DIY Nation: Pimp my helmet

When Megan Rust found herself lusting after a beautiful custom helmet that was way out of her price range, she was sad. But then, she had an idea: Helmet. Makeover.

From Megan:

Recently, I’ve been seeing gorgeous show helmets on equine sites. Although I’ve drooled over them, they’re too expensive for my pocketbook, especially when you remember that it’s recommended to replace your helmet every five years, regardless of how much wear they’ve gotten. The thing that I liked the most on one of the custom helmets was the option to select faux crocodile leather to highlight the front of the helmet: the crocodile added a subtle, but elegant, finish. As I fretted because I couldn’t afford that helmet…

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Samshield Premium Helmet: $545

…I thought, “Wait a second, I can do that, I can put leather on a helmet!”

So, I Googled “faux crocodile leather” and found some on Amazon. I had to buy at least one yard of it, but it was only $11. Once the faux crocodile arrived, I set out put it on a Troxel show helmet I had just bought for the express purpose of making it look like a more expensive helmet. The Troxel was pretty nice as it was, but did not have the faux crocodile touch I wanted.

First thing I did was decide where I wanted the crocodile. Two wide grooves on the sides of the center of the helmet looked perfect for holding the crocodile, so I used some two-inch wide translucent double-sided tape to cover, and expand beyond, where I wanted to put the crocodile. Then I used a ballpoint pen to mark the tape where the sides of the crocodile would go, so that I could cut the crocodile to match the pattern I wanted it to follow. Then I placed the crocodile over the pattern, again extending past the lines so that I had enough. What I had at the end was the shell of the helmet, the double-sided tape on top of that, and the crocodile was the top layer.

When I peeled the crocodile off the helmet it took the tape with it, and I was left with the double-sided tape on the underside of the crocodile, with the ballpoint pen marks to show me where to cut. I cut the crocodile, using the lines as a pattern, leaving me with the double-sided tape stuck to the crocodile inside the lines, the rest had been thrown away. All I had to do, next, was to place the crocodile back on the helmet’s shell, and the remaining tape adhered it in place, with the top of the crocodile showing. The ridges at the edges of the groove holding the crocodile served to “finish” the application of the crocodile.

And it turned out great! All it took was $11 of faux crocodile, and a few hours of work in gluing the crocodile to the helmet, for me to have something that looks like it cost fives time more! Cool!

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Thanks for writing, Megan! If you have a DIY tip you’d like to share, send it to [email protected]

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