Nether Den

A hopefully-clear tutorial into how I attach fur to the faces of my masks. The techniques outlined in this guide were borrowed heavily from Clockwork Creature Studio's method.
 
I enjoy making these guides and sharing my knowledge, and I would love to make more. I'm also keenly interested in making video versions. Please check out my campaign on Patreon if you'd like to help me achieve my goals: https://www.patreon.com/netherden
 
Materials Needed:
  • a hinged, ready-to-fur resin blank
  • desired fur material
  • pattern material
  • scissors
  • pencil or chalk
  • hot glue gun (hi-temp is best)
  • hot glue sticks (extra strength is best)
  
 

Step 1: Making The Pattern

 

A lot of people have asked me how I make mine. Well, I can tell you there are probably loads of easier ways than what I did for this one. I actually temporarily tacked fabric to a blank (mouth open!) and figured it out that way. I have heard people use masking tape, etc. Whatever works. I'll explain how to make the pattern in the next few pictures.

To make a face fur pattern, lay your ready-to-fur blank on a flat surface and open the mouth as wide as it will be open whilst being worn.

I am using a pre-cut face fur piece to demonstrate this. Now this is the same blank as the previous picture, covered in a one-piece face fur. The fur only has one seam, which goes down from the nose, across the void of the open mouth, and meets together at the bottom of the lower jaw. The front shot shows the single seam. This is what the mask will look like after the fur has been glued on, before the mouth and eyes are cut out.

Just another image to show that the fur is applied with the mouth OPEN, and meets as a seam below the nose and in the middle bottom of the jaw.

 

Step 2: Initial Attachment

Here you can see the face fur, cut using the pattern. The fur must always "grow" AWAY from the nose (that little semicircle at the bottom). I have marked the center line with simple light-colored chalk. You can also use pencil for this. However, do NOT use markers - they bleed to the other side of the fur material. 

I then draw a center line down the blank forehead, nose and lower jaw. The forehead/nose line will match the line drawn on the pattern, while the lower jaw line will be where the seam meets at the bottom.

 I line up my center lines on my fur and my blank, then I peel the fur back away from the nose and place a deposit of high-strength, high-temp hot glue about 1/2 inch back from the start of the nose. I then roll the fur forward along the center line and over the glue. Now the fur is anchored.

I then flip the fur forward over the nose, being careful not to disturb the glue.

Next, I glue the fur up the nose bridge in 1/2 inch sections. I put glue all the way across the top of the nose (the flat part) in each section. The key is not to pull or stretch the fur - simply gently roll it over the glue back onto the blank along the center lines.

I continue gluing the fur in that manner until I get to the area just before the nose becomes the forehead.


Step 3: The Muzzle

 

The next step is to glue the fur down the length of the muzzle on each side, including a little bit under the eyes and half-way across the cheekbones. Keep a 1/2 inch away from the edges of the nose and eyes. I managed to snap a picture showing how much hot glue I use at a time - it's very little.

Continue gluing the entire muzzle area, including down to the upper edges of the mouth.

 
Step 4: The Forehead


Next, I glue the forehead on all the way up from outer eye corner to outer eye corner, then more of the under-eye and cheekbone areas (but not all the way up to the hinge). What is left unglued is a semi-circular area centered on the temples.

I then put a sizable dab of glue on the end of the hinge attached to the face, and I roll the fur back over that. This makes for a smooth transition from the blank to the hinges, especially if the hinges stick out a little. Nowadays I will use lightweight epoxy putty to put a physical transition in place if needed, so there are no hidden bumps.

All that remains is the temple area on both sides. Notice there is an excess of material. This always occurs because of the curvature from the forehead to the cheek. The solution for this is to make a dart seam.

The dart seam is placed at the point on each side where the forehead ends and the side of the face begins. This is usually a diagonal line upwards from the outer corner of each eye. I have marked the line on the blank and the fur with colored chalk.

