Check Out the Great Princess Skateboarder Helmet I Made and What Accessories I Included to Go With It

When Zoey decided she wanted to be Princess Skateboarder for Halloween I knew I needed to make the accessories required by the costume for it to feel complete. The two main accessories needed are the skateboard, posted last week, and the knight’s helmet. Here’s how I made the helmet and it’s in such a way that you could easily shape or paint it differently to make any kind of costume hat needed.

Pinterest geared image showing the post's title in four staggered lines at the top. At the bottom is text to my main URL and in the center are four images. The top left one is a screenshot of the Princess Skateboarder video, the right one shows the finished skateboard and helmet, while the bottom left ones show the helmet being made.

In the Princess Skateboarder video, found through the Homer website and app, Princess Skateboarder needs to escape a tall tower by using her self-created skateboard. When she first attempts to skateboard away she falls and rips her dress thus realizing she needs to be safer. She had used the shield from the knight’s armor, set up behind her, to create the skateboard so she now grabs the knight’s helmet and other parts of his armor to protect herself with a helmet, elbow pads, and kneed pads. With this protection she’s able to skateboard down the decorative spiraling pathway to escape the tower and head to the town to save them from the dragon’s sleeping spell.

Before going over how I made the safety gear for Princess Skateboarder I figured I’d share all the related posts with you in one easy to find location in case you want to jump through them all. Currently this is only the third post but I will add the links for the next two when they go live.


The Helmet

Image shows a closeup of the top half of Princess Skateboarder. The knight's helmet is on her head, her eyes are closed, and her hands are coming down from putting it on.
A screenshot taken from the Homer website showing Princess Skateboarder putting the knight’s helmet on her head.

Planning

When I first started planning how to make the helmet I considered just using Zoey’s normal day-to-day helmet and using craft foam to make the helmet’s visor. I even started considering whether Command™ strips might stick to craft foam so the additions could be easily removed from her helmet after Halloween. I then realized just how bright and decorative her helmet truly was and realized it was a lost cause as I’m not going to permanently paint it grey or anything. In the process of these thoughts; however, I came across Fire Lily Cosplay’s craft foam page and purchased several paper-sized sheets of grey craft foam from Michael’s Arts and Crafts that I never did use.

Between the logistics of changing a normal helmet to a knight’s helmet and the fact that the skateboard itself doesn’t roll I realized I could do this in a much simpler way. Somehow at some point I came across a post sharing that a balloon is perfectly sized to be used with paper mache to create a custom helmet for cosplay. As such, one thing led to another and I made Zoey’s helmet using several balloons, brown parcel paper, Mod Podge, and acrylic paint. It turned out awesome.

Image shows two plans written out for the helmet with a little equation at the bottom showing the helmet base on a balloon, plus a visor, and equals a finished helmet with visor.
I wrote out this page when I was stuck between the customized helmet plan and the paper mache balloon plan. At this point I was going to use the craft foam in either case to create the decorative visor (called guard above) and attach it to whatever helmet I decided on. In the end I never did use the craft foam.

With a plan kind of in place it was time to get started.


Balloon, Paper, and Mod Podge

I started working on this helmet after creating the skateboard base but before cutting it out. This meant I applied the brown parcel paper, through paper mache, to the balloon, then added it, in the later steps, to the skateboard for any additional details. Once both projects were complete and dried I painted both of them at the same time. Looking back I love how both such drastically different projects where so similar at that point so they could have been paper mached, painted, and Mod Podged at the same time.

Anyway, I started out with a balloon, called Zoey over, and blew up the balloon so it looked like it matched Zoey’s head size. Of course both kids came over so I had to grab three balloons in total so they could each have their own after I blew mine up. Once the balloon was sized and tied with a knot I grabbed my brown parcel paper, ripped it up into smaller sizes, grabbed a bottle of Mod Podge, a foam brush to apply it with, and an orange napkin to help protect the table. I then opened the bottle and used the foam brush to apply the Mod Podge directly onto the balloon. Once I had painted a section of the balloon I then stuck paper down and used my brush to apply more Mod Podge over top of it. I kept repeating this process making sure that I only applied the paper in a helmet-like shape. During this I left my phone opened to the above screenshot and my reMarkable open to my sketch so I could keep comparing my current balloon progress with both images. Once I had a single layer of paper in a helmet-like shape I set it aside to dry.

