Introduction: Easy-To-Make Face Shield: Fight COVID19!
Disclaimer: This is NOT FDA approved, but the CDC does encourage homemade face shields for health care providers in various situations. See information from CDC.gov here.
This instructable is in response to the COVID19 pandemic. The goal is to provide an easy to make face shield that acts as a layer of protection, in addition to wearing a proper mask. The first image above shows me wearing the face shield that we will be making.
In order for a face shield to be effective, it needs these three basic parts in its anatomy:
- A visor (a large sheet of thin, clear plastic) which does the protecting from elements
- A frame/support which directly connects your head to the visor
- A band of some sort to tighten around your head and keep the face shield in place.
At this point in the Pandemic, there are many ways that this basic design has been implemented. I will be going over designs that require advanced production tools, coming from Adafruit, Prusa3D, and Georgia Institute of Technology in a separate instructable.
Some things to consider:
- This is meant for people who do not have access to advanced production tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, or injection molders.
- We have started donating this face shield to our community's EMT squad in Montgomery, NJ.
Now, let's make a face shield.
For this project, you will need:
- Heavy duty scissors
- .02" to .03" thick PET plastic sheets (3x2 square feet are what we have been using)
- Self-adhesive foam tape, at least 3/4" thick 1" wide
- Self-adhesive Velcro (AKA hook-and-loop tape, preferably 1" wide)
With the links provided for the supplies, the yield will be:
16 visors from one purchase of PET plastic, ~ $38
25 frames from one purchase of foam tape, ~$25
18 headbands from one purchase of hook-and-loop, ~ $14
That will result in 16 complete face shields at a total cost of around $77, making each face shield roughly around $4.81.
Step 1: Mark and Cut Out Your Visors
The PET plastic will be the actual visor which is your protection. To prepare the visors, do the following:
Take your PET plastic sheets and use a marker to trace out 12"x9" rectangles. A 3' x 2' sheet of plastic can make eight of these rectangles (3' = 36" = 4 x 9" and 2' = 24" = 2 x 12", thus 4 x 2 = 8).
Use your scissors to cut out these rectangles. Each rectangle will be used as the visor for a face shield.
P.S. If you do not have access to these sheets themselves, then alternative sources of PET plastic are plastic soda bottles. If you want to make sure you have enough for one shield, then use a bottle of at least 1-litter capacity. Make sure to cut it to the same dimensions mentioned above.
Step 2: Cut and Attach Your Foam
The self adhesive foam acts as your face shield frame, attached to the visor and resting against your head.
Cut a 12" long piece of the self adhesive foam.
Peel off the seal and apply the sticky side of the foam to one of the 12" sides of the visor. That edge will be the top of your face shield.
Finally, be sure to rub the foam down to ensure it sticks properly to the visor.
Step 3: Cut Your Velcro
The Velcro acts as the band that tightens and holds the face shield on your head.
The Velcro rolls I used are 2" wide. Make sure that you get 1" wide strips. In my case I cut out the rolls down the middle before cutting their lengths.
Additionally, make sure that you have one "short" strip and one "long" strip. They should be at least 7" and 10" long, respectively. This is important as this will give slack for loosening or tightening the face shield for an individual.
Additionally, this may be obvious, but the strips have to be of opposite types of Velcro (so they actually stick together :D).
Step 4: Stick Velcro to the Visor
For each strip of velcro, take one end and peel off 1/2" to 3/4" of the adhesive seal, seen in the first image
For the short strip, place the revealed adhesive on the FRONT of your visor, aligned underneath the foam strip as seen in the second image.
Take the long strip of Velcro and place its revealed adhesive on the BACK of the visor, aligned right beneath the foam frame, as seen in the third image.
Step 5: Final Product
After you have attached the velcro, then WALLAH!
You have completed a basic face shield.
Make sure you wrap the foam tightly around your forehead and tighten the velcro (not to being uncomfortable).
Now, you could stop here, but if you are interested in mixing up the recipe a bit, look at the last few steps for modifications you could make
Step 6: Elastic Band Alternative:
If Velcro is not available or the texture is not your preference, then perhaps you are interested in some elastic bands of some sort. What you want are wide fabric-like elastic bands, like the shield seen in the image above. While it is objectively more comfortable than Velcro, attaching it to the face shield is more difficult. For this example, we used a hole-puncher and scissor to cut slits near the edges of the visor. Then, we tied slid the elastic band into the slit and knotted it, as seen in the second image above.
Step 7: Frame Alternatives
For those who think that the 3/4" thick frame is a little close for comfort (see the first image) and want some more distance between your face and visor, feel free to add a second layer of the self adhesive foam.
As seen in the first image, second layer applied to the plastic is smaller than the one it is stacked on top of. This is to account for the curving of the face shield. Additionally, since the thickness of the frame is increased, you will need a larger visor to be able to cover the same amount of your face.
In this face shield, the dimensions of the visor are 18"x9". Note that you may need to cut off the bottom corners to prevent them from jabbing into your shoulders
Step 8: Finally
And that concludes this instructable. I'll be giving a comparison of various other face shields in the near future. In the meantime, I hope that this face shield helps people who need it and have the materials. Thank you for reading, and stay creative!