DIY No Gap Mask




Introduction: DIY No Gap Mask

Medical masks don't provide a lot of protection, because they gap around your face. N95 masks fit tightly. In the video above, I show how to make a mask with a tight seal, made entirely from stuff you already have in your home, so you don't have to go out to make it. Summary steps below, but please click above to watch the video if you really intend to make this.

Step 1: Materials

Some kind of filter. I used a paper towel. You could use several tissues taped together, a Swiffer pad, or even a tee shirt. Be creative. Look around.

Stiff wire. I used a coat hanger which works well. If you don't have that, be creative and look around for: Long twist ties, pipe cleaners, arts and crafts wire, spare electrical wire, garden wire...

Rubber bands and tape.

Step 2: Build Frame

Bend your wire into a frame that covers from the top of your nose to under your chin. I had a rubber mask to go by, but you don't need that.

Step 3: Shape Frame

This is the hardest, but most important step. Carefully band and shape the frame to custom fit your face, so there are no gaps. Compare this picture to the one in the last step, and you will see the frame fits much better here. This took at least 20 minutes in front of the bathroom mirror.

Step 4: Attach Filter

Tape a temporary criss cross on your frame.

Set it on a ball or fruit or paperwad on top of your filter material.

Lift up all edges of filter and mark one inch above the frame.

Cut out traced filter.

Tape filter to frame by folding down one inch, all the way around.

Step 5: Attach Rubber Band

Cut two rubber bands and tie them into one long string.

Poke small holes in the sides of the mask.

Push ends of rubber band string through holes and tie.

Step 6: Put on and Breathe

If you have done this correctly, there will be no gaps anywhere around the mask.

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    2 years ago

    You are absolutely right. I produce YouTube videos, and sometimes clip out stills for instructables as a bit of an afterthought. I was not aware of the 0.3 micron spec, but quickly learned this from one of my subs. I instantly changed the title and icon on the youtube video. That is why you saw the change in the video. I didn't think to change it here, until I saw your note. Thank you. I changed the icon and the title in the first step. I could not figure out how to change the overall title, so just sent a request to an admin. Sorry for being misleading.

    I made this for the pandemic, and the Covid virus is only 0.1 microns wide, so N95 masks don't filter them out. Luckily, covid travels in water droplets, which are blocked by paper towels or almost any breathable material, as shown in the project.


    Reply 2 years ago

    No, N95 masks DO filter 0.1 micron particulates but at a lower efficiency. See, ( "95 respirators made by different companies were found to have different
    filtration efficiencies for the most penetrating particle size (0.1 to
    0.3 micron), but all were at least 95% efficient at that size for NaCl

    This paper explores mask fitting on relative efficiency (

    It is true that the virus travels on water droplets, as such your mask is potentially viable for preventing the spread of the virus via breathing onto someone, which is not the main function of an n95 mask, being to prevent inhalation.

    When you post information related to the pandemic you make yourself out to be an authority, with that comes an expectation of expertise. DIY a desk is very different from DIY a face mask when the consequences are peoples lives. Your ventilator DIY project also seems to overlook the myriad of safe failure modes required.

    You may think I am overreacting. See March 23rd a man died and his wife was hospitalized directly because they took fish tank cleaner they thought Trump was talking about in his press conference, which itself wasn't even rigerously studied. (

    This isn't helping. This is hurting people. Unless you are a qualified medical engineer, do not DIY medical equipment. You will do more harm then good if not rigerously studied BEFORE being published because the public is currently desperate for easy solutions. I am really glad you are trying to help, that takes agency many do not muster, but it takes real hubris to know when you are more of a liability than an asset in a scenario.


    2 years ago

    This is dangerously misleading. N-95 refers to a filtration efficiency of over 99% for 0.3 micron sized particles. This is not possible with cotton or tissues. Yes, N-95 masks fit tightly, but that is because they are meant to prevent ingestion of 0.3 micron particles, surgical masks on the other hand are meant to catch particles being breathed out from landing on, usually patients. N-95 masks are not by definition masks that fit tightly, that is a consequence of their intended use. There is a lot of misinformation out there on DIY PPE and unfortunately with this title this instructable falls into that category.

    Why is your video title "DIY No Gap Mask" while your instructable is "DIY N-95-like Mask"? One of those is accurate.