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Leather Mask Making Tutorial by Ranasp Leather Mask Making Tutorial by Ranasp
This has been a while in the making, I hope that it answers most of your questions if you want to try making a mask of your own.

I took the pictures with the aid of my boyfriend and wrote the text, while did all of the layout, I couldn't have made this tutorial without her, thanks so much!
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:iconlthrpdler:
lthrpdler Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014
Natural Veg Leather Trim piece ( 8 1/2" X 11") sold at Hobby Lobby and Michaels work perfect for this.
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014
::twitch:: I don't advise buying from Hobby Lobby.  You're far better off buying a "grab bag" of leather remnants from Tandy Leather Factory or any other leather supply store that sells scraps of vegetable tanned leather.  You can quite easily make domino masks out of many of the scraps for much cheaper overall, plus the odd shapes can force you to be a bit creative with the final form.
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:iconkrad1213:
Krad1213 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm I wonder how you would do with a tokyo ghoul mask
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:icontakeshi1993:
Takeshi1993 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014
This is extremely useful and informative. Thank you.
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:iconn-hyuman80:
N-Hyuman80 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Where did you get the leather? I live in Hawaii and have no idea where to get good amounts of it, except online I guess.
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
I live near a Tandy Leather Factory so I can just drive down to get more leather, but you can look for online stores or buy off of ebay.  You could also try your local craigslist to see if anyone local is selling vegetable tanned leather.
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:iconjoetrenhar:
joetrenhar Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Student General Artist
tandy leather online half a hide of vegtable tanned leather.... a grand total of a hundred and something dollors, not cheap and not that much leather when doing this stuff
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
A half hide is HUGE when you're talking masks.  It's not super cheap, but I have yet to find anything of quality that is.  You can also buy a grab bag of scrap leather and usually can get a few pieces of decent size to practice with.  
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:iconartoveli:
Artoveli Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful work!  I really want to try this now. :eager:
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Do so!  Even if you go with a simple domino mask for your first one it looks so much more polished if you shape it like in the tutorial and ends up looking quite impressive.
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:iconartoveli:
Artoveli Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's a very good tutorial, by the way, makes the whole process seem a lot less intimidating. :nod:
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014
It really is one of those things that has a simple foundation but refining it is the challenge. 
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:iconsmallrinilady:
smallrinilady Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
what kind of paints did you use on this?
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Actually, they're leather dyes, which are shown in Step 2.
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:iconsmallrinilady:
smallrinilady Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014
thank you
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:iconfiercezombie:
fiercezombie Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Heyo, I'm looking to make a clown nose (note the profile pic) and am questioning how to precut leather so it will form the shape of a ball..i.e., how does a clown nose translate to 2D? Or does it not really matter, when the leather is wet and you cut after the fact? Any suggestions? Thanks! Nice work, btw!
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
I wouldn't say it's impossible, but I'm not sure how it could be made without leaving a seam.  You would probably have to make it sort of the way you do a pillow, use VERY thin leather, make two halves of the sphere, stitch them together wrong-side-out, wet them and flip them inside-out so they're correct side out and try stretching it while wet into the correct shape.
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:iconm00nm0rph:
m00nm0rph Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
thank you this is what got me to mack my own.
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Did you put it up on DA?
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:iconm00nm0rph:
m00nm0rph Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
yes it is at m00nm0rph.
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:iconquaz72:
Quaz72 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013
Thanks for posting this tutorial and leaving it up since 2006. Just finished my Dread Pirate Roberts mask for Halloween and it looks so much better than any of the simple masks available for sale anywhere.

Thanks again, and you rock!

:) (Smile)
 
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
I'm glad it was a help!  Did you take a picture of your completed costume?
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Excellent! 
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:iconcelticphox:
celticphox Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013
This is a fantastic tutorial and it makes the process seem much more realistic and possible.  Thank you SO much!
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
You don't get much more real than wet leather slapped onto your face. ;)  It really is a simple process, it's the refinement that takes work.  I'm glad you liked the tutorial.
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:iconrayhartenstine:
rayhartenstine Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW very cool thanks for sharing this... cool tutorial...!!!

