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  1. #1
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    DIY full mask sporran?

    I was at a show today and one of the vendors (whom I have never noticed before) was selling pelts (among other things). He had some coyote, raccoon, etc. and he said that he can get badger, beaver, otter, etc.. The prices he was asking were less than I was expecting and I got to wondering...

    Full mask sporrans are quite expensive, but apparently considered suitable for both casual and dress wear. I wonder how hard it would be to make your own sporran if you had a full pelt and some kind of pattern? Has anyone ever seen detailed instructions on how to make such a thing? Has anyone here made your own full mask sporran??

  2. #2
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    Not to discourage you, but this project will cross multiple disciples; leatherwork, taxidermy, to name two. You may be a handie guy. Some on here are, but some are not. And it often turns out that you can not DIY a Gucci bag. Might it be possible you take a pelt to someone who does taxidermy, along with plans for a sporran? Plans can be found with a quick Google search, and can be changed in size to fit your project.

    Best of luck

    Frank
    Drink to the fame of it -- The Tartan!
    Murdoch Maclean

  3. #3
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    I have not made a full face sporran. I have made a fur fronted-covered sporran. The first thing I did was choose the pattern. I made a bag that opens from the top with a flap. I then made a jig to shape the construction leather (saddle quality / heavier gauge) that I covered with the much thinner groundhog (marmot) pelt.
    The rest of my bag consists of a leather back that is long enough to include the flap.

    I could have added the animal's head to the flap and trimmed the backing leather flap to match the shape and size. I expect the thinner animal pelt would wear out quicker (or start losing hair) without the leather backing, due to constant opening and closing of the flap.

    That is one design idea but not the only one. An animal head could be fixed to the front of the sporran and the bag opened from the back like many horse hair sporrans are designed. A hinge and latching system (non-ornate cantle) would easily be hidden within the shape of the sporran design. This may be better for the face of the animal because less handling will cause less wear of the fur.

    These are just my thoughts and untested by me. I defer to those that have more experience with full faced sporrans and the construction of them. Good luck with the project and please, keep us interested folks abreast of your progress.

  4. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Tarheel For This Useful Post:


  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I have not made a full face sporran. I have made a fur fronted-covered sporran. The first thing I did was choose the pattern. I made a bag that opens from the top with a flap. I then made a jig to shape the construction leather (saddle quality / heavier gauge) that I covered with the much thinner groundhog (marmot) pelt.
    The rest of my bag consists of a leather back that is long enough to include the flap.

    I could have added the animal's head to the flap and trimmed the backing leather flap to match the shape and size. I expect the thinner animal pelt would wear out quicker (or start losing hair) without the leather backing, due to constant opening and closing of the flap.

    That is one design idea but not the only one. An animal head could be fixed to the front of the sporran and the bag opened from the back like many horse hair sporrans are designed. A hinge and latching system (non-ornate cantle) would easily be hidden within the shape of the sporran design. This may be better for the face of the animal because less handling will cause less wear of the fur.

    These are just my thoughts and untested by me. I defer to those that have more experience with full faced sporrans and the construction of them. Good luck with the project and please, keep us interested folks abreast of your progress.
    The only caution I would give you here is that if you are going to make a full mask sporran, please make it neatly, with the features provided on taxidermied pelts. IMHO nothing looks worse than the face of the animal with no eyes, no snout, etc. It just looks like roadkill to me! Since you have made sporrans with leather and fur, you probably have the requisite skills to do a full mask version. The only full mask that I own is a possum sporran, one of two the maker produced. The maker was a taxidermist so mine has the eyes, snout, whiskers, etc and really looks good...I can say that because I just bought it, didn't make it.

    Good luck and forge ahead.

  6. The Following User Says 'Aye' to MacRob46 For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacRob46 View Post
    The only caution I would give you here is that if you are going to make a full mask sporran, please make it neatly, with the features provided on taxidermied pelts. IMHO nothing looks worse than the face of the animal with no eyes, no snout, etc. It just looks like roadkill to me! Since you have made sporrans with leather and fur, you probably have the requisite skills to do a full mask version. The only full mask that I own is a possum sporran, one of two the maker produced. The maker was a taxidermist so mine has the eyes, snout, whiskers, etc and really looks good...I can say that because I just bought it, didn't make it.

    Good luck and forge ahead.
    Yep, nothing worse than a shifty crooked grin and beady little eyes.

  8. #6
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    If you have ever worked with leather, or almost any hand sewing for that matter, you can easily make a fur sporran. The thing with a full mask is that the head will normally need to be worked on by someone who has done taxidermy. I have worked with several leathers yet I have never done taxidermy work, mostly because I'm not a fan of full mask sporrans or a wall covered in trophy heads.

    I have seen two types of full mask sporrans, a cantle with the head hanging on the front and a flap sporran with the head and neck fur on the flap. Of these, the flap style would be the easiest to make. I would recommend making a flap sporran with an inexpensive leather while the head is getting worked on by someone who has done taxidermy. Once you have a flap pattern sporran, then use the same pattern for a sporran where the main pouch has the fur backed with another leather (unbacked fur will often loose some of the the fur with use) and have the head and a portion of the neck fur connected on a backing of leather for the flap. If you go with fur for the sides, you might sometimes need more then one skin if the pelt is small.

    I know people that have done taxidermy and have heard that how the animal was skinned can limit how the animal can be posed. If the head is in good condition I would recommend talking to some people in a local hunting organization or club as some hunters take up taxidermy and one of these groups can normally point you to someone who can help.

  9. The Following User Says 'Aye' to LKM For This Useful Post:


  10. #7
    Join Date
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    I think LKM gave you some good advice above about using a flap vs. a cantle. I have badger (from the now defunct Craigie Custom Sporrans) and muskrat (L&M Highland) mask sporrans and that's how both are constructed.

    I'd avoid having fur on any part of the sporran except those portions that are front facing (and perhaps the backside of the flap), as they tend to make the sporran look excessively fluffy (imho). I also have four fur-fronted sporrans (bobcat, skunk, Icelandic sheep and seal) and none have fur on the gusset or back portions of the bag.

    The back of the Craigie (left) and the prototype Artificer fur sporran (right) appear below.



    I'd also second LKM's advice about getting someone skilled in taxidermy to help you with the mask. Some prefer a flatter head to the entirely life-like taxidermy. My badger is pretty life-life like and I think it looks fine. (http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...isition-73340/)

    Looking forward to the finished project!

    SM
    Last edited by ShaunMaxwell; 26th March 19 at 08:35 AM.
    Shaun Maxwell
    Vice President & Texas Commissioner
    Clan Maxwell Society

  11. #8
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    My possum was also made by Sue Craigie and is sewn in the same manner as shown by Shaun. I agree that this is preferable to having an all fur bag.

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