3 Simplest Mask Ear Loop Options (Elastic Substitutes)

Hello, Sara here.
How’s everyone doing? Today, I am going to talk about mask ear loop options. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation has gone worse. The impact is huge. Not only financially but we’ve lost the joy of socializing with people as well. I know for people who are outgoing, it’s even more challenging. But again, we are all in this together. The more we join and participating to fight this disease, the sooner we beat it. right?

Before I go on, I must say these 2 things.
First, I thank all the front line workers. I truly believe they are real heroes. If you have skills to make PPE (personal protective equipment), please help out and support your local hospitals who are asking for help.
Second, I know wearing a mask is somewhat controversial. It is your judgement and I am not misleading or forcing anyone to do anything. I am simply trying to help people who WANT to make masks for what so ever reasons. I personally wear it, not just for my protection for the sake of others and to stop the disease from spreading.

I’ve been asked a lot about different options for ear loops since we are short on certain materials for making masks. Here are 3 simplest mask ear loop options so we can substitute elastic.

I strongly recommend you watch the video if you are not sure with the instruction. It’s easier to understand.

Link for the Ver. 1 (3 layer mask with a replaceable filter) https://youtu.be/q2B7Twkh2SI
More detailed instruction can be found on the posting: http://sewingtherapy.net/diy-mask-with-a-replaceable-filter/

Link for the Ver. 2 (2 layer mask with a replaceable filter) https://youtu.be/BISlLmUd5DE
More detailed instruction can be found on the posting: http://sewingtherapy.net/diy-2-layer-mask-with-a-replaceable-filter/

There are 3 options I found easy. Using hair ties, using lace trim, cotton ribbon or old T-shirt, and using bias tape. Alright, let’s begin.

Materials I used:

Mask Filter
Canada https://amzn.to/3f0RgUP
USA https://amzn.to/388W8Wg

Hair Ties : I bought $2 – 50 Value Pack from Dollarama (No metal parts)
I found links of similar one from Amazon
Canada https://amzn.to/2yVXOoc
USA https://amzn.to/2T1Agpp

Lace Trims : I used what I had in my stash.
You can find similar ones below.
Canada https://amzn.to/2UGBXJW
USA https://amzn.to/2Vmqzn4

Cotton Ribbon : I recommend the cotton twill ribbons. They are 1.5cm (1/2”) wide.
I leave a link of the item which looks similar, but I can’t guarantee its softness.
Canada https://amzn.to/3alp9NX
USA https://amzn.to/2LwAJLY

T-shirt strip : You can cut your old t-shirt into the strips or you can purchase t-shirt knitting/crochet/craft yarn.
Canada https://amzn.to/3aNCxdE
USA https://amzn.to/2Tv7tcZ

Bias Tape Maker : You can make your own from the fabric in your stash and this tool helps it much easier (You can check how to use it on the video.) Canada https://amzn.to/3btyvIP
USA https://amzn.to/3bVdXbm

  1. Hair Ties
    Unfinished mask without ear loops, 6 hair ties (3 each)

    Cut the hair ties into straight elastic
    Tie the ends of 3 elastics together and make a bigger loop
    The loop on fold makes approx. 4.5″ to 5″
    Fold the ear side and enclosing the ear loop, pin and sew

    It is comfortable just like the one with elastic. The tied parts don’t bother the skin.
  2. 1. Lace Trim
    Unfinished mask without ear loops, Lace trim (30″-36″ each side)

    Fold the ear side enclosing the ear loop, pin and sew

    It gives a unique look and I love it. I heard nurses want some fun and brightness in their workplace.

    2. Cotton Ribbon
    Unfinished mask without ear loops, Cotton ribbon (30″-36″ each side for head tie)

    Fold the ear side enclosing the center of the ribbon, pin and sew.
    Double fold the end of the ribbon and sew either a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch.

    I prefer ear loops but the head tie would work better in case you are using non-stretch material. Cotton ribbon is soft for ears.

    3. Old T-shirt
    Unfinished mask without ear loops, Old T-shirt strip (1″ x 25″-30″ each side for head tie, 14″-16″ each side for ear loops)

    Cut your old t-shirt into 1″ strips
    Fold the ear side enclosing the center of the fabric strip, pin and sew

    Old T-shirt strips work well with ear loops as well. I love this one because of its softness and flexibility.
  3. Bias Tape
    Unfinished mask without ear loops, Bias Tape (30″-36″ each side for head tie)

    Fold the ear side enclosing the center of the bias tape, pin and sew
    Make a nice end and edgestitch the folded edge from the end through the mask to the other end.

    Bias tape should be used as a last resort if you don’t have any other supplies on hand. It’s pretty comfortable and works well as head ties.

    How to Make a Bias Tape

    I make a roll of 2″ strips when I have time. (It’s great to have on hand and can be made using remnant fabric pieces.)
    Bias tape is normally made from fabric cut on BIAS (45 degrees) so it has a bit of stretch.
    2″ strip makes 1/2″ bias tape. (Double Folded)
    For mask straps, we don’t need too much stretch, so we can cut remnant fabrics into 2″ strips.

    How to make a continuous strip

    Lay the ends of two pieces at the right angles RST (right side together) and pin
    Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other (open to test it opens in a continuous strip) and sew
    Joining pieces with a diagonal line will join strips perfectly and reduce the bulk
    Trim to a 3/8″ seam allowance
    Open the seam and press

    Without a tool
    Fold in half and press. Open the seam, fold one edge to the middle line and press. Repeat on the other side.
    With both edges folded in, fold in half and press again.

    Using a bias tape maker
    Insert one end of the fabric (cut diagonally helps) into the bias tape maker
    Use the sharp tool to gently guide the fabric through the other end
    It makes a nice single fold bias tape very quickly
    *fold in half and press for double-folded one

Always always always be safe and healthy. I will see you in the next post!

These are my online fabric shops.
– Dailylike Canada
– Two O Nine Fabric Studio https://www.etsy.com/shop/twooninefabricstudio

Some of the links above are affiliate links. .Clicking and purchasing through affiliate links gives me a small commission. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, I wanted to help you find the materials easier. So you can focus more on your project. Thank you.

Here’s my Patreon page link. Your support is greatly appreciated! https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32815284

Let’s get connected!
Sewing Therapy
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/yoursara_k/
Blog – http://sewingtherapy.net/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SewingTherapy

Dailylike Canada
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/dailylikecanada
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/dailylikecanada
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.ca/dailylikecanada

Two O Nine Fabric Studio Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/twooninefabric


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