Plague Mask keychains

Finished red leather keychain-sized plague mask

Finished red leather keychain-sized plague mask

A few months ago, I began working on a red pleather plague mask for myself, but then the project stalled because I had other things to do (including making courtesy masks) so it got set aside. I’m still not done that – but in the meantime I have a different plague mask project to show off – little mini keychain masks! I plan on putting one on my backpack and maybe turning the other into a necklace…because why not?

Testing the plague mask pattern out in paper before cutting out the leather

Testing the plague mask pattern out in paper before cutting out the leather

I used the pattern from www.sksprops.com, and cut it out in scrap lined paper to test the fit after shrinking it down considerably from full human size to… well.. keychain size.  After taping it together I made a few alterations – namely smoothing the chin curve, lengthening the lower gusset, and adding an extension on the forehead to accommodate an eyelet.

I know that I have leather hand-sewing needles… but I couldn’t find them, which means I ended up using regular needles along with waxed thread. Pretty vital was the little leather thimble I have, and a few times I used a pair of needle nose pliers on a particularly tough area. I don’t have any stitching hole punches (from Tandy, also available through Lee Valley)- though I think if I want to use this pattern on a larger scale – I’ll definitely need to get a set. (And find my leather needles!)

Laying part of the plague mask pattern out on my leather upholstery sample for cutting out

Laying part of the plague mask pattern out on my leather upholstery sample for cutting out

Of course I can’t pin the pattern to the leather, so I cut the pattern out with a bit of allowance and taped it to the leather instead. Then I could cut around the actual cutting lines.

I started with one pattern in some red leather I got from the maker studio last year, and fiddled around quite a bit with it before deciding it was too large for what I wanted. I was nervous shrinking it further – especially not feeling super confident in my hand-stitching with the leather, but ultimately it turned out really well, so I repeated that size in some black leather also from the maker studio.

Hand-stitching the lower gusset to the sides of the plague mask

Hand-stitching the lower gusset to the sides of the plague mask

The maker studio last year was hosting a craft day getting ready for a Mad-Max themed bike ride, last year before covid-19 and someone brought in bags and bags of leather upholstery samples. I ended up grabbing a bunch to work with on my project…. which I ended up not finishing – so I ended up with a bunch of leather to add to my leather bin.

Finished red leather keychain-sized plague mask

Finished red leather keychain-sized plague mask

The eyes are cut from leftover clear plastic from another crafting project last fall (I think? Time has lost all meaning…)  but they plastic discs and the rings of leather that cover them are glued on with super glue rather than sewn on – just because the parts are SO small in this scale.

Finished red and black leather keychain-sized plague masks

Finished red and black leather keychain-sized plague masks

While I didn’t make the masks to fit this size, it turns out that the smaller size I ultimately settled on, I was describing how big they were to a friend on the phone. “A bit too big for a Barbie doll” I described… but as it turned out, they’re pretty much a perfect fit for the Bleeding Edge / BeGoth fashion dolls.

Finished black leather mini plague mask "worn" on a Bleeding Edge BeGoth fashion doll

Finished black leather mini plague mask “worn” on a Bleeding Edge BeGoth fashion doll

I bought two of the Bleeding Edge dolls probably 15 years ago, and this one pictured here is named “Storm O Misery” apparently.  I forgot their names long ago – I bought them for a costume idea that I never ended up really making in it’s entirety. I also have “Raven Dragonfire“.  Apparently after a few rounds of different designs, they developed a fully vinyl line, and then were discontinued in 2011.

Finished black leather keychain-sized plague mask

Finished black leather keychain-sized plague mask

I think they’re super cute – what do you think?

Finished red and black leather keychain-sized plague masks

Finished red and black leather keychain-sized plague masks

Let me know in the comments below, or come chat with me on my Facebook page, Dawn’s Dress Diary.

I’ll also have a few other photos on my Instagram feed if you’re interested, along with.. well.. whatever else I’m in the mood to post!

Finished black leather keychain-sized plague mask

Finished black leather keychain-sized plague mask

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