Read My Lips, Under This No-Sew Mask

Humans continuously communicate with our bodies, and face masks cover one of the most expressive parts. For some, this is a muffler on strangers, but devastating for people who rely on lip-reading. Several masks exist that have a clear window for precisely this purpose, but they’re specialty and high-demand. [Erin St Blaine] over at Adafruit shows how she makes windowed masks with stuff you may already have in your house. Even if your sewing machine is locked up the local maker-space, you are in luck, because you don’t need a single stitch. For the thread-inclined, it is easy to tweak the recipe.

The part of the mask that touches your face is terry cloth, but any breathable cotton towel should work. There is a PDF in the instructions where you can print templates in four sizes. You will also find a cutout for the plastic window salvaged from your cold soft drink cup. A water bottle should work too. Flexible glue holds the fabric together, but to attach the ear-loops, we fall back on our old friend, the red Swingline. If you don’t have that color and brand, any stapler will do in a pinch. Don’t forget to add some defogger and keep smiling.

Wear your homemade mask proudly and fasten it well, but not too fast.

Thank you, [Gerben], for the tip.

5 thoughts on “Read My Lips, Under This No-Sew Mask

  1. I think it would look pretty manky rather quick , if my experiences with the mask I use when spray painting is anything to go by. The condensation starts dripping out rather quickly on a cold day.

    Hopefully the toweling will absorb the most of the moisture before it condenses on the plastic

    It sort of reminds me of the characters in an Australian Kids TV show “Dirt Girl world” they are a blend of animatied faces and real lips – (in the earlier series at least)

  2. I’m unsure that the glue and the plastic window will resist very well to the 30mn 60°C washing cycle + steam ironing required to properly clean such a reusable mask. Also some fabric will shrink, and different kind of fabrics will shrink differently.

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