Introduction: A Tale of Ties: for Personal Face Masks

About: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.

I have washed my personal face masks more than once, yet this time all the ties mixed all together in a big clump. One face mask ended up tie less and another missed a couple of the ties. The masks themselves are fine. What are we to do about these fine ties that tend to cause problems? This Instructable is to share ideas of what to use when the ties die before the face mask or if twill tape is not available.


Old t-shirt

1 ½ inch strips (across the width of fabric) 100% cotton fabric (36” – 45” wide)


Sewing machine


Large eye hand needle

Pony beads


safety pin

Step 1:

If twill is not available to you to make ties for your face mask, here is an easy, non-expensive alternative. Go to your drawer and pull out that T-shirt you just don’t wear anymore. I know when I need to get rid of it when I just stop wearing it. Lay it on a flat surface and stating at the bottom cut of the hem then start cutting 1” wide strips. It works really well with a quilting ruler and a rotary cutter, yet scissors will do. You will need 2 strips per mask. Each strip is really a circle of cloth. Cut each circle into 2 equal size strips. With both circles you will have 4 ties.

Step 2:

If you are using them for a new mask add them in place of the twill tape on steps 5 and 6 of the Instructable “Personal Face Masks” by Craftknowitall. If they are replacement ties, just fold 1 a little narrower, and place it on the spot where a missing tie was and with the sewing machine, sew it to the mask by sewing forward, backing over and forward again. Cut off the little strings. Repeat with the other 4 ties. These are really comfortable.

Step 3:

Now for a little more time consuming and a little more work, ties that are made from 100% cotton fabric. You will need 2 - 1 ½ inch strips (across the width of fabric) 100% cotton fabric (36” – 45” wide).

Step 4:

Fold 1 fabric piece, right sides together going the length of the fabric. On your sewing machine sew a 1/8” seam the full length.

Step 5:

Put the safety pin in the end of the tube, leaving the tube open.

Step 6:

The closed pin head is reversed and stuffed now the center of the tube.

Step 7:

Scooch the pin down the tube toward the opposite end, making some ruffles, hold the pin in place with the left hand and pull the ruffles out smooth by pulling the top lay of fabric over the inner layer of fabric. Some times tweezers help get over little stuck spots.

Step 8:

Keep following this pattern until the end of the tube with its safety pin is outside the tube. Then it becomes a whole lot easier. Grab the safety pin end gently hold the other end of tube and pull, until all the tube is right side out.

Step 9:

Measure and cut off 15” – 18” pieces of the tube. You should get 2 ties from each tube. Tie a slip knot on one end of each of the 4 completed ties.

Step 10:

You can attach these to your mask with steps 5 and 6 of the Instructable “Personal Face Masks” by Craftknowitall or sewing them on the outside of the mask like I did the for the t-shirt ties at the Step 2 of this Instructable.

You may use the 100% cotton fabric to make bias tape if you wish. I did, and now I won’t, yet you can find more than just 1 or 2 tutorials on You Tube or you can google it.

Step 11: Bonus

I figured out a way to make my twill tape (which I have lots of) work better. So I am going to share that with you also. All you need are 4 plastic pony beads. I got black ones because the tape is black, any color will do.

Step 12:

Put the end of one of the top twill tapes on the wide eye needle.

Step 13:

Thread the two pony beads onto the twill tape using the needle.

Step 14:

Tie a slip knot on the end the twill tape. Pull until tight. That knot isn’t big enough to keep the pony bead from coming off, so tie another knot on top of the first knot, making it more than twice the size. See the beads can’t come off.

Step 15:

Put the end of the second top tie through the eye of the needle and going form the opposite direction from the first tie, slide through the 2 beads.

Step 16:

Remove the needle and tie a big knot in the end of the twill tape. Repeat steps 12-16, for the bottom pair of twill ties and pony beads.

Step 17:

Pull the twill tape so that the beads are sitting right next to each other. This is the twill tape at its greatest length. Pull on the beads away from each other and the length of the tape shortens.

Step 18:

Now how to put these pony bead tie masks on. With the ties at their longest, put both sets of ties over your head. Reach behind your head grab one pony bead of the top tie, in each hand and pull out away from you head. As you pull the ties shorten and get tighter. Make sure the top ties rest above you ears. Adjust the mask over the top of your nose. Stop pulling when it is comfortable. Repeat the process with the bottom ties. Adjust until comfortable.

When removing the mask grasp the twill tape resting above your ears, one in each hand and pull out away from you head. This causes the pony beads to move closer together until they touch each other. Repeat with the bottom pony bead ties. Grab the ties and pull them over your head. Done.

Step 19: Washing Helps

I have washed these masks more than once. When you can, tie the ties in a gentle bow to keep them from tangling with other tie or other pieces of laundry. On the pony bead masks pull the beads until they are at the shortest length and I suggest that you wash your masks in a small laundry bag which will keep them from mixing with other garments and being damaged. Wash in hot water and laundry detergent and dry hot. A virus is a bag of DNA surrounded by a sac of fat. Hot water and soap destroy the sac that holds the DNA, thus destroying the virus. So, wash your hands and wash your masks and keep safe. Enjoy!