Introduction: DIY COVID-19 Face Shield (PPE From Off-the-shelf Materials)

About: I love to make things and I love my kids. This usually results in me making things with my kids (and lovely wife). Here you will find our adventures and be able to join our family in the making!


This design is intended to be used in resource-challenged environments to quickly and cheaply manufacture effective face shields for PPE in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It could also be used by anyone who needs an extra layer of protection but does not have the ability to get a face shield otherwise.

The estimated cost of the jig is under $5 in materials.

Estimated time to build the jig is 10 to 20 minutes.

The estimated cost per face shield is under $1.5 in materials.

Estimated time to make a mask is 3 to 6 minutes each.


Materials and Tools for Frame Jig:

1 x Wooden board (I used 3/4 plywood)

17 x Headless nails (I clipped 3-inch nails in half making them 1 1/2-inch long headless nails. Finishing nails could also be used)

1 x Printed jig pattern. Download and print US-Letter size here and A4 size here.

1 x Hammer

Materials and Tools for Face Shield Frames:

43 inches (101cm) of 12 Gauge Wire (Per Face Shield)

3 x Small (3 to 4 inch) Zip-ties (Per Face Shield)

1 x Rubber band (Per Face Shield)

1 x Pliers for cutting wire

4 x 3 inch long strips of 2-inch-wide packing tape (or similar tape such as duct tape)

Materials and Tools for Face Shield Screen:

3-hole Punch (A single hole punch can be used as well.)

1 x Transparency Film (Per Face Shield)


1 x 20 inches by 10 inches clear pvc vinyl sheet (Per Face Shield)


1 x clear 2-liter carbonated beverage bottle (Per Face Shield)

Step 1: Build the Jig

Print out the jig template and nail the headless nails through the holes indicated on the template. You should keep the top of the nails 1/5 inch (1.25cm) above the surface of the wood.

Find the link to download the jig in the introduction and supplies step.

Step 2: Make the Wire Frame

Follow the instructions printed on the jig. As you bend the 12 gauge wire around the jig be sure to keep it tight to the jig so that you don't end up with loops that are too big or slack in your frame.

Once you have finished bending the wire around the circuit indicated on the jig take the wire frame off of the jig and finish it by securing the frame together using zip-ties as shown in the picture. Clip the unused ends of the zip-ties to clean it up and adjust the wire frame by bending it by hand as needed.

Add a rubber band to the back of the face shield so that it will hold tight on the head of the user.

Step 3: Cover Gap in the Frame

To keep the frame from allowing air to flow over the mask onto your face you will need to seal the gap with tape as shown in the attached video. I did this using four strips of 2-inch wide packing tape. Each strip was about 3 inches long. This could be done with just about any type of tape as long as the gap is sufficiently covered.

Step 4: Make the Screen and Assemble

Two Ways to Make the Face Screen:

The first way is to use transparencies typically used with an over-head projector in a classroom setting. Use a 3-hole punch to make holes in the transparency page along the long edge as shown. Then pop the holes over the front three loops on the wire frame as shown in the picture. One issue with using transparencies is that they do not wrap very far around the face of the wearer. Two options for extending this material are taping two of them together (as shown in the video attached) or finding roles of this transparency material in which case you could cut out a longer screen (using this template) which will cover more of your face.

The second way to make a face screen is to use clear pvc vinyl sheets. This typically comes in roles and is usually used as "plastic window material" for storm doors or windows. It can be cut out using scissors and the same template I shared above. You can seen in the pictures above where I used this material to make a screen that wraps around and connects to the back loops on the wire frame.

A third option is to use a 2 liter plastic bottle. The last few minutes of the attached video gives a description of how to do this.