Hello, my name is Chelsea and this is my second published Instructable.
In this Instructable, I will be walking you through the steps of making a premium quality leather mask; from the concept of the design and initial purchase of the leather all the way to the painting, stringing the mask and the finishing of the project.
If you like this project please vote or share; and follow me for more great tutorials in the future. Comment if you have any questions and I will reply.
:) Thank you! Enjoy, learn, and get creative!
Note: some of the images are sideways, I will edit them tonight and tomorrow and add details! :)
In order to make this mask as I did, you will need the following items:
• 9x13 inch piece of 8 oz. Vegetable Tanned Tooling Leather
• A semi-soft Sponge(check the dollar store)
• Water and a cup or bowl
• Razor blade / box cutter / leather scissors
• Paper and pencil (Sharpen your pencil to draw, but dull the lead when transferring your design or use the needle tool)
• NeedleTool and a Ball Tool (optional)
• An Oven (set to 350° for setting the shape of the mask), or sun dry if you lack a oven and have time.
• Acrylic Paints: black and white (mix for grey, light blue optional)
• Sealant (optional)- Matte (feathers) and Gloss (beak) to seal and finish your project
• Hole Punch or Nail & Hammer to make string holes
• Leather string, Leather Lace, Elastic, Ribbon or Fabric (to fasten the mask)
• Pliers / tweezers to pull the fastening string through the mask
While some of the materials are very cheap (water and the sponge)- the leather, leather scissors, paint and tools can get expensive. It helps to look around a bit and shop around for the best price.
I suggest visiting your local thrift shops and asking if they have any leather working tools or if they have a tool section in general, this will save you a ton of money and will get you some really nice tools if you are lucky.
I live in the desert and there aren't any leather goods shops near by, but I had luck posting about the project on Facebook and having a friend whose father was into leather-working give a link to borrowing some tools and learning from a master; so ask around to borrow tools- it doesn't hurt,and it's another great way to save money if you are only doing this as a one-time project on a limited budget.
I have found eBay to be a very reliable and affordable source for planned out (shipping takes time) large project needs- (for example I bought 6 sq. ft. of 8 oz. Vegetable Tanned Tooling Leather [a shoulder], that I used maybe a an eighth of for this project, for about $68 total; and they had some scrap pieces for slightly less.
And of course Tandy Leather is a great one-stop source for leather working tools, their 8.5x11 inch sheets of tooling leather are the perfect size for small projects such as mask making without the price of the large shoulders of leather.