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Replace Elastic On Face Masks

By Cindy of Stone Marmot

April 8, 2020

Many people are scrambling right now trying to find something to use as a face mask to reduce their chances of getting or spreading this novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Many people have considered using old painter's or dust masks that they have, but only to find the elastic straps are shot. We are not saying that these masks are effective COVID-19 virus protection. But, if you still plan to use them, even for painting or dusty projects, here are suggested replacements for those elastic straps.

Figure 1 shows how we replaced the bad elastic straps on one face mask we have. We replaced the elastic straps with a woven strap from one of those lanyards you would get at conferences or events for holding your ID or name tag. Figure 2 shows some examples. You could also use flat woven shoe laces like those also shown in Figure 2. You have to cut off the end of the lanyard where the clip is. For shoelaces, you have to cut off the plastic ends. Then loop the ends of the lanyard or shoelaces through the slots on the face mask where the elastic bands used to attach.

Figure 1 - Face mask with elastic straps replaced.

Figure 1 - Face mask with elastic straps replaced.

Figure 2 - Example lanyards and shoelaces.

Figure 2 - Example lanyards and shoelaces.

You could try to tighten the strap against your head by pulling the straps through those slots where they attach to the mask. This is usually rather difficult and clumsy. In fact, we tied the ends of our straps to the face mask after inserting the ends through those face mask slots to keep them from slipping. A better solution is to put one of those spring loaded sliders that are used to tighten straps on hats, as shown in Figure 3, on your new face mask strap. These sliders are also found on some hoodie sweatshirts and coats.

Figure 3 -Some examples of sliders.

Figure 3 - Some examples of sliders.

Figure 4 shows a close up of the slider on our face mask. We put the clip from the lanyard at the strap end to keep the slider from accidentally sliding all the way off. If your strap is long enough, you could just knot the end to keep the slider from sliding all the way off. You could also use an old key ring, paper clip, and many other things for a slider stop.

Figure 4 - Closeup of slider on face mask.

Figure 4 - Closeup of slider on face mask.

Rather than cutting the clip end off the lanyard, you cut the lanyard loop at the exact opposite side from the clip end of the loop. This should also stop your slider from accidentally coming off the strap. If you do this, be sure to put the slider on the strap before you attach the strap ends to the face mask.

This technique could also probably be used to replace bad elastic straps on other many items.

Stay safe and healthy!!

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