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February 12, 2012
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San Mask Tutorial by meanlilkitty San Mask Tutorial by meanlilkitty
The wait is finally over! For months I said I was going to do this tutorial, and now you finally have it! This is how I made San's mask from Princess Mononoke. Hope you all enjoy it and let me know if you have any questions!

Also available on etsy for purchase! www.etsy.com/listing/97293590/…

Edit: I actually only do eight layers of paper mache now a days, it makes it so it's lighter but still strong. I also cut the eyes out before I put the paper clay on, just make sure the mache is dry and it's a lot easier than fussing with power drills and whatnot. Also, always cover your foam with plastic, either plastic sheeting or just a old grocery bag. If you don't it is a absolute pain to get the paper mache off the foam and you may destroy the foam just to get it off.
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:iconlabrynthpuppet:
can you see clearly through the mask?
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:iconmeanlilkitty:
meanlilkitty Mar 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
Yup, even more so nowadays since I cast the mask out of plastic
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:iconlabrynthpuppet:
Sorry to keep bugging you, I was curious if you got any cracking when the paperclay dried. I tried making the mask with Plus air dry clay and it had large cracks. I was wondering if Paperclay had the same problem.
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:iconmeanlilkitty:
meanlilkitty Mar 26, 2014  Professional General Artist
No worries! Paperclay has minimal cracking, and if it does, you just let it dry and fill the cracks in with more Paperclay. I'm pretty terrible with names, but is Plus the one with a white top wrapper to it and the back is see-through? The clay is kind of a chocolate milk color and very wet? If so, I tried that once upon a time and reaaaallly hated it. Basically I kept filling in the cracks only to have more cracks develop. I really recommend Paperclay or if you can't find it, LaDoll can also work. It requires you to knead it a little more than Paperclay, but it can be easier to find.
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:iconlabrynthpuppet:
Yeah that is the clay I was taking about. I was wondering if you had any issues adhering the paperclay to the paper mache shell. When I tried to put it on it simply lifted. It didn't stick very well to the surface of the mask. any tips? 
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:iconmeanlilkitty:
meanlilkitty Mar 27, 2014  Professional General Artist
Lightly wet the paper mache first. I usually just dunk my hand in the water and rub the mask all over, then apply the clay. If it's too dry, it'll have a hard time staying put
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:iconlunarflowerhymn:
I know this isn't a mask related question, but did you use any sort of pattern for your cape design? Thanks!
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:iconmeanlilkitty:
meanlilkitty Dec 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
Nope, I basically just free hand mark the inside of the fabric with a pale marker making a large U shape with long straps to go over the shoulders. The tail and hood I make in separate pieces and sew them into the cape. To save me time on sewing, I'll make both sides of the pelt as one piece, leaving one side of the pelt connected, that way I can just flip the pelt inside out and sew it down. I'll also do the same with the tail. It helps hide seams and again makes it easier to sew (the faux fur can be a absolute pain to sew through) When I get to the bottom of the pelt, I'll place the tail and sew it into place, then continue sewing. I've also recently been leaving a five or six inch gap unsewn high up on the pelt, that way I can use the pelt as a purse. Once the pelt is sewn, I then attach the hood onto it, which is honestly the hardest part because you can't avoid sewing directly into the mess of fur, so be sue to pin the hood into place and expect to have the sewing machine jam a couple of times. You can hand sew it too, which will take longer but may be easier to some extent. Just make sure to use a long needle and do tight double stitching so the weight of the mask doesn't wear out the thread over time. Hope this helps!
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:iconlunarflowerhymn:
Thank you so much for your tutorial! It really helped me out with finishing my costume. Here it is if you're interested! Unfortunately I didn't get a shot of my mask down, but these pics will do:

The mask progress: 31.media.tumblr.com/e90f4c40cd…
The costume: 25.media.tumblr.com/d133940684…

There are some things I want to fix up, but it worked for the con. Thanks again! :)
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:iconmeanlilkitty:
meanlilkitty Mar 30, 2014  Professional General Artist
Looks great, glad I could help out!
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