Knowing how to work with leather is a valuable skill to have in your cosplay toolbox. It’s not a bad idea to get started with a smaller project like a bag or a mask to figure out the basics of carving, sewing, and shaping the material, and there are endless resources on the internet to help you learn. LiveJournal user merimask created a helpful tutorial that shows her process as she built a complicated mask.
It started with a sketch that she cut out of brown craft paper; it was then transferred to 1/4 inch thick leather. It took her an hour to cut out the mask by hand. Here’s how she softens the edges to make them more comfortable to wear:
The cut mask has sharp edges. This mask has so many long “roots”, it’d be madness to round every edge but around the eyes & along the base, I need to smooth out the edges to give the mask a finished look & to make it comfortable to wear. I use a tool called a “skiver” to cut the sharp edges on both sides of the mask down…
wetting the edges makes this easier to do. I can’t tell you how many times the damn skiver skips or slips & I gouge myself instead (I hate skiving!!). I replace that damn tool once a month so it’s always as sharp as I can get it (you can’t really sharpen these tools).
Then, after the edges are cut off, I wet the leather again (warm water works best) and smooth the edges to a nice rounded finish with the “spoon” end of a stylus.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.