Introduction: Face Shield for Infection Control (covid-19)

My wife and I work in the medical profession and seeing first-hand the need for various elements of PPE (personal protective equipment) we wanted to contribute to our community and provide some help in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 infection.

There was a definite need for face shields but after searching the internet we only found a few processes using a 3-D printer. Not only did our 3-D printer inopportunely stop working that day but we wanted to make a process that those without access to 3-D printers would be able to duplicate. so we created a process to make inexpensive, effective, and time efficient face shields out of several things we had at home as well as a couple of locally available purchases.


What we used:

Foam (purchased at Joann's fabrics - left over from seat cushion project)

Clear Glossy Binder Covers 8.5" x 11" (available at office supply stores)

Paracord (originally purchased on Amazon for another project)

3/4 inch elastic fabric (purchased at Joann's fabrics)

Spray Adhesive (available to home improvement and craft stores)

Stapler (had heavy duty stapler but used normal staples and regular stapler will work)

Knife to cut foam and paracord

Scissors to cut binder covers


Box knife

Hole puncher

Plastic cup

Some old cardboard...

Step 1: Cutting Foam

Getting Started:

Foam is for the head contact point for the face shield and should be nearly the width of the binder cover. This worked out to be around 6.5 inches (was the length we already had) and should be around 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

To cut the foam, we tried several different things from razors to knives and ultimately found a long sharp non-serrated kitchen knife worked great! If your knife isn't sharp, would recommend a razor.

Step 2: Creating a Pattern

The binder covers are 90 degree angle corners that can be annoying at the bottom as they can poke you and be uncomfortable. We used an old piece of cardboard cut to 8.5 inches wide and about 5 inches tall and plastic cup with a sharpie to create a cardboard cut out design to use to round the edges of the binder covers. A scissors was used to cut the cardboard to create the pattern.

Step 3: Shaping the Binder Covers

The cardboard pattern was placed on top of the binder cover one at a time and using a sharpie, the corners were marked for cutting. A scissors was used to shape the binder cover.

Step 4: Attaching the Foam to the Binder Cover

With another scrap piece of cardboard laid on the ground outside we laid the foam on the cardboard and sprayed one side with spray adhesive. For better efficiency, we lined up 5 pieces of foam along their length and sprayed all at once. Individually, a piece of foam was then placed to the side and the binder cover was attached the the sprayed side of the foam. To help secure the foam, pressure was placed on the foam/binder cover and then placed under some books for approximately 5 minutes.

Step 5: Cutting the Paracord

Meanwhile, a scrap piece of cardboard was used to create an 18 inch measurement template to quickly be able to measure equal lengths. A simple box knife was used to cut the 18 inch lengths.

Step 6: Elastic Strips

We experimented with different lengths of elastic but as we had a lot of paracord and only small and more expensive amounts of elastic, we decided to use short 5 inch lengths of 3/4 inch elastic cut to size with a scissors.

Step 7: Punching Holes

After 5 minutes of weighted pressure on the binder cover/foam adhesive, using a single hole puncher, a hole was placed into the sides of the binder cover at the midpoint of the foam making sure not to get too close to the edge.

Step 8: Attaching the Paracord

Using the 18 inch lengths of paracord, they were fed through the hole on either side of the binder cover. A square knot was used to secure the paracord into a loop

You may be asking why we used paracord and not just elastic. A few reasons:

1. the paracord can easily go through the hole punch

2. the paracord could be untied fairly easily and shortened to fit smaller heads

3. paracord is a lot cheaper than elastic and could create most of the headband.

Step 9: Attaching the Elastic

The elastic was wrapped around the loop of the paracord so that 1 inch of elastic overlapped. A stapler was used to secure the elastic around the paracord. A total of 2-3 staples were used. Repeat the process on the other paracord loop.

Out of preference we eventually changed to attaching the elastic to the paracord and then attaching the paracord/elastic combo to the binder cover (either way worked well)

** Important: depending on the length of your staples they could end up poking out which can at the very least be annoying and at very most puncture your skin or rip clothing.

Step 10: Completed Face Shield

We have used these in our own medical practice and they work well and seem to be fairly resilient. The nice part of the these shields is that the paracord, elastic, and staples are easy to replace or modify for different head sizes or if somethings breaks.

We hope this is simple enough and explained in detail that others can create these shields for their own use or for others that are providing care to our communities that are being so affected by this pandemic. Please consider making these and donating to your local healthcare workers. If they don't have them already, these can really be a great help!


This face shield will not eliminate the risk of contracting COVID-19 or other potentially aerosolized infections. However, with appropriate use and cleaning and in conjunction with other PPE (mask, bonnet, and gown) can help to mitigate your risk of infection.

It is important to understand as some parts of this face shield are not easily cleanable, these areas should either be covered or handled in such a way that does not contact your skin to contact infected surfaces. Please practice donning and removal techniques and appropriate hand washing when using this shield.