How to Sew a Disposable Face Mask Shield
We know a lot of you are looking for ways to help your local hospitals among the shortage of face mask shields during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. We created a disposable face mask shield using materials that we sell at Sailrite®. Let's help out our medical communities during this time of need. Follow our step-by-step instructions and photos to learn how to make disposable face mask shields for your local hospitals and medical facilities. Let's all do what we can to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Here are all the materials you need to sew disposable face mask shields:
- Fabric Backed Sew Foam 58", 1/2" thickness (#124306) — 5 yards will produce 144 masks
- Clear Monofilm 7mil 54" (#122489) — 10 yards will produce 144 masks
- Nylon Loop White, 2" (#100515) — 36 feet will produce 144 masks
- Nylon Hook White, 2" (#100514) — 36 feet will produce 144 masks
- Elastic White 1" (#22202) — 144 feet will produce 144 masks
- Scribe-All® Black Marking Pencil for Vinyl (#121977)
- V-69 White UV Bonded Polyester Thread 4 oz. (1,350 yds.) (#20235)
- Patterning material (thin cardboard, paper, etc.)
- Dinner plate
- Walking foot sewing machine
Use the two illustrations below as a guide when measuring and marking your template for the monofilm shield (steps 1-4) and the rectangle of Sew Foam needed in step 6.
How to Sew a Disposable Face Mask Shield
1. First, sanitize your workstation and thoroughly wash your hands. On your patterning material (cardboard, paper, etc.), draw a rectangle that is 15 inches wide x 8-1/2 inches tall in the middle, but only 6-1/2 inches tall on the short sides. Refer to the "Monofilm" illustration above.
2. To round the bottom corners of the rectangle shape, take a dinner plate and trace the curve along the bottom corners. This curve is to make the face shield fit more comfortably and so that the bottom corners don't poke into your shoulders when you move around.
3. Cut out the shape and use your template to trace the shape onto the monofilm material following the layout of the template. You can use any clear material for these disposable face shields, but the stiffer the material the better. If making multiple masks, lay the template on the clear material in such a way as to get the most material usage and reduce scrap. Again, refer to the "Monofilm" illustration above for how to arrange the template to conserve material.
4. Once the shape is traced on the monofilm, cut it out and remove any marks from the marking pencil with a clean rag and water. Cut two 6-inch lengths of 1-inch-wide elastic. Cut a 3-inch piece of hook and loop tape. Line up the hook and loop pieces over the elastic pieces, leaving 3 inches of the elastic free. Sew the hook and loop pieces to the elastic pieces by sewing around the perimeter of the hook and loop tape.
5. Sew the elastic pieces to the top, non-rounded corners of your monofilm piece. Align the straps so that the soft loop portion of the tape is facing up on one strap and the rough hook portion is facing down on the other strap. Overlap the elastic 1/4 inch over the face shield and sew 1/8 inch from the edge of the elastic strap. Reverse at the beginning and end to lock your stitches in place.
6. Cut a 15-inch x 4-1/2-inch piece of Sew Foam. Refer to the "Sew Foam" illustration above step 1 for proper layout to conserve material. With the fabric side of the foam face up, place the face mask shield on top of the foam (right side of the face shield facing up) with 1-1/2 inches of overlap at the top of the mask. Sew the foam to the mask with a 1/8-inch seam allowance from the top of the monofilm. Reverse at the beginning and end to lock your stitches in place.
7. Now that the foam is secured on one side of the mask, fold the foam back on itself and past the other edge of the foam. Align the bottom edge of the foam with the bottom of the elastic straps. Strike a line across the shield at this location to help keep the foam aligned with the elastic when sewing.
8. Sew this edge of the foam to the mask with a 1/8-inch seam allowance. Reverse at the beginning and end to lock your stitches in place. By offsetting the edges of the foam in this manner, you only have to sew through one layer of foam. The rounded, foam-covered top edge of the face shield will now rest comfortably against the forehead.
To put on the disposable face mask shield, place the foam-wrapped top edge against your forehead. Wrap the elastic straps around your head and secure the straps in place with the hook and loop tape. This is a very inexpensive project, and it's a great way to lend a hand to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. By making these face shields in bulk, you can sew 144 masks with the material amounts given above.
NOTE: Sailrite makes NO CLAIM that these face mask shields will protect you from contracting coronavirus/COVID-19. Use at your own risk. These face shields are meant to be used in conjunction with CDC-approved masks and eyewear.
Pattern Update Regarding Elastic Usage
We know elastic is in short supply right now, so we brainstormed ways you could make this face mask shield using less elastic. You only need a small amount of elastic for the shield to stretch and stay put on the wearer's head without slipping off. Therefore, you can substitute most of the elastic for grosgrain binding. We have 1-inch grosgrain binding and hook and loop tape, and we have more 1-inch-wide elastic on the way from our supplier.
Here's what we suggest: Make a short strap with about 1-1/2 inches of elastic and a 1-inch hook portion of the hook and loop tape. Then make your other strap longer (approximately 5 to 6 inches) with grosgrain binding and the loop portion of the tape. Use about 3 inches of loop tape to accommodate different head circumferences. The head circumference of the average adult ranges from just over 21 inches to 25 inches. The longer piece of loop tape will allow the hook portion to attach wherever is most comfortable for the wearer.
We've also created a short video showing you how to pattern, cut out and assemble this face mask shield project. Please let us know if you have any questions about this project or the materials used. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!
This blog was updated in March 2023 to reflect inventory changes.