Saturday, October 3, 2015

Leather steampunk masks

I am working on historical sewing and on embroidery.  Unfortunately, these projects must be secret till their reveals so I cant post about them yet!  I am dying to share them......but I will be good and wait till they have gone to their new homes...

In the mean time, I have always wanted a steampunk leather plague doctor's mask.  I also love celebrating Dia de los Muertos and sugar skulls. For some reason these things go very well together in my head so I decided to do a sugar skull themed mask.  My husband decided to do his literally as a plague mask and be sickly green.  His mask reminds me of the 'ick face' green poison stickers, although everyone I say this to does not remember these.  I swear I am not making up these stickers! 

To make the masks, I bought a pattern from this etsy site Steampunk Masks. The pattern is a digital download and there is a video to help with construction.  I will say that some previous leather working experience is a plus, this mask was harder than my previous leatherworking projects but not too bad.  You need to be really really exact on the holes since there is very little play in the pattern.  There are a lot of pieces so the construction took quite a while, but the effect is so worth it in the end! 

To create the masks, we cut out the pieces and then edged them to make the edges really smooth.  Then I painted mine with leather paint, Eco-Flo Cova Color paints.  These paints are water based and very easy to use.  The only downside I found is that it took many coats to get a strong color in the pale colors; white, yellow and orange.  Since this paint is water based, I had to seal the mask to make it water proof.  Together with multiple layers of paint and sealant, my mask was really really stiff!

 My husband stained his with green leather stain.  Rather than use a damp cloth, he used a dry cloth which resulted a streaked texture to go with the plague idea.  The masks were then stitch and riveted together.

I am really happy with how the masks came out.  The only issues I have is that I would like the mask to cover a bit more of my face and they can be hard to see out of.  It is a mask with very little fitting so the vision issue is not surprising and not something I will worry too much about.  I may rework the pattern for next time to get the mask to come closer to my ears, the next time I make one. 

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