Image shows all the supplies laid out on the kitchen table ready to go.
I blew up a balloon to the same vague shape as Zoey’s head, ripped up some brown paper so it would be easy to grab, opened some Mod Podge, grabbed a foam brush, and used an orange napkin to protect my table. I also grabbed a plastic cup hoping to use it to balance the wet balloon in but realized it was much too light to be a base and it kept tipping over. I later upgraded to a wider plastic basket as it was more stable.
Image shows me holding a yellow balloon above the table with the top coated in brown paper and white streaks. The front has a lot more Mod Podge streaks over the yellow balloon.
I kept planning where I needed paper and choose a piece that fit the shape I wanted to fill. I’d then paint the Mod Podge to the area I wanted to apply it so it would stick.
Image shows me holding a yellow balloon above the table with the top coated in brown paper and white streaks. The front has a dry brown piece of paper mostly sticking to it.
Once the area I wanted the paper to go go was wet I’d stick it on. Then, after this photo was taken, I’d use the foam brush to wet the entire paper and have it firmly attached to the balloon and surrounding papers.
Image shows all the paper contained in a yellow bin to the left. On the right side the napkin is unfolded with the wet paper attached balloon on top.
The pink cup kept falling over so I left the balloon directly on the orange napkin to dry. Later I grabbed a small pink plastic container that the kids used for sensory play and balanced the balloon on that instead.
Image shows me carrying the yellow bin with brown papers, a napkin, and a wet paper covered balloon.
When I had to clear off the table I moved the napkin into the bin with the papers and easily moved it out of the way.
Image shows the balloon with the brown and orange encrusted side up and the yellow knotted side down. The top has white spots showing the Mod Podge hasn't dried yet there.
I later flipped the balloon over so that the other side could dry overnight and saw parts of the napkin had stayed stuck. It didn’t currently matter as I knew I needed to add more layers so the helmet would be thicker but I knew I needed to come up with another drying method sooner rather than later.

Balloon Issues = Opportunities to Try the Helmet On

The next morning I came out just to realize that the balloon had popped at some point in the night. Pieces of the balloon were in the thin crumbled paper helmet and in several spots outside of the bin. The fact that the balloon had popped meant that technically I could try it on Zoey so after touching the inside to confirm it wasn’t tacky and was fully dried I had her stand up so we could confirm the size and shape of the potential helmet.

Image shows me holding the slightly crumbled helmet. The background of the image shows the discarded orange napkin on the table and Zoey standing on a chair waiting to try the helmet on.
With the paper layer so thin and the balloon scaffold not present the helmet had crumbled a bit in the night.
Image is a side view of Zoey wearing the orange topped brown helmet. Her hand up going up to see how it feels.
The helmet was a bit big but she loved it.
Image shows a close view of the helmet with Zoey's blurred face slightly showing underneath.
Here’s how it looked close up with the little dips and the crinkled paper layers.

Alterations and Thickening the Helmet

I was glad it had popped because I was able to try it on Zoey and confirmed that I needed to alter it a bit. For one I had to trim some excess paper off as I had applied too much paper mache to the balloon. The second issue was that the helmet itself was too big so I folded the back in to tighten it up. Once I had added the fold I grabbed another balloon and, once it was half the helmet’s size, I placed it inside the helmet and carefully continued to blow until it just filled the helmet without causing the fold to unfold. I then applied Mod Podge over the fold and covered it up with more papers it help hide it and stop it from unfolding immediately. At first I was worried that the fold in the back of the helmet would bug Zoey’s head but it’s not very rough, she hasn’t mentioned it at all when trying the helmet on in the future, and if she changes her mind she could always wear a beanie or something underneath to help cushion it.

Image is a view of the back of the helmet showing the fold up the back of it and the orange napkin bits stuck to it.
To combat the helmet being too large I decided to fold the back in a bit and use paper mache to hold the fold in place.

