These easy DIY ear savers for face masks will take you 10 minutes (or less!) to make with supplies you likely already have at home.
Last year, even before face masks were mandatory across the country, healthcare workers were wearing face masks with elastic ear bands for hours on end.
Their ears were ‘breaking down’ because they weren’t used to having elastic pulling at their ears for such extended periods of time.
In addition, the pictures that people posted showed how brutal the COVID-related PPE could be on someone’s face, head, and ears.
So creators and makers across the world started designing a variety of ear savers. Some of my favorites were the 3D ear printed ear saver designs.
How To Make Face Mask Ear Savers
But as much as my family would love to have their own 3D printer, we haven’t made that leap yet.
So, we have to work with materials we have on-hand or that can be easily purchased at a store near us.
Materials You Could Use For Face Mask Ear Savers
The structure of an ear savers for a face mask is basically a rectangle with a height of 1 – 2 inches and a length of 8 – 10 inches with some buttons attached to them.
And since we’re talking fabric face masks here, you may not be surprised to learn that the materials you could use to make ear savers are almost the same as the best materials for face mask ties.
You can add buttons to any of the following to make ear savers for a face mask:
– 1″ elastic
Elastic is an easy option because, you guessed it, it stretches!
Using elastic for ear savers may also present some challenges though. Not only will it be hard to secure sometimes, but it will also pull at the back of the head in a way that may be uncomfortable for many people.
People knit or crochet a rectangle that fits across the back of someone’s head and sew two buttons onto. I am a little wary of this method, however, since the ear saver will need to be cleaned a lot. I’m not sure how much wash and wear this could take over time.
– 1″ – 2″ grosgrain ribbon
Grosgrain ribbon is something you likely have in your stash, right? It’s sturdy and there are plenty of options with fun patterns that give the ear savers a little personality if need be.
Ribbon is easy to work with and using ribbon as your base material for the ear savers makes it a ~10 minute project.
– fabric (of all types)
This is a “gimme” because it should be super straightforward to dip into your fabric scraps. I would recommend 100% cotton fabric because of the tighter weave and ability to withstand wear and tear. Other types of fabric will work too, though.
All a mask ear saver require is doubling your measurements and then using a 1/4″ seam allowance to sew it together like you would a tote strap. Finger press the seams open and then take a quick pass with the sewing machine to tack the open seam down.
– jersey knit fabric (aka t-shirts)
Jersey knit fabric is typically softer than 100% cotton woven and has more give. You can make your own own headband and attach buttons to it.
– stretchy headbands (from your bathroom drawer or the dollar store)
If you don’t want to make a headband then head to the dollar store (or maybe your “catch all/junk drawer”).
The Super Easy Way To Make DIY Ear Savers For Face Masks
Since my default approach for a lot of DIY projects is to use fabric, notions, and my sewing machine you won’t be surprised to learn that my super easy way to make ear saver for face masks is to use ribbon and buttons.
Also, do you remember when DIY no-slip headbands were all the rage?
Granted, maybe they still are and the mighty algorithm doesn’t show me those sites anymore. But I digress…
Well, the concept behind the pattern for the ear savers with ribbon and buttons is making a headband without elastic and adding some buttons.
You’ll Need These Materials & Tools To Make Ear Savers
To make these ear savers for face masks you need:
– 1.75″ wide grosgrain ribbon
– 1.5″ velveteen or velvet ribbon
– Two 3/4″ buttons
– Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
– Sewing clips
– Needle and thread
– Sewing machine
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Video Tutorial: How To Make Ears Savers For Masks From Ribbon
Ears Savers For Face Masks Make PPE Easier To Wear
With face masks still a daily-use item, it’s nice to have something that supports comfort.
I was originally a big fan of a face mask with ties but have recently found that the 3D face mask pattern (pictured above in the post) to be the best option for quick errands.
Adding ear savers to a face mask with elastic ties extends the time people are able to wear them without discomfort.