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The Viking baby helmet design is a little more complex to install than many other of our decals. Some fantastic customers did a step by step photo blog on how they applied the decals to their son's cranial band in exchange for the first set of Viking helmet decals I created.
First, they cut up the decals which ship in two separate sheets.
We suggest taping the decals in place to check the fit. The grommets need to cover the seams. If the helmet has a large diameter, two rows of grommets can be used to help make up the space.
Once the parts all fit together to make design work, tape them together in the order they should go.
Mark on the helmet with a pencil where the panels should go.
They considered their application of the panels to be very ham-handed, but that it all worked out in the end.
The biggest problem they had was a little failure to plan far enough ahead. The horns should have gone in the gap on the left hand side but the initial placement was off, so they had to move them back. If they had planned ahead, the side grommets would have gone over the side burn grommets.
These pictures are all pre-Mod Podge. The Mod Podge smoothed out the patch-work lines very nicely.
The following are notes quoted exactly from the folks who did all the work above and took the pictures:
"This is SO CUTE!!! I’ve gotten MANY compliments on this helmet. I think the decision to leave white was a good one, it looks more helmet-y. The vinyl did stretch, and I had to do some patch work. Maybe the 3 main helmet pieces could be a little bigger. (I eventually put a second line of grommets down the front) I used bronze colored Sharpie to make the cracks less noticeable (lent to the look of a forged helmet… very cool)
There were Plenty of Grommet strips. I had 3 whole strips leftover. If I could have sewn on a horn over the Velcro strip, that would have rocked.
Overall, I love the look of this and had A LOT of fun putting it on. Hunter only has 2 weeks to go (he’s getting out early!!!) so I’m going to switch over to R2D2. I’d have loved to see the Tron strips, but frankly, by the time they’re ready, Hunter will be out of his helmet. J
Thank you so much for this experience, I think this will be a good seller, you could Viking and knight (silver) versions.
So bullet points:
- Plenty of Grommet Strips, maybe suggest use of 2-3 rows between triangle “panels.”
- Triangle “panels” could be a bit bigger at the base. But don’t have to be very tall, as the tops of DOC Bands ™ are typically open.
- Possible sideburn panels? But the Grommet Strips worked well
*** The credit card company requires that I state an exact refund period. So for them, requests on orders eligible for refunds will be refunded for sure if made within 10 days.
Here is how I actually work. Have a damage issue or the decal sizes don't work? Email me when you find it. Have you seen my 4.9/5 star rating on Facebook? I earned that by being responsive to questions and issues and making customers happy.
I will refund orders if you email me to cancel before your order ships. Please do not cancel on social media, we don't spend a lot of time on social media and probably won't see it soon enough.
Once your order ships, then we generally do not offer refunds unless we made a mistake or the item is damaged. Each decal is printed on a color printer just for you, so returning it does not help.
The same thing is true if we make a mistake and reship, please keep and use the first set if possible even as we send a replacement.
*** Please note BYB has returned to shipping decals directly to most of the world, including Canada and Europe ***
We no longer recommend most folks use ComGateway as it no longer seems necessary.
If you can use a USA destination, that is always the fastest delivery. Otherwise, we recommend that you simply checkout of our website as normal, using your international address. Packages seem to be arriving at your customs in 7-10 days. After that I can't see tracking information so I am not sure how long it is taking to clear customs or be delivered. But after a long series of negative experiences with international shipping, we seem to be in a good place right now. I will update if this changes.
However, if you know that you live in an area where you can't generally gets USPS international mail, you might consider using them. But most of the world is not needing ComGateway right now.
If you need to use ComGateway.com:
To use Comgateway register with them and use the USA shipping address they provide as you checkout. They notify you when the package arrives at their location, and you decide how fast it should get to you.
*** Do not use the "Buy for me" service of ComGateway. Just use their USA shipping address when you checkout on BlingYourBand.com. Please please please don't! The proofs for the order will not go to your email address!
We will not take responsibility if you use their "Buy it for me" service, you don't get the proofs, and then you don't like the results.
Then they deliver in your country with DHL/FEDEX. YOU RELIABLY GET YOUR PACKAGE IN 1-2 WEEKS.
On the Comgateway rate table they charge a base price for 0.5Kg. All of my decals fit into the base rate. Their facility is only a few miles from me so packages get from me to them in 1-2 days.
On the BlingYourBand.com checkout page, choose SHIP TO A DIFFERENT ADDRESS, and use the USA address given by ComGateway.com. It may be a little different than my example.
Last, do not waste your money on the 1-2 Day Express shipping option. I am very close to the ComGateway.com facility and it won't be worth the money to you.
*** Update January 2018 ***
The USPS international shipping system has changed. Packages have a completely different shipping label and a very different shipping process.
OLD SYSTEM - package was scanned into the postal system at my post office. Package traveled to some USA airport and then off to your country. Package had customs form printed on it.
NEW SYSTEM - package travels to a local postal processing facility. Notice the new label does not have a tracking number barcode? That means the Post office will not acknowledge receipt of the package and the tracking number will not become "live" until the package reaches this new processing facility.
This will be at least several business days after I ship the package!
The processing facility will apply the barcode and then send the package on its way.
The website to track international shipments has changed! Please click here to track your packages!
This new system is just a few days old as of this writing (Jan 25 2018), and I will update this post as I learn how it goes.
International shipping times are as difficult to guess as winning lottery numbers. Shipments to Canada can easily be four days, or two weeks. I have seen it take three weeks to Canada.
All international shipments go via USPS. 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.
Packages pass through the customs of your country and then will then be delivered by your local post office. Tracking information almost always stops when the package leaves the USA. A package may appear "stuck" at a transient point but it is not stuck, it simply is not being scanned by the USPS anymore.
I won't know a package didn't arrive unless you tell me.
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.
Domestic shipping is a flat $6.75 no matter how much you order! How long is the shipping transient time? We discuss that here!
International shipping of just helmet decals
We still have flat shipping rates for international destinations but they may be a little higher than the domestic rate.
International shipping of heavier objects
We also create trunk decals which ship in larger tubes. We very rarely ship these internationally so we are not sure how much that generally costs to ship. In these cases, we will calculate the exact postage and then email you the amount. You will then have the option of going forward, or getting a full refund.
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.
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.
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
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 decals. These instructions apply no matter who's paint you use.
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 smaller quantities and designed for artists 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.
Sadly you will notice that Deco Art (and the more expensive brands at the craft store) does not come in light pink or light blue. Quality paints are intended for artists. Artists mix their own paints to generate their desired range of colors.
We reached out to GoldenPaints.com about this problem and they are helping us offer very high quality paints in a full range of colors. These are being added to our website now..
We highly, highly, highly recommend giving the outside of the band a light sanding. We include a square of 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 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?
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.
"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."