The last thing I noticed when trying it on Zoey was that the front of the helmet was too wide so I marked where the outer edge of Zoey’s eyes were, while she was wearing the helmet, so I could extend the sides out once the balloon was back in.

Image shows the mark on the balloon and white Mod Podge extending either way from that point. The red balloon is ready for the paper to be applied.
At the top of the balloon, near the edge of the Mod Podge, is a pen mark showing where the outer edge of Zoey’s eye lined up with on that side of the balloon. I took my Mod Podge brush and went from that mark down to the helmet base and then stuck more paper to that spot to extend the back of the helmet around closer to the front.

This time around, while I slept, the balloon didn’t pop but instead it had a slow leak so I came out the next morning to find an itty bitty baby balloon within the helmet. Again this worked as the inside was able to dry and I could check how it fit on Zoey without any extra effort. Also it was less crumbled in as most of the helmet was now thicker than before. Again, I tried the helmet on Zoey, trimmed the excess pieces, and then marked any points I needed to extend before taking it off of her and blowing up a replacement balloon to go inside the helmet. I also realized that I needed to work on the helmet in short and close together sessions so I explained to Zoey that I couldn’t wait for her, as she had been helping tear the paper and apply some pieces, and I instead worked on it in quick sessions throughout the day. She wasn’t too disappointed and quickly came to the realization that she could come home from school or out from her bedroom to see what progress had been made on her costume. As a quick aside I started out using Outdoor Mod Podge, as I had extra of it, and then switched to Hard Coat Mod Podge hoping it would add more structural integrity to the final helmet.

Image shows the helmet with a half sized balloon inside. Off to the side is the paper, the Mod Podge, the ripped napkin, and another red balloon waiting to replace the second one inside the helmet.
The second balloon shrunk overnight but luckily the helmet itself was thicker and more sturdy so only the side additions wrinkled up.
Image is a side view of the pink basket holding the wet white streaked balloon above the table and orange napkin.
I switched to using a light pink plastic basket the kids used in their kitchen set and to make slime to hold the helmet above the table. This way I was able to cover up the orange napkin bits and not worry about needing to cover up any more. I kept the same napkin under the helmet, though, to catch any potential future drips.
Image is a side view of the previous photo. This time there's an opened bottle of Mod Podge with a foam brush inside beside it and you can see the yellow bin of paper in the chair behind.
I made sure to add extra paper to the thinner sides and the corner where the sides joined the top of the helmet.

Adding the Visor

Once I decided that the helmet was thick enough it was time to figure out the visor. Originally I had planned to take two pieces of craft foam, cut them, shape them, and join them together to form the left and right sides of the visor. While making the helmet; however, I decided to just stick with the paper mache itself since the visor, on Princess Skateboarder, was pushed mostly up and out of the way so it didn’t need to be moveable and I didn’t want to add unneeded weight. With this there was another issue as I worried that the bottom of the visor would sink in as it would stick to the balloon as I created it. To get around this I grabbed some paper towel, folded it to fit the width of the helmet’s opening, and covered it with plastic wrap so the Mod Podge wouldn’t stick too badly to it. I then carefully compared my helmet with the image of Princess Skateboarder and marked where the swivel points on the visor were. I then opened my Mod Podge, ripped some paper, cut four circles out of the paper, and carefully got to work constructing my visor. I started out by placing two of the circles where I wanted the edges of the visor to end, at the swivel points, and then worked from there to construct the overall shape of the visor. Once I was happy with that shape I carefully built up the depth of visor and then, using rolled up pieces of paper, added a vertical line in the center to emulate where the visor was bent. With the visor shape in place I added the last two circles at the pivot points so the circular points were more obvious.

