Introduction: Intro: How to Make an Acoustic Panel From Used Facial Masks?
For several months now, humanity has been forced to wear protective masks to reduce the chances of being infected with the Coronavirus. These masks, made of non-biodegradable plastic fibres, pollute our roads and fill our bins. However, they can be given a second life. Actually, these masks are composed of two main elements: meltblown and spundbond. These two materials are what we call in the textile industry non-woven fabrics. These have astonishing properties such as being an excellent sound insulator. In this tutorial I show you how to make an acoustic panel from old masks. They can be very practical for a music studio, for a company with noisy machines or even for restaurants with a large number of people.
NB: You can find a complete explanation of how to do it in the picture above if you don't have internet connection while doing it.
Step 1: What You Need
A frame or other structure that can be hung on the wall
A pair of scissors
A fabric that you find pretty (regardless of the type)
A wood stapler
About thirty old used masks.
Step 2: Disinfect the Masks
First, disinfect the masks. This can be done in several ways. The most effective one (and the one I have used) is to place the masks in a UV machine designed to disinfect masks and other objects. As I have an optician mother, I had this machine at my disposal but if you don't, you can leave your masks untouched for a few days (if the mask is contaminated, the virus should die within a few days) and wash your hands thoroughly when you have applied the next steps.
Step 3: Disassembling the Masks
Then remove the plastic or metal tabs inside the masks and the elastic bands that are stuck to them. These parts have no soundproofing power and will make it difficult for you to cut them into pieces.
Step 4: Cutting the Masks
Once the previous step has been completed, cut the masks into small pieces. This will allow you to spread them throughout the entire structure in a homogenous manner and promote the soundproofing power of the material.
Step 5: Building the Panel
When you have obtained enough pieces of masks (the more you have, the more insulating your panel will be), place them on the back of the frame, having previously placed the fabric of your choice on top. Close it by putting the back frame (often a wooden plank) back on and fold the fabric nicely so that you can staple it with a wood stapler. This ensures that the fabric does not protrude outside the frame. You can now hang it on the wall!
Step 6: Final Result
Here is an exemple of what you can have at the end. I personally hung this in my room in which I often create music. Keep in mind it can be more elegant if you have better fabrics. I have done one myself with what I had home. I share here other pictures that could be your final result or may inspire you.