Introduction: Five-Minute Face Shield

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Hi guys! This bare-bones face shield is inspired by NYC Makes PPE where they are tracking all sorts of innovative ways to get extra supplies into the hands of those who need them. Here I'm experimenting with shields to fit two different styles of masks. It's a very simple process that uses a sheet of acetate and a box knife. I bet you already have the rest figured out!

Step 1: Supplies and Design

All you need for this is a sheet of acetate and a knife. I've included some pdf patterns if you need help determining where to make the cuts to slip over the mask and/or glasses.

The first image comes straight from and describes different styles of shields you can make. I decided to try the full face shield designs so I could create a printable pattern for anyone else who wants to make them.

To test, I've gathered two different styles of masks I've been making to help out my community. One that's just blown up the internet comes from right here at Instructables. I'm sure you've seen it: It's a pleated design with ties that's meant to be worn over an N95 mask to extend its lifespan. The other is a shaped mask with elastics that go over the ears that can either be worn over a mask or have a filter inserted between the layers. That pattern comes from the blog Craft Passion:

For the AB mask (I call that the N95 mask in my pattern), I made slits in the acetate that would slip over the whole works - in front of the glasses and beneath the straps of the mask.

For the earloops mask (I call that the surgical mask in my pattern), I cut slits for the glasses and slits to slide the earloops through.

In both cases, I recommend rounding out the bottom corners. You'll see why in the next step.

(The extra photos just document how I went about finding the right angles and placement for everything. That's a lot more work than you need to do. Just print out the pdfs or take a guess and go for it.)

Step 2: Donezo

That's it y'all! (I live in Austin now and we say y'all here, it's fine.) Did it even take you five minutes?

Ok, that first picture is a reminder to round out your corners because ouchie when you turn your head.

The other pictures illustrate where the cut lines are and how they fit over the masks.

So, disclaimer time, right? From NYC Makes PPC: "[This]is a suggested design for healthcare workers with no other options. This idea has not been extensively tested and we provide no guarantee or assurance of protection or performance. However, it may provide crucial protection when traditional face shields are not available." Now go check out the other great work they're doing and support them if you can.

If you want to know more about sewing mask covers for your local health care professionals, I recommend registering with They can connect mask makers with the people who need them.

Be safe!