Friday, June 18, 2010

How I make a leather mask

  • This is a hairdressing head used for teaching, the hair has been cut offand the head sliced in half and mounted on a board.

  • Using 2mm leather, i cut a rough shape of leather, this depends on the shape of the  mask...big..small....wide...tall..

  • With this mask i had a general idea of what i wanted, so i cut the basic shape and then cut some long skinny bits and the section for the nose and the split that i knew i wanted at the top of the head. Time to wet the leather..i give it about 30 secs in warm water until no more bubbles appear.

  • Now comes the fun part..time to pinch and bend the leather into the shape you want. Sometimes the leather dictates where the folds and flaps and stickie out bits will be...i find this also depends on the begining shape you have cut.The photo below shows the half way mark of the shaping, note the little claps and pins, these help keep the folds where you want them until they dry a bit. Remember to use a strip of leather under the clamps so you dont get marks on the leather.

  • Here is the mask with both sides done. It was quite hard to get both sides the same and have made a note to self when doing a mask like this to work each side as i go and not to complete one side and then have to work to get the other the same

  • Here is the finished mask ready for drying. Note that i have removed the clamps. The leather will stay in place now and if the clamps are left on you will get marks as the leather dries.

  • Note that i have cut off two of the danglely things at the bottom, they werent working so off the went. I often cut and trim as the mask forms. Sometimes you have these great ideas but they dont always look right.
  • As the mask dries i tend to fiddle a bit, fixing edges, improving curls. I find the half way point of drying is a good time to get the modeling tool out and smoothe the leather where needed.
  • Below you can see the finished mask all dry, just waiting to be painted.

  •  And here she is after airbrushing.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Nice to see you on blogspot, Caroline. I think you will enjoy its ease of use. I certainly do.

  3. Here from LeatherWorker.Net...

    I was admiring the mask picture you're using as your avatar there, and Voila, here is the same mask with a How To. Awesome!

  4. That's awesome. I just made my first leather mask. A pretty nice skull for my son. I love your work.

  5. Hi...for such a thin do u prevent it from losing its shape over time?

  6. Veg tanned leather that has been soaked until the bubbles stop coming out, will hold its shape by its self. When it drys it hardens!!!!

  7. Fabulous work! Thanks for sharing.