After a few months of face mask management, I was in desperate need of some way to store my reusable mask while making it accessible.
It was actually more for my kids than me. They run around camp with their masks on and as soon as they take it off for a snack or lunch, it would get dirty or lost.
I did a little research and there’s actually a lot of different ways to make your own holder from sewing something with buttons to cutting plastic sheets. The problem is they were too complicated for my kids.
I ended up with the purchased earbud holder because it came with a carabiner and had a zipping mechanism.
Plus, I could add a monogram to them so there wouldn’t be any confusion as to who’s carabiner it was.
As a side note, I know a lot of people are getting the circular earbud holders from Walmart but I actually prefer the square ones because there is a little bit more space (for the same width, length^2 > Pi*r^2 assuming they are the same depth). An adult face mask fits perfectly in this 2inchx2inch holder.
Materials for Face Mask Holder
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Ear bud holder – These earbud keychains are the exact ones I ordered from Amazon. I’m not sure about some of the other ones because they seem to have more internal holders and pockets taking up too much space.
Vinyl or HTV – I actually tested both because I wasn’t sure if Vinyl would stay on or if I could even apply any heat to the surface of these holders. Both worked. I used metallic HTV from this bundle and brushed gold vinyl from this assorted set.
Templates – I created a couple of face mask icons that are available in both SVG and printable formats for free in my resource library.
Tips for customizing your mask holder
Applying vinyl decals
The surface of these ear bud holders and what seems to be the standard is a plastic like film. It looks quite non-porous so I thought regular permanent vinyl would work. Since I don’t intend on washing these holders, I didn’t both sealing them.
If you do feel the need to seal them, I wouldn’t use acrylic sealer spray. I feel like that’s going to leave some fumes that might get absorbed by your mask.
I would instead try some Aileens fabric glue. It does leave a bit of a film but I feel like it is acceptable compromise.
To align my decal, I just used transfer tape which worked great on this surface.
Applying HTV to the earbud holder
This one was a bit tricky. I decided on using my iron instead of the heat press because I only wanted to heat up one side didn’t want to unnecessarily expose the other side to excess heat.
Plus, it was small enough for the iron to cover the entire holder.
First, when you are cutting this decal, be sure to mirror your design! I can’t remember how many times I’ve forgotten.
I’d advise putting a sock in the holder to create some counter pressure when your are ironing.
I’ve had some thread melt on me with just the iron (which doesn’t get as hot as a heat press) so I was a little worried about this plastic-like thin surface of the holder.
I sandwiched a Teflon sheet between the HTV and the iron. I used the blended materials setting which is somewhere in the middle temperature wise for most irons.
I then pressed with moderate pressure 3 times for 10 seconds each. This seemed to be enough to melt the HTV on without damaging the holder’s surface.
Oh, by the way, if you want that circular monogram font, it is called Monogramos from dafonts. I have a more detailed tutorial on using monogram fonts in Cricut Design Space here.
Have fun making yours! I hear for handmade crafter sellers, these are selling like hotcakes.