How To Make Face Shields for Medical Workers
For those of you who are interested in making face shields for our medical workers / health care workers, please go to this website:
While this was written for manufacturers who have commercial grade equipment and/or are buying in much larger quantities/sizes than an individual would order, it is also applicable to making them by hand.
This is a special project so it may take a bit of time to find the materials online in smaller quantities/sizes, but remember, it’s worth it.
If you find a material that you are not sure is a suitable substitute, contact the vendor and check with them.
Also check Joann’s website as they carry just about everything and pricing is reasonable, especially with their coupons. They also show you how to make face masks for you and your family.
I had planned to make a video showing how to make the face shield and I did make a prototype face shield over the weekend with the materials I had purchased but unfortunately, I ordered the wrong foam - it wasn't thick enough. It should be 1" to 1 - 3/8" thick. So now I'm waiting on another order to be delivered.
But it is such a simple thing to do, just follow the instructions at the link above.
The foam not only works as a gentler way for the shield to rest on the forehead, it also pushes the shield out away from the face so that it covers glasses, nose and makes a difference in preventing fogging up the shield with your breath (this I discovered!).
WHAT I LEARNED MAKING THE PROTOTYPE
It is much easier to cut out a rectangle first. I then used a bowl to get the curves on the lower edges.
To make holes to insert elastic in the top edges: If there are tools in your home you have options, just be creative. I used a pair of manicure scissors – the points are sharp and the angle of the blades are curved so it was easy to cut out a circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
To stick the components together you can use double sided tape and in the instructions above they used staples. Always keep in mind which parts are going to touch a person’s forehead so that you don’t have any sharp edges that may stab or cause irritation through friction. I used glue dots on my prototype. It did the job.
Remember, any face shields we make at home and donate will probably not be a health workers first choice, but if they run out of face shields our home made efforts will be there in reserve, at the very least giving our health care workers some degree of comfort knowing they have back up.
Think of it this way:
It’s like an ugly sweater, if that is all there is when you are freezing, who cares whether it’s ‘pretty’ or not?
There too has to be some magic in our home made masks, the health care workers can feel the love and caring by seeing our not so perfect face shields.
I hope you all jump into this project.
If you do, please let me know if you have any tips that we can share; or suppliers; or alternative materials that worked.
Stay home and safe everyone