Are you making face masks but are running out of material to make the ties with? This DIY tutorial is full of innovative ideas and tips on how to make face mask ties using materials you may not have thought of before.
Don’t let your lack of elastic stop you from making a comfortable and efficient face mask!
These ties are the BEST for face mask making. They are comfortable, affordable, and very easy to make.
As you all know, I am a BIG fan of recycling and upcycling clothing. Here is another opportunity to go through your closest and find some useful material and supplies for your face mask making.
What kind of material can you use?
- Upcycled T-Shirts
- Stocking Tights
- Yoga pants
Other materials that work for face mask ties
- A crochet chain of yarn
When using ribbon or something that DOES NOT STRETCH, keep in mind that you will need a longer tie.
Since the ties do not need to be all cotton, choose shirts that have some synthetic fibers (polyester, lycra, etc.) This fabric will be stretchier and fray less.
Cut 1-inch strips crosswise (starting at the bottom of the shirt).
The thinner the fleece, the better it will curl. Polar fleece is too thick. You can use fleece by the yardage or upcycle a fleece top or other clothing. Make sure you are cutting with the stretch.
There are all kinds of stocking tight fabrics. The more cotton they have, the more apt they are to fray.
Cut off one of the stocking legs at the crotch and then cut off the toe seam.
Cut down the center and open up the fabric to one layer.
Fold the tight fabric in half with short ends together.
Cut strips 1 or 2 inches depending on the thickness of the tights. Thinner tights cut 2 inches.
You can use a rotary cutter or scissors.
Tip: If using scissors, make a cut then fold that strip up to use as a guide for the width. Continue cutting and folding up until you’ve cut the whole length of the tight. (See photo above on the right).
LEGGINGS & Yoga Pants
Cut off the waistband. (If it’s a yoga waistband, save it. This will be a great fabric to use for future neck and wrist cuffs on future projects).
Cut along the crotch seam to remove the leg for easier cutting.
Cut down the center seam to open up the fabric to one layer.
Fold in half with short ends together. Cut strips 1 inch. (Using a rotary cutter makes it so much easier, but scissors can be used).
DON’T CUT THE STRIPS TO LENGTH UNTIL YOU’VE STRETCHED AND CURLED THE FABRIC!
Tips for curling the fabric
You can just pull and slide the fabric through your hands, and it will curl. However, if you are pulling a lot of strips this can be really hard on your hands. Trust me. It caused blisters to form on three of my fingers after pulling ties for 15 minutes.
Wrap the strip around a rounded pole, chair leg, bedpost, etc. and pull and slide the fabric. This will save your fingers. Pull back and forth until you get it to the thickness you want. You may even want to wear a pair of gloves if you are pulling a ton of strips. (For all you mask makers).
Now you have strips of stretchy fabric for all kinds of projects, not just face masks.
These strips can be used for shoelaces, garden ties, and whatever else you would use to hold things in place.
Keep in mind, all fabrics are different and have different textures, stretch, and thickness. Use your own judgment when choosing material for your ties. I am sure I haven’t covered all the possibilities. Please share your ideas.
You may be interested in these other face mask posts:
NEED A GENUINE N95 Respirator Mask Reusable, (FDA Registered) Face Mask?
If you don’t have any knit fabric or T-shirts to make ties with, I found a great resource where you can purchase this stuff already made. It’s called “FARMYARN”. This yarn is made from recycled lycra fabric that is REALLY stretchy and durable. It’s like elastic and can be used in so many ways ie: FACE MASKS! You can read more about it and buy it HERE.
Happy face mask making!