Making a mask out of hardened leather for Mardi Gras or a costume party is fairly simple to do at home. Using a pattern to design the shape of the mask produces a result that looks finished and professionally made.
Assemble your materials
Choose saddle-skirt leather between 5/64 and 7/64 of an inch thick. You will also need a pattern, scissors that can cut leather and fabric paint. In addition, you will need a stove and pot for soaking the leather.
Cut the pattern
Use your stencil or pattern to cut out the mask shape that you prefer. Cut it bigger than needed, because you can expect 30 percent shrinkage during the soaking stage.
Soak the leather
Soak the cut leather for 10 minutes in cool water. Heat a pot of water on the stove to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Soak the mask in the hot water for 90 seconds. The longer it soaks, the smaller, thicker and harder the end result will be. Shape the mask immediately upon removing it from the hot water. Within 5 minutes, it will set and no longer be malleable. Add a bump for the nose, plus any other shaping you desire. Let the mask dry overnight.
Paint the mask
Expand the eye holes, if needed, using a drill or saw. Paint the mask using fabric or leather paint.