Image shows the balloon on the side so the front of the helmet is facing up. There's a rectangle of shiny white laid over the top of the opening similar to if the balloon had a headache and it was a wet washcloth. More paper towel and the pink basket sit in the background.
I grabbed a section of paper towels, folded them to fit the front opening of the visor, and covered it in plastic wrap so the paper mache wouldn’t stick to the paper towels. I chose to do this so that the visor would be raised up instead of sloping down to attach to the balloon.
Image shows the side the helmet as the balloon rests on the table. At the top the red shows with the white paper towel overlay rest on top. In the center front you can see the paper circle glued down and matching the rest of the helmet. The fact it's still matte and there's white glue akin to a shadow makes it more apparent.
With that figured out I next wanted to place the visor properly over the helmet. I noticed in the Princess Skateboarder screenshot that pivot points of the visor were circular so I grabbed my paper and cut out four circles from it. I then compared my helmet with the image and used Mod Podge to glue two of the circles to where the visor edge should be. With those glued down I knew it would easier to add the visor edges as I just needed the top and bottom edges to lead to those two points. I also had the other two circles set aside to add last so that I didn’t worry about hiding these circles as they’d still stand out at the end once I re-added them.
Image shows the center top of the helmet with the white glossy paper towel sticking out below the visor. The visor itself is streaked in white with unrolling pieces of brown paper vertical lined up in the center.
After making the general shape of the helmet’s visor, using straight-ish edged papers along the top and bottom, it was time to shape it a bit more. The image shows the visor as if the left and right sides are fixed together at an angle. To duplicate this I rolled up paper and glued it down along the center vertical part of the visor. This was similar to how I added the first necklace strand to the skateboard before I switched to using yarn.
Image shows almost the same angle as before but now the vertical rolled paper is hidden away under other paper mache. The last two larger pieces that were added are apparent as they haven't been painted over yet. An open jar of Mod Podge sits to the left.
Once the center point had been added it was time to add more paper to the visor. I started out adding paper over the rolled center so it would appear to be a softer angle rather than a long bump. After that I kept adding more paper to add depth to the visor compared to the helmet around it.

And with that the helmet was shaped.


Final Adjustments

Once the helmet was thick enough, dried enough, and had all the needed paper mache details it was time to do the final try on! I brought the helmet to Zoey along with a sewing pin as the balloon was magically still blown up and I wanted her to be able to pop it herself this time around. With the balloon out of the way I was able to try it on Zoey and make any final adjustments. I also realized that I needed a new way to hold the helmet above the table and solved this issue by balancing it on my emptied freestanding paper towel holder.

Image shows Zoey from the side wearing the helmet with her face hidden away. I'm holding all the pieces that I cut off of the back of the helmet.
The helmet was roomy and kept falling forward to cover Zoey’s face. I kept taking the helmet off, trimming the back shorter, and trying it on again until the helmet sat securely right above her eyes. It didn’t matter that there was extra room on the inside once the back was trimmed. Zoey had just had a bath so I was trying to be quick as I worried about her wet hair against the Mod Podge on the inside.
Image is taken from above looking down at the top of the helmet resting on the kitchen table. To the right are many long slivers of paper mache that had been trimmed off of the back of the helmet.
This is what the helmet looked like once I finished trimming and those are all the excess pieces I needed to trim off.

With the final structure of the helmet done it was time to go on to paint the rest of the details on.


Paint and More Mod Podge

With the bottom of the helmet having been trimmed off I was worried whether it would feel sharp against Zoey when pulled on. Thus, before painting, I flipped the helmet upside down and applied more Mod Podge to the edges hoping it helped keep the layers together, softened the edge, and rounded any hard points.

Image shows me holding the helmet upside down in my lap. The raw edges, for lack of a better term, are mostly white showing where I had just applied the Mod Podge.
I took some time to paint the bottom edge of the helmet to help keep the layers in place and soften any sharp edges.

Once the Mod Podge had dried it was time to start painting the helmet. As I mentioned in the previous post I painted the skateboard at the same time as the helmet as, in the video, they came from the same suit of armor. Since I had a light grey paint already I started out by painting the visor itself. Then waiting for the visor to dry I went on to paint the grey bits on the skateboard along with the black and blue parts. I then grabbed some white to make the center fold of the visor stand out before mixing it with the black already on my painting dish. I immediately noticed that my old white paint was clumpy and worried about how it would look on the helmet and skateboard. I pictured some areas being too black while other looked too white rather than proper dark grey. Looking back I needn’t have worried as the clumpy white paint added to the runny black paint worked perfectly for my dappled dark grey. I am so glad I had enough paint for both the skateboard and helmet as I don’t know if I’d be able to duplicate the same look with new paint.

