Instructables
I came across a really great deal on some old rabbit hides this Spring and didn't know what to do with them. They where headed for the garbage can but but I made an offer and the farmer handed them over. I didn't like the thought of the furry little critters being offed for just the meat.

These were the sorriest hides you have ever seen. the fur looked good, but the leather sides were so dried out they stood on end, and didn't want to bend.

Out came my secret weapon. This product is the best thing for leather I have ever seen.

Chelsea Leather Food. This stuff puts the life back into all lether goods. Originally made for English Soccer shoes, it works on all leather goods. Awesome on old and new furniture and car seats, as it does not leave an oily residue. It does not rot the threading as some oils do.

Anyway I did them up, now they are good to go for projects. Soft and suptle. Sorry to you green peacers, but they were farm raised rabbits killed for the meat, and I didn't want to waste the hides.

I saw the mari-gras masks by Bug and said "Hey. I'm going to try it."
http://www.instructables.com/id/Hardened-leather-Mari-Gras-mask/

So here we go.
 
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Step 1: Preparation

According to Bug the drill is to soak the leather in a cold bath for 10 minutes and then transfer to a hot bath of 180F for 90 seconds. I was not exact , but close.

I put a pot of water on the hot plate and turned it up to high to get it heating. I chose a white hide (snowman) that was pretty creased. You could just imagine what this looked like before I softened it. All those creases were folds, and it was dry as a bone. Terrible.

I put the hide in the sink for the cold bath as the water continued to heat.
tinker2342 years ago
wow i love this i wonder if i could make one out of f aux fur since i don't have any rabbit pelts
Crucio2 years ago
Looks ridiculously great!
rhino5 years ago
I think it would look great with a wig instead of the hood.  Fantastic job.  I wonder if it will work with the rabbit pelts sold at Tandy Leather?  Can one stitch smaller pelts together to make this?


strmrnnr (author)  rhino3 years ago
They should work fine.
This mask is wonderfully eerie. I love it!
Sunny1246135 years ago
If you came knocking at my door, I would call the police.
strmrnnr (author)  Sunny1246135 years ago
That's why I wear the mask - so you won't think you have to call the police.
 ha anyways nice work,
the mask should fit most people right
( mean how would you know to size it?)
becauseican5 years ago
great project. but from far away people willl think ur racist. but close up it is amazing. keep up the good work.
mowie5 years ago
it looks cool but i dont thinkk i would be able to put it on my face xD
this looks like a job for Yukon Cornelius!
ambergamgee5 years ago
I would go with brown fur and call myself a sasquatch; before enlarging the pic I thought it was something to do with KKK....
I was thinking it would be neat to use a naturally spotted rabbit hide. I found I could get them with a pattern printed on, like jaguar or zebra, but I'm not sure how that would turn out after being boiled and shrunk.
thepelton5 years ago
By the way, I noticed that you made some comment about reducing the size of the nose in the mask. That doesn't bother me. I would like to figure out some way to put a black pair of nostrils on like a polar bear would have.
strmrnnr (author)  thepelton5 years ago
First thought that comes to mind would be to make the nose really big and then shave the hair on the end of the nose really shot and dye it. Because I did not shave the rest of the face very short the nose had to have the longer hair to make it look big as it is. I thought of nostils but with the hair that long, not likely you would see them.
bowmaster5 years ago
I'm going to make a mask like this for when it gets cold.
Just don't forget to take it off before entering a bank.
That's true.
thepelton5 years ago
Something else just ocurred to me. I have a soft cured rabbit skin. Can I harden it to make this?
strmrnnr (author)  thepelton5 years ago
The cold bath - hot bath process was suppose to do that to this one as well as thicken the pelt. It did thicken the pelt nicely, but the leather food I have applied to my pelts have kept them from really hardening. In bug's Instructable ( mentioned in Step One.) he discribed his leather as getting hard as wood. I did start with a lot thinner leather pelt - well oiled also. You stand a lot better chance of getting a hard mask if you start with a pelt that is fairly dry, I would think anyway. You may have to soak it longer in the cold bath to soak it, but maybe not. Good luck. Post a photo when you are done.
I don't have my own ISP right now. I have been doing this by way of the library, and one hour reserved at a time. It could be some time before I can post pictures again, but I definitely intend to do so as soon as possible.
thepelton5 years ago
This would be good for Manitou Springs (Colorado) Mardi-Gras, especially if the weather is cold.
Dorkfish925 years ago
Great job! I've never actually seen a mask made of rabbit.
strmrnnr (author)  Dorkfish925 years ago
Me either.
PKM5 years ago
That's beautifully creepy... did you consider doing it inside-out for a leatherface effect?
strmrnnr (author)  PKM5 years ago
I am thik of that for some intems I am thiking of making. The fur would be on the skin rather than facing out. The thing I really love about this is the density of the fur near the leather. When the pelt shrank the hair folicals squuezed together. If you trim the long hair away you are left with a pelt of super-dense short hair, and man is it a soft fur. Its really nice.
wilcurt5 years ago
What made you think of this?
strmrnnr (author)  wilcurt5 years ago
Well I have the pelts and I saw the instrucable by bug. I just put the two together with some modifcations. I think is will be a good mask for working outdoors in the Winter also. Visability is good. Should keep the face really warm.
duck-lemon5 years ago
That is an awesome project, kudos(and 5/5) to you my dear man
lemonie5 years ago
Wow, that's quite an effect. No nostrils? L
strmrnnr (author)  lemonie5 years ago
I am still trying to trim this one up a bit. The leather food was too good at keeping it soft. But with the way the fur compacted together I may be able to trim it short enough to show a couple of holes for the nose. I look forward to trying the former and glue. The store opens tomorrow for some parts.