Bling Your Band

  • Cleaning the cranial band and removing the smell!

    We all have different ideas on how to clean, and cleaning the cranial band is no different.  Be very careful cleaning the outside of a mod podged band with highly concentrated rubbing alcohol.  Mod Podge is sensitive to alcohol and quickly absorbs it and can become runny.

    I turned to the BYB community, asking experienced parents how they clean the band.

    "Yes you are only supposed to clean the inside with rubbing alcohol... the outside to be honest has stayed just fine without cleaning it... it needed use a wet wash cloth... it's common sense"

    "I use a soft toothbrush and mild soap to clean it. The rubbing alcohol wasn't doing enough to get the sweat and baby food off of the helmet."

    "I also have never needed to clean the outside. It looks as beautiful as it did the first day we made it!"

    "I clean the inside of helmet with alcohol and water (diluted ).. the outside I clean with water."

    Cranial bands and baby helmets can have odor issues and we have tips and ideas as reported from other parents in how to remove the smell.  Please keep in mind that the same technique never seems to work for everyone, but most folks have found a way to minimize or outright eliminate the bad smell.

    • Scrub the inside of the band with strong alcohol.  Folks have had good luck with 90% concentration.  Folks have had more luck with using a toothbrush to scrub the inside of the band versus just spraying the inside.

    • Sunlight is a good odor eliminator.  Put the band in direct sunlight during the one hour the band is off.

    • Make sure your child's head is completely dry before placing the band back on.

    • Many parent swear by Fresh Wave Odor Eliminator, which is available at Bed Bath and Beyond.

    • Take your hour a day in two 30 minute sessions, morning and night.  Scrub the band each time.

     

    Freshwave natural odor eliminator Freshwave natural odor eliminator

     

     

  • Mod Podge won't stick to my helmet!

     

     

    I have had two cases come up where the customer applied the decals to the cranial band step-by-step with our application instructions, but the Mod Podge didn't stick to the helmet.

     

    At the time, using rubbing alcohol to initially clean the helmet was not part of the application instructions.

     

    In both cases, cleaning the helmet with rubbing alcohol solved the issue.  And we quickly replaced the decals free of charge.

  • Why should I buy baby helmet decals from you?

     

     

    Some people email asking why they should buy baby helmet decals from us, versus say purchasing stickers at a hobby store.  It is a fair question.  Hobby store stickers can certainly work if you find a set you really like, but there are cons to using them, and pros to using us.

     

    The pros of using hobby store stickers are:
    •  They are cheap
    •  I can't think of another one

     

    The cons of hobby store stickers are
    •  Getting them off will be a challenge
    •  They are generally pretty small
    •  Selection isn't very good
    •  You get what you get
    •  They look cheap!

     

    The pros of using Bling Your Band decals are
    •  They are easy to remove and change out
    •  Changing helmets?  Replace your decals for a penny plus shipping!
    •  Huge selection!
    •  Big decals!
    •  Our decals work with all the cranial band brands
    •  We make changes for free!
    •  We create custom artwork for free!
    •  Personalization is almost always included!

     

    The cons of using Bling Your Band decals are
    •  It typically takes us two business days to ship
    •  Polite service
    •  I guess theses aren't really cons but I could not think of any

     

  • How to paint a cranial band helmet

     

    Many folks email inquiring about changing the underlying color of their child’s band. You can probably paint the band yourself!  We have put together this guide to help parents paint their own cranial band helmet before applying the decalsThese instructions apply no matter who's paint you use.

    We now offer painting kits!  Click here to see the colors!

    Acrylic paint has the best reputation for durability.  It is low in toxicity when wet, and even much less so after drying for an hour.  It is possible to use water based latex paints but it may scratch a little easier.

    "Acrylic" is used in many paints.  Typically you are looking for acrylic paint in a tube or small bottle.  Some "acrylic" paint is sold in large bottles for a dollar or two and is very poor quality and meant for porous surfaces and kid crafts.  This paint will peel right off a band.

    You want good quality paint. Paint sold in metal tubes and designed for paintings is almost always going to be a good choice.

     

    Many store sells 1-oz bottles of acrylic paint.  Some is good, some is not.  Expect to pay $4-$5 on up for good paint.  Be wary of less expensive paint.  We sell Deco Art Fluid Acrylics after we tested it ourselves for quality.

