If you have been wondering how to make replica football helmets that are full-sized and quality helmets, the following instructions may prove useful. Replica football helmets can be great gifts, especially for children when you wouldn't want to give them an authentic football helmet because of its price. Replica football helmets can also be sold as collectibles, but be certain to label them as replicas.
Things you'll need:
- Standard football helmet
- Stripes, logos and other details
- Paint in the color of your choice
- Primer (optional)
- Begin by acquiring standard-sized football helmets. These can be bought new or used. If the finished color of the desired replica football helmet will be dark, any color will work. If the finished color is light, you may need to apply a primer. You want helmets with a face guard that resembles the helmet you are trying to replicate or acquire a similar face guard for replacement.
- Using true-to-life samples of the color you need the finished replica football helmet, find paint to match. Hardware stores often have attendants that can assist in this process. If you explain that you are painting a football helmet as a replica, the attendants will be able to recommend the best paint to use. Ideally, a spray paint will provide an even coat and fast dry without concern for brush or sponge markings.
- Before you begin making your replica football helmet, you will want to ensure you have everything you need. Looking at photographs from all angles of the desired helmet, create a design plan. Pay attention to the stickers, stripes, logos and other details. Your design plan should provide views from four sides of the football helmet: front, left side, right side and back. Don't forget to note sizing; you would not want the stripes along the center of the helmet to be three-fourths-inches wide when on the authentic helmet they are only one-eighth-inches, for example.
- A quick internet search will turn up several reasonably-priced locations to purchase replica stickers for detailing your replica football helmet. If you need numbers, stripes, logos or other decals, list them and find your stickers. Some sites will also allow special orders. If all else fails you can also try auction sites, searching for "authentic helmet stickers" along with the team's name.
- In a well-ventilated location, such as an open garage, lay cardboard down to keep paint from getting all over the place. If you need to prime the helmet first, remove the chin strap, face guard and any other removable parts you do not want painted. Use painter's tape to cover areas you cannot remove but do not want painted. Apply primer to the outer surface of the helmet in an even motion, trying to avoid splatters or drips.
- Once the primer has dried (or if not using primer), paint the helmet. Again, watch out for drips. Allow the helmet to rest and dry completely. If necessary, lay the face guard on the cardboard as well and paint with the desired color.
- Once the paint has dried completely, you may wish to apply a sealant to protect the paint from chipping, fading or other damage. Apply the sealant and allow to dry completely.
- Once the helmet and face guard have dried, you can begin applying the decals. If stripes run up the center of the helmet, you may with to make tiny pencil markings along the path you want the stripes before applying. Apply logos, numbers and all other decals.
- If the stickers will support more sealant, you may apply a second coat over the decals. Depending on the stickers, the sealant may cause them to curl and fall off, so check with the hardware store attendant, decal supplier or test on a sample sticker on another surface. Once finished, reassemble.