Help make stickers stick (Bike Helmet)
July 19, 2019 2:33 AM   Subscribe

Paperkid was given a new bike helmet, but it has pink blotches on it! Totally unacceptable to paperkid! They decided to cover all the blotches with animal stickers. Now the helmet looks like a maximalist masterpiece. Great! But I'm worried about the stickers coming off. And I'm worried about using a fixative that might damage the foam (which some think is the point of a bike helmet). Please, help me keep those stickers affixed without compromising the safety of the helmet!
posted by papergirl to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't want to rain on your parade, but I'll do it anyway, because there's safety involved: is there a manual with or inside this helmet? Putting stickers on motorcycle helmets and hard hats is discouraged because the adhesive may weaken the plastic. So it's possible that those stickers are already compromising the safety of the helmet.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:37 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Elmer's glue, in a thin layer. And don't worry too much about the stickers degrading the plastic - kid will have outgrown this helmet in a year.
posted by aspersioncast at 4:44 AM on July 19, 2019 [8 favorites]

If you're handy with a knife, you could buy a sheet of Orcal 651 adhesive vinyl at a craft store. Cut out some cool shapes (all hail Cricut!) and stick them on: this stuff holds really well.

It's like $1.99 per sheet, so it's still affordable to buy several colors.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:36 AM on July 19, 2019

Not to derail into the whole debate that rages over the value of bike helmets - but there are 1,001 variables that affect any safety benefit they offer, and I'm going to guess that presence or absence of stickers, and the nature of the glue used to fix them, are pretty low down on that list. If stickers mean your kid is happier to wear it (assuming that's your goal) then just go with it, you've got a result already. If they fall off, stick some more!
posted by rd45 at 6:55 AM on July 19, 2019 [8 favorites]

Cheapest solution: cover them all with little squares of clear packing tape.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:36 AM on July 19, 2019

Wear the helmet, but wear it down to the eyebrows.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:52 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

The other reason safety bodies discourage stickers and painting is that it interferes with how a helmet slides on the ground. Helmets are originally covered in smooth shiny plastic and modifications increase friction and make the helmet more likely to catch on something and jerk the head when sliding after a tumble.
posted by w0mbat at 10:50 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hot glue - cheap, fun, practical, and bonus points for the first time you get some on a hand there's a learning moment....oh! don't do that again!
posted by diode at 6:18 AM on July 20, 2019

I assume there's a hard plastic shell over the foam. If there is, whatever you put over the stickers won't affect the foam, unless you spray it on. If you're concerned about a coating affecting the plastic, there are model paints formulated to not harm plastic. I don't think warnings about altering motorcycle helmets have much relevance to kids' bike helmets; they are constructed very differently.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:37 AM on July 20, 2019

Please don't use hot glue. It's liable to compromise the plastic shell.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 3:43 PM on July 20, 2019

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