     

    We sell Deco Art Fluid Acrylics We sell Deco Art Fluid Acrylics

    We highly, highly, highly recommend giving the outside of the band a light sanding.  We include a square of 400 grid sandpaper with the paint we sell.  You are not trying to dig a hole to China, but you do want to firmly roughen the surface.  You should press hard enough to feel some heat with your fingers.  I take about 3-5 minutes of vigorous movement to sand a band.  I rub in one direction (say up-down) and then the other (so switch to right-left).

    Don't miss any part of the band surface that will be painted.  Bands are generally very slick.  Again, you are not trying to remove material, just don't miss any part.  Paint on any part not sanded might pull off with just the decal transfer tape.

    The rough surface after sanding dramatically increases the sticking power of paint.   Paint may easily flake, rub or scrape off of unsanded bands.

    People are tempted to cheat around the outside edges of the band and not really sand there, thinking it won't really matter.  Sand every bit of the painted surface!  Properly sanding the band is the most important step of the process!

    Band manufacturers specifically warn about sanding to the point where the helmet loses some rigidity.  That won’t happen with 400 grit or above, and with just roughing the surface.

    Good paint needs a good paint brush, but you don't need to pay more for the brush than the paint.  Avoid the $12 brushes and get a good but basic brush with white nylon fibers.  We get good and smooth brush strokes with this style.  Expect to pay ~$4.

    Stir your paint.  Different colors of paint have different coloring agents, and some will settle to the bottom of the bottle.  The top of the bottle where you dip your brush will give runny, watery paint and the color coverage will be poor.  A good stir will mix things up!

    Generally two coats are going to be enough unless the color change is extreme.  An hour between coats should be fine, or paint on sequential days.  Do not use heat to speed the drying of the paint.  You may use a blow dryer just on “blow” and not on heat.

    Be careful to keep the paint on the outer shell and not the inside.  Tape off the inside to ensure paint cannot accidentally get inside.

    Painting might be the end result, or just a prep step before applying decals.

    If painting is the end result, use an acrylic varnish to protect the paint from scrapes and dings.  Varnish has been reported as much more durable than simple acrylic sealer.

    Mom tip!  If decals are the next step, we recommend you apply 1-2 coats of Mod Podge over the paint, and then apply the decals on the Mod Podge,   Decals still need the recommended 5 coats of Mod Podge to protect them.

    If the decals are applied directly on the paint, they will take paint with them if they are removed.  By applying on the Mod Podge, you have a fighting chance to keep the paint job intact.

    Either way, do expect some dings and scrapes to still show up on the paint.  This in combination with the Mod Podge will protect the paint fairly well.  Helmets just protected with varnish will still get some scratches and dings.  Worst case, sand the varnish to roughen it, and paint again!

    Time to move on to the decal application instructions?

    White Nylon Paint Brush White Nylon Paint Brush

     

    I don’t have enough information to recommend this, but will pass along one customer experience.  She took the helmet to an auto body paint shop, and their paint+clear coat paint job was reported to be very durable.  She reported that they did a great job of masking off the inside of the helmet.  She got all that and no charge!

    Our customers have shown tremendous creativity in painting helmets.  Anai sent me her pictures of the completed band and I had to complement her and ask how she did it.

    Faux leather texture Faux leather texture
    Faux leather texture Faux leather texture

    "Thank you! I did paint it myself :) It’s actually incredibly easy to get the leather look. I used 2 tones of brown, specifically Raw Siena and Dark Chocolate from Americana brand acrylic paints. You put on 2 coats of the light brown, let dry fully. Then you crumble up a plastic supermarket bag and brush a thin coat of the dark brown paint on the bag. Make sure not to have too much and that it's not dripping. Lightly dab the crumbled up bag (holding it like a ball in your hand) around the helmet. Its important not to press too hard. Wait 30 minutes. You’ll pour about 2 tablespoons of acrylic varnish (matte works best) into a paint dish and add a few drops of the Dark Chocolate paint to tint it. With a small foam roller coat the helmet with the varnish. One layer should do it. Thats it! Faux Leather. Someone could do it over 2 days during the hour off."

     

     

     

     

  • What happens after I place my order?

     

     

    You should get a proof within one business day sent to your email address of record.  If you have not received a proof within two business days, please check your SPAM folder, and then please email us and inquire.

     

    After you see the proof, you can ask for changes, or you can approve printing.  You must specifically approve printing (see next paragraph).  Responding with "I like it" is not enough for us to print.

     

    After we send a proof, if we don't hear from you for about 7 days, we will print and ship.  We have gone to this procedure because a number of folks email after a few weeks demanding to know if their order has shipped.

