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Aug 27

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How to convert a KF94/KN95 earloop mask into a halo/"Y" strap headband style: a tutorial 🧵

Image of child wearing converted "Y" strap KN95 mask.

Why do this? Because it reduces ear fatigue and improves fit, while being secure (strap doesn’t slip). And as folks like @Aaron Collins & @Dr Satoshi Akima FRACP 『秋間聰』 have repeatedly emphasized, with one-way masking, fit is critical. We had previously been using back-of-the-head ear savers like these.

I have a sewing machine, so I set out to make a reuseable strap set that would turn an earloop mask into a headband style. Materials needed: 1/4 inch braided elastic (1 yard), thread, scrap fabric. No sewing machine? I have an alternative option. Skip to the end of this thread

First, cut 4 identical trapezoids out of scrap fabric (see image for rough dimensions). Wrong sides together, sew two trapezoids together along the diagonal with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim excess seam allowance, and flip inside-out, and press. Repeat for remaining pair.

Cut 4 identical trapezoids.
Sew 2 trapezoids right sides together
Inside-out and press

Fold the top and bottom of the trapezoid inwards, so raw edges are hidden. Press. Repeat for other trapezoid.

Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each roughly 7.5-8 inches long. The ideal length will depend on your child's head size.

Cut 2 pieces of 7.5 inch long braided elastic

Insert the ends of the elastic into the long side of one trapezoid as shown and sew a straight stitch down the edge, backstitching at beginning and end. Repeat for the other trapezoid so you get something that looks like a halo. The pieces of elastic should be the same length.

Insert elastic and sew a straight stitch.
Repeat for the other side.

Now cut 2 pieces of elastic, each roughly 4.5 inches long (this length may need to be adjusted to fit your child). Insert one piece into the open flap of a trapezoid and sew all the way around a trapezoid 2 or 3 times to reinforce the seams. Repeat for other side.

Now flip the raw ends of the elastic over in a loop and sew back and forth a bunch of times to make secure. Repeat for the other side.

Sew loop on end of elastic

For the bottom strap, cut a new piece of elastic, roughly 9.5 inches long. Fold ends over and sew loops as done previously. This length may need to be adjusted to best fit your child.

Cut elastic for bottom strap
Sew loops on the ends

Now snip the ear loops on your mask. Note that the size of the "halo" is roughly the circumference of the mask, and the bottom strap is roughly its length.

Unmodified KN95 mask
Halo strap overlayed on mask
Bottom strap overlayed on mask

Slide one elastic loop from the bottom strap onto the snipped ear loop cord, fold into a loop, and sew, backstitching repeatedly. (Pay attention to location of nose wire in order to not do this upside-down). Repeat for other side and Y strap.

Slide loop onto snipped strap
Sew onto mask
All 4 sides attached

Trim the excess length from the original ear loops, and you have a modified mask with reuseable elastic straps!

Final result

So if you don't have a sewing machine, @Flo Mask sells a Halo Strap for kids for $13. The straps are adjustable, but likely need to be shortened. So you would need to hand-stitch the elastic loops securely, then attach your reusable strap by knotting (vs. sewing) the snipped loop

Flo Mask Halo Strap
Modified Flo Mask Halo strap and bottom elastic strap attached to a KN95 mask. This is sewn, for those without a machine, it would need to be knotted securely.



Fierce mama bear. STEM in what feels like a former life.

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