DIY Emergency Health and Safety Face Mask--Paper Towel and Rubber Bands




Introduction: DIY Emergency Health and Safety Face Mask--Paper Towel and Rubber Bands

About: Retired--doing important stuff in my garage.

This mask is quick and easy to make and I would submit if carefully made and donned it will provide good inward and outward protection. And if material comes from unopened packages--the mask will be sterile.


Paper towels-- the stronger the better. Rubber bands, tape and a paper clip.

Step 1: Easy to Find Parts

Use a good paper towel and Rubber bands. Connect four or five rubber bands together. On a paper towel folded in half tape a straightened paper clip centered on a long edge.

Step 2: Assemble

Place the rubber band chain onto the gathered short ends of the paper towel and pull tight.

Step 3: Donning the Mask.

With the paper clip over your nose bend it to hold tight against your nose. Then pulled the rubber band strap over and behind your head. Adjust the mask to cover your mouth and nose.

Wash your hands, social distancing and be kind.

Step 4: Mask Improvements--Adding HEPA Filter

Some vacuum cleaners use HEPA filter bags which are design to filter micron size particles. Cut a square large enough from the vacuum cleaner bag to cover your mouth and nose and place the square filter between the folded paper towel and then assembled the mask as before.

If using lower quality paper towel add some tape along the long edges.

This design, depending on the quality of the paper towel will last a good day but my general intent was a short one-time use such as a necessary trip to the store or you must speak with a person that does not have a mask, or moving the sick to medical treatment.

See you on the other side of this.

Paper Contest

Participated in the
Paper Contest

3 People Made This Project!


  • Pets Challenge

    Pets Challenge
  • Remote Control Contest

    Remote Control Contest
  • Make It Modular: Student Design Challenge

    Make It Modular: Student Design Challenge



2 years ago

I really have to disagree here. First it filters well. I did test this design before I published it. I used a vacuum hose. I placed the paper mask over the hose and the vacuum created with the paper towel mask was objectively more as compared with a cloth mask that I also made (following the folded bandanna design). And if a piece of HEPA filter cut a vacuum bag (as in step 4) or furnace filter there is an increase in efficiency. I think the important point here is it is an Emergency Mask. I agree the mask should not be reused for cleaning chores.


2 years ago on Step 4

your suggestion to use the paper towel after being used for a mask for CLEANING!?! is VERY BAD advice. the paper towel structure makes it unsuitable as a filtration device, it would be a barrier for droplets, but beyond that I don't see how this qualifies as a face mask. I wonder if it could be modified: i.e. adding a filter to make it work? rather ingenious and simple design.