     

    After printing is approved, we add you to the print queue.  We print and ship at least every other day, often every day.

     

    You will receive an email with a tracking number when your order ships.  If two-three days go by after you give shipping approval, and you don't see shipping notice in your inbox or spam folder, please follow up with an email.

     

    How do I apply them once they arrive?

    We have a detailed, step-by-step decal application guide!

     

    Do I have to have the blue squeegee?

    No, but it helps.  You can use a credit card to apply the decals.  The negative to the credit card is that it is hard so does not flex well, and can have a bit of sharp edge.  It can want to dig into the vinyl instead of sliding, while the Squeegee is softer and likes to slide.

     

    The squeegee is also easier to grasp.  For $2, you won't be sorry you got it and you are getting a deal with us because we want you to buy it and have a good experience.  Try to buy the same squeegee for less than $4 anywhere else!

     

    Do you recommend Mod Podge to protect the decals?

    Yes we do recommend Mod Podge to seal and protect the decals, and we have a detailed Mod Podge application guide.  So far, we have not had anyone report issues with their decals who followed the application guide and sealed with Mod Podge.

     

    We ship quickly, and we know from our own experience that getting to the store during the week can be really difficult.  So we have starting selling Mod Podge and brush so that you have everything you need the moment the decals arrive.

  • But I heard complaints about decals taking forever to ship

     

     

    Until early 2014, Coree filled all Blingyourband.com orders.  She was also the mother of four small children, and when push came to shove, her family came first.

     

    Coree recognized it was a growing problem, and now Nathen and Kerrie Barton fill orders.  They have 7 years experience with personalizing and shipping children's products.  They also brought faster equipment and a more capable website, all of which helps your experience with blingyourband.com be a fantastic one!

     

  • Order form FAQ guide

     

     

    Have questions about placing your order?  If you don't see the answer below, please email us!

    Mod Podge Mod Podge

     

    Do I need the Mod Podge or squeegee?

    Most helmets need mod podge.  Unless your child is too young to move his or her head, you probably need it.  You can get it from us or any local craft store.  The squeegee is a convenience.  You can apply the decals with a credit card, but the squeegee is easier to use.

     

    Why do you ask for the helmet color?

    We only ask the helmet color so we can adjust the colors in the design so they will make a good visual contrast.  If it is white, you can leave this line blank.  The decals will not change the underlying color of the helmet.

     

    What if I do not want to include a name?

    We are down with that!  We won't, however, waste the space.  We will copy in extra elements so you get your money's worth.

     

    Can I ask for color or size changes?

    Is the pope Catholic?  You bet you can!  Don't feel bad about asking.  We will also substitute elements from one design into your design.

     

    What happens after I place the order?

    You should get a proof within one business day sent to your email address of record.  If you have not received a proof within two business days, please check your SPAM folder, and then please email us and inquire.

     

    After you see the proof, you can ask for size, color, or element changes, or you can approve printing.  You must specifically approve printing (see the next paragraph).  Responding with "I like it" is not enough for us to print.

     

    After we send a proof, if we don't hear from you for about 7 days, we will follow up asking if you are ready to print.  If we still don't hear from you after about 7 days, we will print and ship.  We have gone to this procedure because a number of folks email after a few weeks demanding to know if their order has shipped.

     

    After printing is approved, we add you to the print queue.  We print and ship at least every other day, often every day.

     

    You will receive an email with a tracking number when your order ships.  If two-three days go by after you give shipping approval, and you don't see shipping notice in your inbox or spam folder, please follow up with an email.

     

    How do I apply them once they arrive?

     We have a detailed, step-by-step decal application guide!

     

    Do I have to have the blue squeegee?

    No, but it helps.  You can use a credit card to apply the decals.  The negative to the credit card is that it is hard so does not flex well, and can have a bit of sharp edge.  It can want to dig into the vinyl instead of sliding, while the Squeegee is softer and likes to slide.

     

    The squeegee is also easier to grasp.  For $2, you won't be sorry you got it and you are getting a deal with us because we want you to buy it and have a good experience.  Try to buy the same squeegee for less than $4 anywhere else!

     

    Do you recommend Mod Podge to protect the decals?

    Yes we do recommend Mod Podge to seal and protect the decals, and we have a detailed Mod Podge application guide.  So far, we have not had anyone report issues with their decals who followed the application guide and sealed with Mod Podge.