If you went to all this trouble you can also make a plaster of paris casting of your face and then use that to weigh down the leather on the plaster face casting and wait for the leather to dry as well in fact a dry plaster of paris face casing would help absorb some of the water from the leather and aid it in the drying process.!!!

Thanks again!!!
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:iconsnazzie-designz:
snazzie-designz Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013   General Artist
Great tutorial :D Thanks for making it :D
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Professional
nice
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:iconjwraither:
Jwraither Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
great, thanks so much for sharing, very helpful!
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:icongrnwoodtree:
grnwoodtree Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
You rock for offering this information up - thanks :)
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Thanks! The info is out there though, so I can't say I really did anything too original.
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:iconkirisosha:
KiriSosha Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
neat, very useful
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:iconkitsu4tail:
Kitsu4tail Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
where do you go to buy the leather?
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:iconkitsu4tail:
Kitsu4tail Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
THANK YOU! this will help so much with cosplaying
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:iconpiratelotus-stock:
PirateLotus-Stock Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
Hi ^.^ I featured this here: [link]
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
Thanks! Glad you found it useful. :)
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:icononeintheinfinite:
oneintheinfinite Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Needed this!
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:iconasrath:
Asrath Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Student General Artist
Holy shit, that actually looks quite easy and fun to do!
I've always thought that making leather masks was REALLY hard, but now I really want to try it myself!
Only, the leather! Where can I buy the right kind of leather, and how can I recognise it? Does it always have that beige brown hue? And are coloured/processed leathers out of the question? (I think, yes... but I have a bag full of scrap leather in different colours, and it'd be nice if I could use that. I guess not though...)
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
You MIGHT find vegetable tanned leather that's already been dyed, but I'd worry about how well it would hold its shape if it's already been wet down.
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:iconasrath:
Asrath Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student General Artist
Yeah, I tried it with a small piece and it doesn't work. So I need to find just unprocessed vegetable tanned leather...
Do you know a place where they sell it??
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
The leather factory is the most common place you can find it at, otherwise just google search for "vegetable tanned leather" and you'll get lots of places show up.
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:iconandrewrp8023:
AndrewRP8023 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Great tutorial! Thanks!
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:iconelaineselenestock:
ElaineSeleneStock Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Student Photographer
Brilliant!!! Thank you soo much!
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:icondontfeartheclowns:
DontFearTheClowns Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Student General Artist
What I did when I tried this, was make a plaster "lookalike" of me. i got a friend to cut some plaster bandages, dunk in water and cover my whole face in a couple of layers of the stuff (after my face being completely covered in vaseline beforehand. ew :s ). once it dried and I took it off, I closed any breathing holes such as the nose or mouth, and then filled it with plaster, waited for it to dry and voila! a free face to work with~ :D (could have also worked with wax :P )
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
The only mild worry would be the wet leather softening the plaster over time, but if you seal the plaster that shouldn't be much of an issue.
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:icondontfeartheclowns:
DontFearTheClowns Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student General Artist
(i dunno why i said to fill a plaster mould with plaster...that wouldnt work at all >.>)
but filling the mould with wax (you can buy a packet of wax pellets which you melt down from any art and craft store) would work well, because the wax would retain its shape, unless in really really warm weather :D
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Actually there's a type of wax used for casting jewelry that's very hard and takes a much higher temperature to melt than your average wax, that would probably work best.
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:icondontfeartheclowns:
DontFearTheClowns Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student General Artist
it would, but normal wax would work just as well; since the leather isn't hot enough to melt it, plus it's better for people who are on a budget :P . but yeah a harder wax would certainly be better :D
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:iconranasp:
Ranasp Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
The leather itself isn't hot, but keep in mind that you're using a hot air hairdryer on it.
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