Introduction: Cheap Mask Tensioning Hook

About: I make things so you can make things. Out of stuff.

BEFORE WE DIVE INTO THIS INSTRUCTABLE, let's talk about the "ANYTHING GOES" contest. This Instructable has been entered into the contest, and at first glance, it's the little baby tadpole entry among the very fast rabbits, very strong gorillas, and very smart cyborg assassins already entered into that contest. Why should you vote for this entry when it's basically a paper clip bending project that takes 90 seconds to assemble? I have three reasons, and you will either agree with me and give me your vote, or else you will at least see the humor in my attempt to convince you:

  • This project will cost anyone reading ZERO. You have the parts in your house already, and you won't need to give Amazon any money to make it.
  • You will use this project after you make it EVERY SINGLE DAY until we are all in a better place. Will you use any of the other projects EVERY SINGLE DAY? Maybe the couch cover. The others? They are nice. Very crafty. You won't use them EVERY DAY.
  • This project is a classic maker's life hack. That is: you don't need a workshop, or a 3D printer, or any fancy computer software or gizmo to build it. It rings back to the early days of Instructable glory when anybody with a junk drawer could create something and get 3000 people to read about it and build one too. Vote for a classic.

Thank you!


I'll bet that everyone reading this Instructable has had to wear a mask of some kind in the last 10 months. I'll also bet that if you are wearing a cheap paper mask, you are wearing it loose and flappy - which means you're not really wearing it properly. This Instructable is meant to help you get that mask in place in a tension which actually causes the mask to do something like it is intended to do.

The supplied for this project are simple:

  • A mask (which you can change out as it gets used and old)
  • a paper clip
  • A set of thin-nose pliers

Step 1: Step 1: Straighten the Paper Clip

When you straighten it, it should be about 150mm or about 6 inches.

Step 2: Step 2: Double It Back

Now take the metal piece and fold the tips back so that they meet roughly in the middle of the tiny rod. It should look like the picture above.

Step 3: Step 3: Bend in Hooks at the End

Now fold in the rounded tips back in again as in the picture above. I chose to bend it in a "C" hook style (tips facing), but you could also choose to bend it "S" hook style.

Step 4: Step 4: Add the Hook to Your Mask

It's really that simple. I bent the end attached to the mask to keep it from escaping when it is in my car, but you could also leave it unbent. When you want to put the mask on now, rather than flopping the ends over your ears, connect the two straps behind your head with the hook.

That's all! Stay safe everyone!

Anything Goes Contest

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Anything Goes Contest