     

    We ship quickly, and we know from our own experience that getting to the store during the week can be really difficult.  So we have starting selling Mod Podge and brush so that you have everything you need the moment the decals arrive.

  • Artwork I can't advertize!

     

     

    Over the years Bling Your Band has generated a lot of artwork based on pop culture and sports (lots of sports!) that we can't advertise, and we are always willing to create new artwork.  We also have 'hidden' artwork that you can only find by using the search box.

    Use the search box for hidden artwork Use the search box for hidden artwork

    We do not charge for developing new artwork.  We see it as part of our normal course of developing new designs.

     

    Please email us if we can help you.

     

    Custom baby helmet design services Custom baby helmet design services
  • I need my order by a specific date. Is that possible?

     

     

     

    Often, yes.  If you need it by a specific date, please note it in special instructions or send us an email.  We do everything possible to make it happen at no extra cost, but we will notify you if expedited shipping is needed, and you can elect to use it.

  • How long is the shipping transient time?

     

     

    We ship most items via the post office.  Please note, we never tell anyone when a package will arrive.  We can only say how long it takes most people to get a package.

     

    0 - 13oz ship First Class Mail which the post office advertises arrives in 1-3 days

     

    14oz - ~4 pounds ship via priority mail which the post office advertises arrives in 1-3 days

     

    Over about 4 pounds ship Priority mail or Parcel Post.

     

    About Domestic shipping times

    Once your tracking number is active, the Post Office will give an Expected Delivery Day - don't be fooled by it.  It would be nice if the Post Office factored in current weather and the current logistics of getting a package from me to you.

     

    I can assure you they have not.  This date has all the weight of a first grader saying "Sure, I will have that done by Wednesday".  What they really mean is, if there is no weather issues, no mechanical issues, nobody goes on vacation, nobody gets sick, and nothing else happens, most people in your situation would get the package on Wednesday.

    Don't be mislead by the Expected Shipping Date Don't be mislead by the Expected Shipping Date

    Also, please note that the tracking information is not updated minute by minute.  There may be no activity shown for 3-4 days, and suddenly the tracking information is updated with several events that happened during that time.

     

    How long does it really take?

    The Post Office advertises Priority and First Class mail like they always arrive in 1-3 days, but our experience is different.  In most cases (i.e. 51% of the time) they do arrive in 1-3 days.  On the phone, when you call to ask where your package is, then they admit the services can take up to 7 days.  One time, we saw 11 days.  And on the phone, they don't have any information about your package not on the USPS tracking page.

     

    Based on our experience, this is what we see for USPS shipping times:

    1-3 days - at least 51% are delivered this quickly

    5-6 days - 10-15% take this long

    7 days - about 1% seem to take seven days

    More than 7 days - about one of a thousand take more than seven days.

     

    The math majors will note it didn't add up to 100%.  The numbers are based on our experience.  I don't know the exact breakdown, and the breakdown probably changes due to weather.

     

    If your package has not arrived by the Expected Delivery Day

    If your package has not arrived by the Expected Delivery Day, in general we don't know why.  We don't have access to tracking information beyond using the USPS tracking page.

     

    A few people believe that if they put enough pressure on us, they will find there is something we could do, but just don't want to do.  Please be respectful.  The Post Office is like the Armed Forces.  They do things their way, for reasons only they seem to understand, and don't explain anything to us.  And just like the Armed Forces, we have no control over the the Post Office.  But both branches of government generally get the job done.

     

    It is obnoxious for everyone, but the best course of action for the first week is to wait.  99.9% percent of the time, packages arrive in 7 days.  Once a package exceeds 7 business days, and the tracking number does not show progress, then we re-print and reship.

     

    The most common non-decal related inquiry we get is why a package has exceeded the Expected Delivery Day, often combined with a request for a call back.  Please understand that we do not call back to repeat the information available on this page.

     

    About International shipping times

    If you thought inside-the-USA shipping times were hard to predict, international shipping times are even harder to guess.  Shipments to Canada can be four days, or two weeks.

     

    All international shipments go via USPS and exact details on how they ship and are tracked is on this page.

     

    Packages will then be delivered by your local post office.

     

    Some people wonder why we don't use Fedex or UPS for international shipments.  We find that very few people want to spend $50-$80 on shipping charges when the postal system works, albeit a little slower.

     

    Some countries have import duties that may apply.  We won't worn folks subject to them because we don't know the tax responsibilities of your specific country.

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