Introduction: Protective Face Mask

During the spring of 2020, people had many concerns about the COVID-19 virus. People needed a cheap and easy way to help prevent the spread of this airborne virus. Homemade face masks are a great way to protect other people from you. Its goal is to catch and contain any particles that come from one’s mouth and nose. The aim of this product is to provide a cheap and disposable protective mask for people who want to go into public without spreading fluids that come from the mouth and nose area to other people. The mask needs be comfortable and must fit a wide range of faces while being made from cheap, readily available materials. The materials I have on hand are: surgical cellulose wadding, natural latex rubber glue, cardboard, and rubber bands. The surgical cellulose wadding is the material that lays across the user’s nose and mouth.


  • Duct tape
  • Cardboard (all 6 1/2" long)
    • Back piece: 4"
    • A:1 1/2"
    • B:2 1/2'
    • C:2"
    • D:1 3/4"
    • E: 2 3/4"
    • F 1"
    • 4, 1 1/2" clamp panels.
  • 12" by 7" 6 ply surgical cellulose wadding
  • 2 Rubber bands
  • Natural Latex Rubber glue
  • 3 paper clamps

Step 1: Making the Jig

  1. Labeling the panels makes both mask and jig production easier.
  2. Aline the back panel with the A and B panels on the opposite sides of each other and tape along a small 1/8" gap between each piece
  3. Fold in the A panel then the B panel. Align the C and D panels the same way as in the first step making sure to put the C panel on the A side and the D panel on the B side. Tape along the gap and make sure it folds.
  4. Repeat the last step making sure you put the E panel on the A side and the F panel on the B side.
  5. Place one more strip of tape on the spine of the hinges to ensure stability and durability.
  6. Fold the panels in order and make sure it lines up correctly.
  7. Take two of the clamp panels and align them parallel to each other with a 1/8" gap between them. Apply tape between them making a single hinge. Do this again to make two.
  8. You are now ready to make a mask

Step 2: Making the Mask

  1. Align the 12" side of the surgical cellulose wadding with the A seam so that equal amounts of material hang off each side.
  2. Fold down the A panel and fold the other side of the material toward the A side and crease.
  3. Repeat the previous step folding the panels in alphabetical order and making neat creases as you go.
  4. After you fold the material back over the F panel, clip the overhanging material with a paper clamp.
  5. Flip whole assembly so the back panel faces up. Apply a line of glue about 1/2" away and parallel to the side of the jig in-between the pleats.
  6. Put rubber bands around the material on both sides making sure the band is outside of the line of glue. Fold outside edge onto the line of glue making ear-loops from the rubber bands.

Step 3: Putting on the Mask

  1. Makes sure the pleats are facing down and the glued seam faces toward you.
  2. Wrap the rubber bands around your ears.
  3. Bottom of mask below your chin