Image is an overview of the helmet and visor laid out on the kitchen table. All the grey is painted, the blue gem on the skateboard, and most of the necklace. To the left you can see the black bottle of paint upside down on the paint dish to get it all out while the other paints are scattered around. In the back you can see some of the LEGO my husband is building as we sit together at the table.
I started out using the light grey I had on hand to paint the visor as it’s a lighter grey from the rest of the helmet. I then gave it time to dry as I painted the grey, blue and then black on the skateboard.
Image is taken from above looking down at the helmet, to the right, on the paper towel holder, and the paint plate and paints to the left. At this point the helmet is fully painted although the visor still needs the openings added.
Once the grey dried I used some white paint to make the crease in the visor more apparent along with highlight the circular visor sides. I then added my white clumpy paint to the black and tried to mix it all in. I used that mixed paint to paint the rest of the helmet, add shadowing around the visor pivot points, add the visor openings, and finish the skateboard. I loved how it turned out as the odd white clump added different dapples of paint over the items making it look more like blacksmithed gear.

Once painted I waited until both the helmet and skateboard had fully dried and then coated them in Hard Coat Mod Podge to help make them last longer.

Image shows the helmet resting on the paper towel holder over a sheet of paper towel. In the background sits the Mod Podge and skateboard. Both items are coated in streaks of white Mod Podge showing where it's still wet.
I liberally coated the entire thing with Mod Podge after making sure the table was protected from any drips. I then left it alone to dry.

And with that the helmet was done!


The Final Helmet

I absolutely love how the knight’s helmet turned out and how perfect it looks with the knight’s shield as a skateboard. I’m so glad I thought to use a balloon and paper mache as the final helmet looks more realistic and is lighter in weight than whatever I could’ve come up with if I had kept on with my original idea.

Image shows both items on a kitchen chair. The skateboard is upright leaning against the chair's back. The helmet is on a metal paper towel stand resting in front of the skateboard.

And with that the helmet is finished! I figured I’d go on in this post to share some of the other Princess Skateboarder accessories with you too.


Knee and Elbow Pads

After Princess Skateboarder attempted to use her created skateboard she fell and decided she needed to be safer. In addition to the knight’s helmet she also used other pieces of his armor as knee and elbow pads.

Image shows a screenshot from the Homer video with Princess Skateboarder wearing the knight's armor as a helmet, knee, and elbows pads. Her arms are outstretched as she skateboards by the turret's wall.
Screenshot of Princess Skateboarder in her skateboarding outfit with all the safety gear pilfered from the knight’s suit of armor.

I wanted to also include this in Zoey’s costume and, at first, considered making them from some kind of black and/or grey fabric and maybe adding craft foam. I then realized it would be so much easier just to buy it and went onto Amazon looking for grey and black safety pads. I found a set, also including wrist guards, that would be similar enough in color to work and although they’re a bit big for Zoey we’re going to go ahead with it unless she wants to go without. Worse case if Zoey wants something and they’re too big to wear for too long I could see wearing the elbow pads, as they’re slightly smaller, as knee pads and going without the elbow ones.

Image shows the helmet resting on the table. Beside it are two elbow pads attached together while in front of it are two kneed pads together.
The homemade helmet next to the elbow and knee pads we’re going to use as Princess Skateboarder’s skateboarding outfit.

The Birds

Planned, Started, and Gave Up

In the Homer video once Princess Skateboarder gets to the town she still needs to wake up all the townspeople that the dragon made fall asleep. In her travels; however, three little birds had started following her and she found that whenever she did a trick they’d make louder sounds. As such she skateboarded through town doing tricks and everyone woke up. Happy ending!

Image shows Princess Skateboarder doing a trick with three matching birds flying behind her. There are people sleeping all around her including one while watering her plants, one reading and drinking tea, one sleeping on a sleeping dog, and two sitting around a fountain.
Screenshot of the video showing Princess Skateboarder doing tricks so that the birds wake up the townspeople.

With the birds playing such a pivotal role I really wanted to include them too. I considering just buying birds but then decided to make my own. This didn’t turn out quite the way I pictured and between that and all the accessories I decided to simply skip the birds and thus abandoned them. However, in case you’re interested I still wanted to include what I did do in case you want to use parts of it or build on my general ideas. For instance I had planned to use fishing line to attach the birds to a pot handle so they could be carried around more easily which I could see doing if I had bought the birds or made them in a different way.

