Introduction: Steampunk Gas Mask

About: Hello all! I'm Michelle, a recent electrical engineering graduate working in the automation industry. All those electronics at work mean I sew things a lot at home.
Hey there! I'm Michelle, and I'm going to take you though the creation of this mask. If you like, you can make your own or something similar. I don't expect that everyone is going to want something exactly the same, so feel free to use this as a jumping off point, or even make one that is the same if you really want. This is my first instructable, so go easy on me, and constructive criticism is always welcomed. Please, read the whole thing before you start. It will make your life easier. And remember, ratings and comments make me smile.

Alright, let's have some fun!

Step 1: Stuff You'll Need.

Here's what you'll need to make a mask just like mine, Again, if you have an idea, feel free to substitute.

  • A gas mask
  • Enough leather to cover the rubber of the gas mask
  • Craft fur
  • Decorative Aluminum Sheet
  • Hot Glue
  • Brass Spray Paint
Not Pictured:
  • Two Narrow Leather Belts (Goodwill finds, because they're getting cut up)
  • 2 Sets of choker clasps
  • Clear coat of spray paint
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Black Soot and Rusty Hinge Distress Ink

And, of course, you're going to need tools to do this:
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • very sharp x-acto knife
  • very sharp scissors
  • sandpaper
  • ruler
  • tin snips
  • paint brushes
  • Dremel with sanding wheel.

Step 2: Disassembly

First, I suggest, if you got your mask from an estate sale like I did, you want to wipe it off and clean it up. It just makes things less disgusting. Then we're going to get rid of the straps. The elastic on the straps in my mask had gone bad, so I made new ones, but that's later. Cut away the rubber holders for the straps with the x-acto. You also want to get rid of as much of the rubber ridge that's left as possible. Take the clasps off the straps and set them aside, and discard of the straps. 

Now, we're going to take the filters apart and off. The filters will unscrew into three parts. Set aside the outermost filter pad. The last part will pop out of the rubber with a little muscle. The middle will need to be cut open, and the labels taken off. Refer to the pictures for this, as it's a little hard to explain. The filters that were in my mask were 'low concentration pesticide filters' so I can't guarantee what will be on the inside of any other filters. 

Step 3: Prep and Painting

Sand off any logos on the plastic parts, and get rid of the ridges on the inside of the outermost filter piece. A dremel is good for this. Take a look at the pictures. Give everything a light sanding so the paint will stick better. 

Then, we're going to make it look like there's rivets on the outermost filter part. Use hot glue and make dots around the edge. Make sure they're even, or it will look sloppy. 

Paint all the filter parts and the clasps with the metallic brass paint. I recommend some sort of clear coat as well, because I had some trouble with the paint chipping later on. Let it all dry. 

Step 4: Leather

Honestly, I just winged this part. Make sure you have enough leather in your piece to cover the rubber part and fit it to the rubber line on the mask. Glue it with hot glue and make sure it fits to the rubber. Trim up the edges, and cut out holes where they need to be. Sharp scissors and a sharp x-acto are key here. Take a look at the pictures to fully understand, because I'm not sure how to explain it. 

Step 5: Fur

Now, we're going to take an edge of the fur and start at the top and glue it half way around, so it ends at the bottom. You want the grain of the fur to go down on both sides. Cut the fur at the bottom and cut a half inch out from the edge of the rubber. Put some hot glue on the fur and fold it to the inside of the mask. Do the same on the other side.

Step 6: Assemble the Filters

First, you're going to take the outermost filter piece and trace a circle around it onto the aluminum sheet. Cut it out, and then trim it until it will fit down inside the filter but not fall out. Put the filter pad in, and put the rest of the filter back together. If you feel the need to glue the pieces together, go for it. I didn't. Do the same to the other filter assembly. 

Pop the whole thing back into the mask. I warn you now, this will be a fight, but it is possible. Glue the bottom piece back on, too.

Step 7: Make Your Straps

Cut the belt to the sizes your straps need to be. Mine were 11" for each on the top and 9" for each on the bottom, but I recommend fitting them to yourself. Slide the clasps onto one end of the straps and glue the other end t the mask, with the edge on the fur-leather seam. Be very careful not to get hot glue other places on the fur, because it will look rather nasty. Then, finish off the other edge of the strap with a disassembled choker clasp. Do this for all 4 straps.

Step 8: Show It Some Love

I thought it still looked to pretty for a steampunk / post apocalyptic piece. So, I took just a little black acrylic paint and dry brushed it on the brass parts. I also took some distress ink and a paint brush and got it on the leather to make it look like there were some worn spots. This is really all up to you and your preference. 

Step 9: Thank You!

Well, there are some improvements. If I ever did this again I might omit the fur and just cover the whole thing with leather. I don't know though. Also, it doesn't stay on to well if I don't have my hair up in a pony tail. I'm not quite sure how to fix that, though.

Well, thanks for reading! I'm open to discussion about it and ratings make me smile. :D
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