Yesterday, Hannah (my 8 year old daughter) made this easy DIY face mask. She practiced wearing it today for an hour (to get ready for school, which will probably require masks in our area.) Despite the fact that the sizing was perfect, she complained that it hurt the back of her ears. So we started brainstorming solutions. We saw crocheted ear extenders (but I do not know how to crochet). We made a fabric DIY face mask ear saver with buttons, which I am happy to share the details about if you are interested (just drop a comment in our Facebook group!) But then Hannah had a GENIUS idea… a DIY face mask ear saver / strap extender made out of Rainbow Loom bands!!!
She came up with the idea while she was making a Rainbow Loom band bracelet (a common occurrence in our house, especially in the summer!) So we made a prototype and OMG it is life changing for our kids!!! Up until now, they have NOT been big fans of face coverings! Not only does this project get kids excited about wearing masks (I mean, is anything cooler than bright, fun, cheery Rainbow Loom bracelets?!) but it will also make mask wearing 1000% more comfortable. This will be THE back to school item this year!!! So, go get a Rainbow Loom set if you don’t have one yet!
Craft Classes for Kids
We had so much fun teaching cooking classes for kids last week, and love this week’s virtual camp theme of crafts for kids! Don’t forget to join our Facebook group to see our live classes and follow us on Pinterest, so you won’t miss a thing! You definitely need to follow Hannah at Inspired Sparks too, because she is posting all kinds of awesome videos to teach kids about science, crafts and cooking! Here are the links for the other craft classes we have done thus far, in case you missed any:
- How to Make Envelopes (the perfect way to get your kids excited to write!)
- Tissue Paper Flowers (these HUGE flowers make awesome decoration and are so fun to make!)
- How to Make a Face Mask at Home (so easy that your kids can sew it themselves)
How to Make a Face Mask Ear Saver with Rainbow Loom Bands
There are many different Rainbow Loom patterns, but for this DIY face mask ear saver, we made the fishtail pattern. Here are the basic steps for how to weave a fishtail band. If you have never started a fishtail bracelet, do not worry! We will go over the steps for how to start the pattern at the end of this post. Let’s first get down the basics of how to do the fishtail weave.
1. Add a Rainbow Loom band
Here is what your loom should look like before adding your band.
Below is what it will look like after adding your third band to the two pegs.
2. Use your hook to move the bottom band on the right, off of the peg and over the top
In our photo, the bottom band is hot pink. Take your hook and move the right portion of the pink band to the top. Here is a photo of us “hooking” the band. The white hook blends in a little (unfortunately, my daughter was wearing a light colored shirt!) but you can see it on the right pulling the pink band.
Then, here is another photo to show how you use the hook to move it to the top.
3. Repeat on the left side
Move the band on the bottom left side (hot pink in our case) to the top, just like you did on the right side in step 2.
4. Repeat until your face mask ear saver is long enough
Hannah used 70 bands on her face mask ear saver band. However, after testing it out, we removed around 10 of them to make it a tighter fit (as you will see below). It is easier to remove bands than it is to add them. However, it is completely possible to add bands as well (it is just a little bit more tricky to get it back on the loom.)
5. To finish your face mask strap extender, add c clips or s clips to both ends
As shown in the photo below, you add a clear C clip to the final band of your face mask strap extender (the purple band in our case).
Then, remove the face mask strap extender from the loom and remove the two extra bands that are on the loom (the white and green bands in our photo above.)
Next, add another C clip to the other side of your face mask strap extender.
6. Add your face mask “ear loops” to the c clips or s clips
The C clips worked perfectly fine for this. However, I just placed an order for these S clips (how fun are the colors?!) I think they will work even better, because the rainbow loom strap extender can be on one side of the “s” and the face mask “ear loops” can be on the other side of the “s.” This will make it less likely that you will loose a rubber band or two when you move your face mask ear saver from one mask to the next (or take it on and off.)
7. Try on your face mask ear saver for size
When Hannah tried her face mask ear saver on, you will see that it looks great on one side (note how the face mask’s “ear loop” / hair tie is pulled far enough back from her ear).
However, on the other side, the hair tie is still pretty much sitting on her ear (as you can see in the following photo).
So, we removed the C clip, took off around 10 bands, and tried it on again. MUCH better!!! Here is one side of her rainbow loom face mask ear saver.
Below is the other side of her rainbow loom face mask extender.
Plus, a photo from the top! Note that I purposefully told her to put her ponytail in the place that she plans to wear it most often, because that can effect how it fits for sure.
It is hard to tell if a person is smiling when they are wearing a face mask, but as her mama, I can tell that she is glowing with pride that her idea worked! She is definitely way more psyched for back to school with face masks now!
How to Start a DIY Face Mask Ear Saver
For those of you who are new to starting Rainbow Loom bracelets, or who haven’t made a fishtail weave before, it is super easy!
1. Take a rubber band and place it like a figure 8 between two pegs on the loom
Place your first rubber band between two pegs on your loom, crossing it between the two pegs to form a figure 8 when you look down from above.
2. Place another (non-twisted) rubber band on the same two pegs, above the figure 8 from step 1
Now you should have a figure 8 rubber band between two pegs on the loom and another (non-twisted) rubber band above it.
3. Place one more (non-twisted) rubber band on the same two pegs
At this point, you should have three rubber bands on two pegs of your loom. The bottom rubber band should be a “figure 8” and the two rubber bands on top should be non-twisted.
4. Repeat the same steps as explained above, where you take the bottom rubber band and move it to the top
Move the right side of the bottom rubber band to the top (and off of the peg of the loom). Then, repeat for the left side.
5. Go to step 1 (“Add a Rainbow Loom band”) in the process explained in the previous section, and continue from there
How to make a DIY face mask ear saver / strap extender with Rainbow Loom bands
So, how did your DIY face mask ear saver / strap extender turn out? What color did you make yours? Make sure to share a photo of your face masks and / or your ear savers in our Facebook Group! We are always so inspired by all of our amazing members!!!