Image is a sketch showing the general outline of how I'd use the birds (attached to a pot lid) and how I'd make them (with layers of cardboard, trimmed, painted, and with fishing line attached in the center of their being).
My general idea showing both how the finished birds would be used and how I’d make them. I love how they’d only need to be carried as one piece, using the pot lid, and how I attached the fishing line to the center of the cardboard layer. The actual number of cardboard pieces I used was too thick and cutting it made them misshapen so I abandoned them before getting the chance to sand, add pipe cleaner feet, or paint them.

I had a set of kids pots that we weren’t using and planned to borrow the lid of one of them for this costume. First; however, I needed to make the birds. My big plan started by sketching out a bird and printing a copy of all three of them since they were identical. I then cut three pieces of cardboard the general size of the template, cut two holes in each, and attached a long length of fishing line to them so the birds could later hang from the pot lid and any needed height. I then glued cardboard to either side of the center piece, repeatedly, until the stack was thick enough that I could, ideally, cut and sand the excess away to make the perfect birds’ shape. Finally, I had planned to paint the birds and then tie each one to the pot’s lid and voila I’d have three birds that Zoey could pretend were tweeting up a storm to wake up anyone around.

Image is a collage of four photos showing the process described.
I sketched out the birds, copied it so I’d have three to a page, printed it, glued cardboard together with fishing line sticking out, cut out the birds’ templates, glued each template to a cardboard stack, and put a heavy weight on top of each so they could dry with all the layers pressed firmly together.
Image shows two pieces of cardboard with fishing line tied in it at the center through the two holes. Around it are (from back to left): the roll of fishing line, the third piece with one layer of cardboard glued to either side, loose pieces of cardboard with Mod Podge spread on, and under it the printed drawn templates.
To better explain my process I wanted to include this photo. Here the fishing line is attached to the center piece of cardboard for each bird. I did this by cutting two holes, threading it through, and tying it tight without tearing through the cardboard. (Seen on the right) I then cut more pieces of cardboard and used Mod Podge to glue them to either side. (On left) After this photo I then repeated this process until the birds were really thick and still had the fishing line sticking out. (Seen in previous photo)
Image is a collage of three photos showing the cutting process with a purple background and borders to show the edge of each photo.
Once the Mod Podge had fully dried I took them outside and used the electric knife to cut them along the templates’ outline. I was careful at the top to not cut the fishing line and, as such, each bird had a pyramid of cardboard above it around the fishing line.

It was during this cutting process that I started second guessing this entire part of the project. Although I was amazing at somehow not cutting any of the fishing line I did tilt the knife too much and the back of each bird is rather misshapen. As such I debated abandoning this project while cutting them and then gave it all up after having cut them out. My original plan was to somehow shape them, paint them, and then hang them from the pot lid at different heights.

If you’re interested in making these yourself, other than the fishing line part, the birds were basically the same process as my skateboard but made much thicker. Looking back I’d make them thinner and more 2D looking than I had planned. The thinness would help make it easier to keep the bird-shape while cutting the cardboard as well as making it easier to cut. Whether you want to follow the same process or not I did upload my birds’ template to my Google drive account here in case it would be helpful to your process. Feel free to use it if you’d like. And I’d love to hear from you, in the comments below, on how the birds went if you do end up making your own.


I hope this post helps you out whether you’re making your own Princess Skateboarder costume or using the general process to make a different one. I hope it goes great and I’d love to hear what you do in the comments below. Have a great day!

If you’re interested in getting any of my future blog updates I currently come out with a new one every Wednesday and share them to my Facebook page and Instagram account. You’re also more than welcome to join my email list located right under the search bar or underneath this post.

Kyra

My name is Kyra and I’m a computer programmer that decided to stay at home with my two beautiful daughters: Ada and Zoey. I created this website to share with you anything I come across in my day to day life that I think you may enjoy.

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1 Response

  1. October 31, 2021

    […] Paper Mache Helmet and Accessories […]

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