How to Upgrade your Face Mask!
The last weeks and months have been a challenge for so many of us. We’ve had a chance to preview what our new ‘normal’ looks like, and it certainly looks a bit different!
We are so thankful for the amazing work that our essential & medical field workers have done, and we now have the opportunity to continue the work together! Many worldwide and local health units have recommended the use of a personal mask to help protect others and ourselves as we get back to normal life - it doesn’t look like masks will be going anywhere very soon, so some of us got started on making our own personal family masks.
While we were taking the time to make them, we hit a local snag - elastic (the stretchy cording used for the ear pieces) was completely out of stock everywhere! Trying to amazon elastic wasn’t an easy task either, so we were left trying to figure out what on earth we could use - and suddenly it hit us. JERSEY CORD!
IDEA 1: Jersey Cording Ear Straps!
We set to work trying to figure out how to use the Jersey Cord for a mask! We’ve always loved our super soft, slightly stretchy Jersey Cord, but NOW we have a brand new appreciation for it!
Because Jersey Cording doesn’t fray, we didn’t need to finish the edges at all - bonus! While not as stretchy as elastic, jersey yarn cording is so much more comfortable to wear!
Our amazing friend Bethany from Feather & Fox gave us a hand figuring it out, and we were able to not only use the cording for an extra comfy ear piece, but also as a cute accent across the top of the mask!! We are in LOVE!!
We’ve included a PDF of the Adult Face Mask pattern we designed for this - we found the two piece middle seam style to fit the most snug and not gap at the sides. If you’re handy with sewing you should be able to figure it out, otherwise find a friend who is!
Another plus? We only top stitched the cording to the face mask! Because the cording automatically rolls itself, we didn’t need to back stitch the cord!
As we normally do, we kept thinking and thinking over some creative solutions for making unique and functional masks. Even with our now super comfortable cording, adjusting the ear pieces would make them extra practical for sharing (after washing of course!) between children. We’ve seen a couple designs with adjustable ear pieces...WAIT A MINUTE…
IDEA 2: Adjustable Ear Straps!
WE SELL SILICONE BEADS! (of course...you say) But, hear us out! We had just solved the elastic problem and needed to be able to tighten and loosen the ear straps. What if we fed the ear straps into a single silicone bead?! It would be grippy enough to hold its place and not fall, comfy enough because it would be behind the cording, and WE HAVE TONS of them!
Sure enough, with the help of a crochet hook, we got a single 12mm silicone bead onto the two pieces of cording!
We had to adjust the design of the mask so that the ear pieces were separate lengths that joined the mask at the top and bottom of the sides, but that was easy enough to figure out. We tied an easy knot at the end of our cording for extra security and VOILA - an adjustable earpiece!
We wanted to share our super easy, downloadable PDF Kid's Mask Pattern with you to make it super simple!
We had our kids try them on, and of course asked them how it was! Can you feel the bead? Is it comfortable? What do you think? All we got back was “I’M LIKE A PIRATE -- ARRRR”... so we’re pretty sure it's comfy ;)
And just when we thought we were done with this creative process…
IDEA 3: Headbands with Button (AKA Bead) Fixtures
Bethany at Feather & Fox saved the day again - she had been developing a product for her Etsy shop (listed and available for purchase here): a comfy headband with a button fixed at approximate ear height. Face-mask ear pieces can be looped on to the button for a genius way to save your little one’s tender ears from elastic chafing.
Not only is this a fantastic idea for kids, but any nurse who works in healthcare will tell you that when dealing with children, face masks have made a visit to the doctor or clinic a scary ordeal. Wouldn’t your little one smile slightly if the nurse who was helping them had fun buttons to hold the elastics? Too bad we didn’t have buttons… WAIT… we have beads!!
We rushed to the office, grabbed a bag of random character beads, and YOU GUYS it worked! We chose character beads that were wide enough to hold an elastic, and Bethany managed with her sewing wizardry to fashion them into functional buttons - simply thread through the bead holes multiple times as you stitch it to the headband! We are in love!!
We couldn’t believe how many creative solutions there were when we started brainstorming our initial problem of a local elastic shortage! Our kids are loving their tailor made masks, we’re loving our a-little-more-cute-than-the-average masks, and are so thrilled with the ability to size and adjust the fit.
We know that there are so many options out there for making masks for your own personal use - let us know below in the comments if you enjoyed reading through some of the ideas we’ve come up with for you!
We’re all in this together! Wishing you and your family health, safety & happiness!
- the girls