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Like a lot of people, I have been making face masks since early on in the pandemic. But quite quickly I came across a real problem. Not everyone has the same size face! And so to solve this I came up with this solution. This is how to make adjustable elastic ear loops for face masks so that your masks will fit anyone!
How To Make Adjustable Elastic Ear Loops For Face Masks
Not everyone has the same face size. So even though I was making lovely masks with my great design, not all my friends and family were happy. I had to cut 6 inches of elastic to make ear loops for my own personal masks. And 7 inches of elastic was needed for my partner’s masks. If I made my little girl a mask the measurement became 4.5 inches.
And yes, I could make the loops too long, but tying knots is a very imprecise science. And the knots hurt your ears!
Making masks for friends and family was even more complicated. One of my friend’s husbands said his ears were being pulled off whilst he wore the mask I made him (he’s a tall muscled guy, so I wasn’t shocked). And my sister in law found that the masks I made for her were far too large!
Everyone agreed that the mask elastic could rub and chafe if it was too tight. So how could I find a happy medium in the amount of elastic I used? This was not good!
The problem finally hit home when I considered selling my masks. I bought a head mannequin to show off my wares. And was shocked to find that only the child masks fitted it! I held off selling masks until I could make a solution.
So how to solve this issue and make my masks more of a ‘one-kind-fits-all’? Well, these adjustable ear loops that I’m going to share with you today really have made such a difference! No more tight, loose or ill fitting masks where the elastic cuts in behind the ears.
How do I make them? Read on.
You Will Need
- Elastic – or elastic cord – I have this1/4 inch (4mm) elastic cord. Most elastics of this width are all much the same. And they all rub if the mask is too tight!
- Some pony beads
- Some silicone cord toggles / adjusting beads – I like round ones, but you can get all shapes and sizes
- The material for the rest of your mask – see my pattern here.
For each pair you will need 2 pieces of elastic (I cut 10 inches), 2 pony beads and 2 adjuster beads. Plus a hair clip/bobby pin!
Take one of the pieces of elastic and place the bobby pin on it. Then thread both legs of the bobby pin through a silicone adjuster bead. Pull the bobby pin and elastic through the adjuster bead, then pull one end of the elastic fully through, so that the adjuster bead lies flat on the elastic.
Next, thread a pony bead onto the elastic at one side of the adjuster bead.
TIP: I like to place it at the side of the adjuster bead with the wider opening.
Then, take the bobby pin and thread it onto the elastic at the opposite side of the pony bead to the adjustable bead.
Thread the legs of the bobby pin back through the silicone adjusted bead, taking the elastic through too. You may need to twist and pull a little bit more this time.
And you have a finished mask elastic! Now repeat to make the second.
Make the rest of your mask as per instructions, and once you turn the mask the right way out, you have 2 perfectly adjustable ear straps.
These masks now fit everyone, from my 4 year old little girl, to my mannequin, to me and my OH. Makes such a difference!
(Now. I do realise that you can get away with just having a silicone adjusting bead. But without the pony bead the adjusting bead can come off if it is pulled too far. This just seemed totally unsatisfactory to me, so I decided to add the pony bead to make sure it never happens.)
Are these a helpful addition to your mask making? Are you making masks? I would love to hear your comments. Do get in touch below, or contact me via social media.
And please do pin this post for later.