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How to Decorate a Plagiocephaly Helmet

Everywhere we go, people remark on how cute Nic’s helmet is, which always makes me smile.  If your little one needs a helmet, and you have a flair for the custom, here’s how I did it:


Acryllic paint

Sponge paint brush, medium size

Modge Podge (I used the gloss finish, but they also sell matte)


Rubbing Alcohol

Paper bag/newspaper

Paper bowl (2)

Box of matches


Stickers (optional)



1.       Gather supplies, use paper bag or newspaper to cover your work surface.

2.       Roll up the Velcro strap and tape it to itself so that it stays out of the way.  Open up the helmet a bit and put the box of matches in the gap (under where the Velcro strap would be).  This lets you paint that inside edge without having to hold the helmet open.

3.       Put some paint in one of your paper bowls.  Paint a layer of paint all over the helmet.  Use the rubbing alcohol to clean up any places where you go "outside of the lines."  Let the first layer dry, mine took about an hour.  Paint on 2-3 more layers.

4.       While waiting for the paint layers to dry, prep your stickers if necessary.  For Nic’s helmet, I used an Exacto knife to cut out several stickers from one bumper sticker.  Remember that the helmet is round, so smaller stickers lay flatter.

5.       After your last coat of paint has dried, clean your brush, put some Modge Podge into your other paper bowl and paint on a layer.  It takes about 30 minutes to dry.

6.       After the first coat of Modge Podge is dry, carefully place your stickers.  The Modge Podge should give you a bit of forgiveness in repositioning if necessary.

7.       Paint on 2 more coats of Modge Podge, let dry (overnight if possible to make sure it’s really dry).

8.       Voila!  A beautiful custom helmet that is sure to be the talk of the grocery store.


Note: You’ll likely be instructed to ease your baby into wearing the helmet.  This will mean they will only wear it a few hours for the first few days.  This gives you ample opportunity to decorate it.  With Nic, we got the helmet in the morning, he wore it the prescribed one hour, and then we decorated it that evening and were able to let it dry over night.  Also, you’ll want to put a fresh coat of Modge Podge on every few weeks to prevent chips.


Nic is doing great in his helmet!  He doesn’t seem to mind it at all, and his head shape has improved dramatically in just three weeks.  We’re going to have him wear it for another few weeks, and as long as he is in the normal range at that point, we’ll retire our work of art.


Reader Comments (6)

You're such a great mommy! Nic may not be able to appreciate all of the things you do to make his life beautiful and special yet but he will someday! Things like this remind me of what motherhood is all about: trying to make the world a better place for your little one, even when things are happening beyond our control. I heart you for this, Nath!

December 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterNatali

I love it! Nic looks so cute- and the helmet looks downright stylish. This is brilliant- my son had a little bit of head flattening and we used soft Korean pillows (there are beads and seeds inside so it molds around the head unlike a traditional pillow) which mostly took care of it, but thought we'd need to get a helmet. I never would have thought to make it look so good.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMia

This is probably the most ingenious idea you've had Nat! It looks absolutely adorable - you're an amazing mommy (and super crafty!) You never cease to amaze me.

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Thank you ladies.

Nat, I particularly like the way you put this "Trying to make the world a better place for your little one, even when things are happening beyond our control." I hadn't really thought about it that way, but that's exactly the spirit behind it. When I was little, I had to wear a stick-on eye patch to correct a lazy eye. My mom used to draw kitties or other designs on it every day. I guess I got this instinct from her :)

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNathalee

He looks adorable--so nice of you to include such detailed directions on painting the helmet. My granddaughter, Taylor recently graduated from her helmet. My daughter started a business to help others decorate and accessorize their helmet in several different ways. She has created onesies, hats, bows, etc. She is still trying to let others know that her site exists, so just thought I'd share in case anyone is reading that might be interested. :)

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachelle

Nathalee, this is genius! How did you ever think to pull this all together? You put Martha Stewart to shame! Dom is such a cutie!!

December 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

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