I then cut the line on the fur nearly down to the eye leaving about 1 inch before the eyelid edge.

I glue down the forehead side, then the cheek side nearly all the way up to the raw edge of the forehead side. The extra fabric is obvious at this point.

 I lay the cheek side fabric down against the blank gently and mark where it naturally meets the forehead fur edge.

 I then cut and glue the cheek fabric edge as close to the forehead fabric edge as possible. The seam will be undetectable in the finished product, especially since the fur is mostly going in the same direction. However, should the temple seam need special treatment, I can use the same technique on it that I will use on the lower jaw seam later.

 As for the edges that extend beyond the blank, they can either be carefully sewn together with minimal seam allowance (I use the whip stitch), or one could hot glue them to a small piece of fabric beneath.

 Now, the major gluing on the upper part of the mask is done. On to the lower jaw.



Step 5: The Lower Jaw

 

 I gently stretch one side of the face fur down to the center line. Using just a few dots of hot glue (this is a temporary attachment), I lay the fur across the center seam and then trim any extra off so I can barely see the center line. Repeat with other side.

Very carefully, I begin to cut back along the upper lip until I reach the cheek cutaway (the part just past the rear teeth where the upper jaw angles up sharply to give room for the cheek fur when the mouth is closed), giving about a 1/2 inch allowance. Later, I will trim it down more exactly after it is fully glued up to the lip edge.

I also begin to cut back along the lower lip, ending where the cheek cutaway begins on the upper jaw.

On the inside of the cheek, I make a shallow crescent shape with colored chalk, starting at the end of the cut I made on the upper lip and ending at the corresponding cut on the lower lip. An "expression" can be made into the mouth by moving the deepest part of the curve higher (a smile) or lower (a scowl). What you see here is an even curve, which is neutral.

I carefully cut out the crescent shapes/ You can see how the cheek fur neatly folds itself inside of the triangular cheek allowance when the mouth is closed.

Next, I glue all along the bottom lip edge. I put just a 1/2 inch line of glue and open the jaw fully, which presses the fur against the lower lip edge in the appropriate place, securing it.

I pull the center jaw seam fur up, detaching it and peeling it back to where I just glued the lower lip lines. Then, I glue the flaps down towards the center seam (leaving about a 1 inch allowance from the back edge of the jaw), butting the edges together in the same way as the dart seam on the temples.

 Since these sections of fur "grow" away from each other, I have to do a little treatment on the seam. I put a 1 inch line of hot glue down the seam, then quickly squeeze the fur together on top of it and push it down slightly. I repeat this down the entire length of the blank.

 

Step 6: Reveal The Eyes

 

I cut a slit in the fur from the inside through the tear ducts of each eye. Then I continue the initial cut across the eyeball to the outer corner, and extend it to the inner corner.

Carefully trim the material around the eye, cutting about 1/2 inch away from the eyelid edges. Edging work (not covered in this tutorial) will need to be done on the eyes and nose to hide the raw material edges and make it look as though the fur is growing out of the mask.

Written by Tara Andrus —

Comments

Adriana Suazo:

This really helped me a lot! It even made my first fur suit look amazing, but I had a few problems. I was wondering if their is a video version of this turtorial? Moving pictures are better than just pictures.

August 18, 2015

Nether Den:

There is not yet a video version of any of my tutorials. I would like to make video versions, and that is one of my milestone goals on my Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/netherden

August 19, 2015

Dogeshay:

This is old and you might not respond but may I ask where you got that blank?

June 10, 2017

LunaWolf:

@ Dogeshay

I have not bought mine yet but i going to go with
https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/Tsebresos?ref=l2-shopheader-name

or
https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/stuffedpandastudios?ref=l2-shopheader-name

i still have not made up my mind as of yet, however if your looking for canine resin blanks etsy.com

July 07, 2017

CyborgRaptor31:

Very easy

July 14, 2017

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