Face Mask...from a Shoe Cover?



Introduction: Face Mask...from a Shoe Cover?

Face masks have not been available in stores for many weeks. However, I did find some disposable shoe covers at Home Depot that could serve as a "better than nothing" face covering. The elastic cuff helps the mask conform to your face. General purpose shoe covers are only designed to keep out dirt, but filtering efficiency can be increased by sandwiching a small piece of material (i.e., furnace filter) inside the shoe cover.

Step 1: Materials

  1. Disposable Shoe Covers (HDX brand from Home Depot)*
  2. Elastic Bands (Shorter ones for Ear Loops, Longer ones for a Head Band)
  3. Optional, but Recommended: Extra Filter Material (i.e., furnace filter)
  4. Optional: Bendable Metal Band (Bag Closure used here)
  5. Supplies: Scissors, Fine Needle Nose Pliers, Tape, Ruler, Marker

* These shoe covers are symmetric (not shaped like a shoe), making them easier to fold. A magnified view of the material shows a dimpled pattern that offers breathability and splash resistance.

Step 2: Folding to Size

Everyone is different, so these folding dimensions are only a starting point:

  1. Fold down the top edge about 1.5" (3.75cm).
  2. Fold each end in about 2" (5cm)
  3. Tape down each side.
  4. Place on your face to check fit:
    • If using Ear Loops, you will need to consider the length of your elastic loops before deciding on final width.
    • The elastic portion of the shoe cover should conform around your chin.
  5. Readjust as needed.

Step 3: Version 1: Ear Loops

The folded over corners create a reinforced anchoring point for the elastic bands. Simply pass the elastic band through the hole and back through the other end to secure.

Note: After making the initial hole, it can be enlarged by gently opening the scissors or needle nose pliers. Much safer than continuing to force the tool into the hole.

Step 4: Version 2: Headband

Unless you have a really long elastic band you'll need to cut and knot the ends to create a head band.

Step 5: Optional: Add Nose Band and Extra Filter

If the mask is to be worn lower on the nose, you may want to add a nose band to create a better fit. Here I inserted a wide Bag Closure into the shoe cover and up and over the fold. You could also attach it to the outside with tape or hot glue.

If additional filtering is needed, simply insert a piece of the filter material into the shoe cover.

Step 6: Toss When Done

These particular shoe covers are disposable and would not hold up to washing. Much safer and easier to toss when done.

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