers.
Badical!
bertus52x112 years ago
One word: awesome!
I want my helmet to have the glass visor so I need the snaps. Will it be a problem if I keep them in place? What can I do?
Natalina (author)  luthertoston2 years ago
You should be able to work around the snaps, just leave some space around them. I can't remember how far the snaps extruded however, so you might need to test it first to see if you can actually snap it down with the additional height added by the mirrors.
Thanks Natalina! And how big was that bottle of Weldwood Contact Cement? Was that the 1.8 oz bottle?
mbilbo3 years ago
For 15 years I've attended Burning Man as "Mirrorman" which has been an evolving suit of mirrors, especially the sheeting from Kit Kraft. But I never had a good, effective head cover, but next iteration I will thanks to your posting on how to make a disco helmet. I have a pretty effective mask, which will work perfect with the helmet. Too late for 2012 - so in 2013...

My mirror suit philosophy developed out of a desire to have portable art but be part of everyone else's art, and a myriad of lights and lasers at night and the really fun daytime effects with the sun. It really works nice and I have thus become a reflection of everyone and thing around me...

My camp there is Earth Guardians but I've often dreamt of a clan throughout the City of mirror women and men. That would be something...
PlayaSoul made it! mbilbo2 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 -
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Natalina (author)  PlayaSoul2 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
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