Thursday, September 13, 2012


Since I had no instruction on this I did things the slow way, and a bit out of order, so I will save YOU the trouble and show you how to do it the most effective way.

Found THIS hat at a thrift store for $.50 (score!) It's PERFECT. Turn it around backwards and the angle of the bill is just right for the hood thing on Vaders Helmet


FIRST SAND IT. You need a rough surface everywhere you will glue or paint. Next get a permanent marker and mark the middle. I just did a few lines here and there. I used a sewing tape measure to get the exact middle, you can also use a piece of string and a ruler if you don't have a tape measure. ...or just eye ball it.
Now that you have your middle you will need to mark the curve for the eyes. 

It should gently slope back into the helmet

Then I cut it with my jig saw, it went REAL fast and easy. (you might be able to cut it with a utility knife if you don't have a saw)
(I did find this site and I used it as a shape reference for the shape of the hood piece.)  Then I took a brown paper bag (you can use news paper too) And I taped it inside around 1/2 and then drew the basic shape on the paper with a marker. 
 I didn't take a picture after I drew the Vader helmet shape, but basically just hold it up and draw a line around for the base and then up to where it goes around the eyes.

 Then I took out the paper and cut out my shape

 To make sure it's the right shape I taped it back on. It's not usually perfect the first time, so I take my marker and redraw the lines how they should be or mark any changes to the pattern.
  As you can see I cut it too short. I needed it to go to the center line, and I was short about an inch.  Also you want the hood just SLIGHTLY longer then the bill at the very least so you can cover the bill with the craft foam. You can see where I drew the line for the base of the hood, this helmet will work for an adult, just draw the hood longer. (the helmet is actually kinda big on my 3 year olds head)
 I redrew the pattern with the changes
 PERFECT fit this time. WOOT!
 Well slightly long in back, but that's just how i needed it.  Now take your pattern and cut 4 of them out of craft foam. (I got an assortment of colors in a pack of 12  for about $5 at wal mart. They are the big sheets that are about the size of 2 pieces of paper. I only needed 2 though) Craft foam is kind of thin, but I found 2 layers to be just about right
I found this glue at wal mart also, in the craft isle for about $3. You need a glue that says it will work for plastic. 
 Now I glue one layer of the out side of the bill, using tape to hold it in place as the glue dries
 And the other layer on the inside of the bill. You can see the layers overlapping at the seams. I took my scissors and cut the top layers together cutting right down the center seam, and then the bottom layers the same way. Then the fit nicely together.
 Once the glue is set you can add the strip that goes down the middle. Make sure to let it hang off a bit on the front and back. That way you can round it under neath and completely cover your seams (99sorry, I don't know why this one didn't turn) (here you can see the seam taped down in the back)
 Then I glued the edges together, and to avoid finger cramps I utilized my abundance of clothes pins. If you do this, I suggest putting a scrap piece of foam on either side, sandwiching the hood. The clothes pins will dig into the foam and leave dents.
 Now to stiffen the hood use some scraps of fabric and glue and basically paper mache it on the INSIDE ONLY. Do one layer at a time. I also covered my seam from the hood to the helmet on the inside to reinforce the bond to the plastic. I only did 2 layers and it is stiff enough for me. I used just white elmers glue (non washable) and a little bit of water to thin it out just a bit, not too much. I also did a few layers of mod podge. It's just personal preference, or what you have.
 Then I painted the glue on the out side. This acts as a primer for the paint as well as giving it a little more strength. I did about 4-6 layers on the inside and on the out side. (using both glue and mod podge, but either or will work) I also gave the hard plastic one coat of mod podge to help even out the sanding lines and help the paint adhere.

 When it was ALL dry I started painting with my high gloss black paint. (YAY) This was after the first layer.
 I ended up doing 3 layers. And I might actually go back for more touch up, there are a few pin hole size parts that got missed.
 And here is the final helmet! LOVE IT! So does my 3 year old.
I still need to add a small foam piece to the inside for a bit of padding

There you have it! Vader helmet $.50 on the baseball helmet, $1 on the foam $3 on the glue...and used HARDLY ANY for a grand total of


  1. Awesome! Seems like a lot of work. Well I just need to find some hat now :-) Thanks: Mom of two boys

  2. A lot of work, but very cool results!

  3. A lot of work, but very cool results!