Learn the basics of making a leather eye mask, or masquerade mask. Using some common leathercraft tools, we’ll make a pattern, cut, mold, dye and add a top coat to create a unique leather mask with a perfect fit.
Approximate Time to Complete: 2 hours (not including drying time for stamp; dye and finish: about 5 hrs.)
What You Need:
· 4/5 oz. Natural Veg Tan Leather approx. 12" x 12" (04-530S-4/5)
· Steel Square (3608)
· Utility Knife (65-2860)
· Fiebing’s Pro Oil Dye (50-2030-BK)
· Wool Daubers (50-1950)
· Fiebings Leather Balm with Atom Wax (50-2189)
· 2 pieces Black Leather Lace (approx. 18” per piece) (30-1785)
· Economy Punch (CSO223)
· Silent Poundo Board (3461-02)
· Cotton Rag
· Piece of Paper
Step 1: Take Measurements
First you will need to get the outside and inside dimensions for your mask.
· Outside Dimensions: For the width, measure the distance from the left side of your face to the right side, starting approximately 1" to 1-1/2" in front of your ears. For the height, measure from the tip of your nose to a little bit above your eyebrows.
· Inside Dimensions: Measure the distance in between your eyes and also the width of your eye, from the inner corner to the outer corner.
Step 2: Fold Paper for Pattern in Half
Now that you have your dimensions, take your piece of Paper and fold it in half so that you have two equal parts. You will only draw out half of the pattern from the fold so your mask is symmetrical.
Step 3: Draw Pattern
To draw out the pattern you will need to think in halves since we are only drawing half of the mask on paper. Take the measurement you got from the left side of your face to the right side and divide it in half. Using your Steel Square and a Pencil, draw a line from the spine of your Paper to that measurement. (For example, if you have a 9" face, you will draw a 4.5" line from the spine of the paper)
Step 4: Draw Line 1 & Line 2
From that line, use your Steel Square to measure down and mark the height (measurement from tip of your nose to above your eyebrows), and from that mark make your second line for the bottom of your mask. (See example below)
Step 5: Connect the Lines
Connect the two lines, and now you have the outside pattern for your mask.
Step 6: Draw Eye Cutouts
To draw the pattern for your eye cutouts: Roughly from the center of the spine on your pattern, measure and make a mark for the distance between your eyes divided in half. (For example, if your eyes are 1-1/2" apart, you would measure ¾".) From there mark the width of your eye (measurement from the inner corner to outer corner of your eye).
Step 7: Draw Eye Holes and Outside of Mask
Now that you have your basic dimensions drawn out, you can use your creativity and freehand the eye holes and the outside shape of the mask. You will want the outside shape to be similar to the eye shapes so the mask has a nice flow. Be as creative as you would like. Round the corners of the mask and drop in a mark for where you will later punch holes to add a string.
Step 8: Cut Pattern
Use your Utility Knife and trim out the paper pattern.
Step 9: Trace Pattern Onto Leather
Take your pattern and trace it onto your piece of 4/5 oz. Leather using a pencil. Use your Steel Square to keep the pattern from sliding around.
Step 10: Cut Out Leather
Cut out the pattern from your Leather using your Utility Knife.
Step 11: Wet Leather
Now you are ready to start the molding process. Take your mask and soak it in water for 20 seconds.
Step 12: Dry Leather
Lay the wetted Leather aside and let dry for 15-20 minutes so that it becomes pliable.
Step 13: Mold Leather
Once the Leather has dried for 15-20 minutes, take the mask, lay it on your face and using your thumbs and forefingers slowly work it in around your nose and eyes until the mask starts to form to the shape of your face.
Step 14: Finish Molding and Dry
Once formed, remove the mask and tighten the corners a bit more with your hands. Set mask aside and let dry completely.
Step 15: Dye Mask
To dye the mask, lay down a piece of plastic and some paper to prevent bleeding onto your surface and wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. Take a Wool Dauber, dip it into your Fiebing’s Pro Dye and brush onto the front and edges of your mask, being careful to not get any onto the back of the mask.
Step 16: Dry Mask
Let mask dry completely, 1-1.5 hours.
Step 17: Add Balm
Once the dye is completely dry, take a Wool Dauber, dip it into the Fiebings Leather Balm and apply to the mask.
Step 18: Remove Excess and Buff
Take a Cotton Rag and wipe off the excess Leather Balm. The leather will have a little bit of a matte look, but continue to buff with your Cotton Rag and the mask will pick up a nice sheen.
Step 19: Punch Holes
Take your Economy Punch and punch two holes in each side of the mask. (We marked these on the pattern in Step 8.)
Step 20: Add Lace
Take your precut Leather Lace and tie a knot about 8" from one end of each lace. Run it through the holes, front to back on each side. Having the knot tied 8" from the end will give you a nice looking tassel and will leave plenty of lace to tie around the back of your head. Having the knot on the outside of the mask will ensure it won’t rub or bother your skin.
Step 21: Completion
Your mask is now complete.