How to make homemade face shields

A mannequin wearing a homemade face shield

February 01, 2021 (Last updated)

3 min read

Due to the PPE shortage, people are turning to 3d printing and laser cutting to build face their own face shields. But sadly, not everyone has access to 3d printers or laser cutters.

So in this tutorial, we'll show you how to make your own face shield without any of these machines!

Materials needed:

Elastic band

This material is in shortage right now as everyone is trying to make their own face shields. You would need to do some digging to find suppliers that can get you these in less than a month.

Alternative: Shoe laces

Please note:

We highly suggest using alternative materials if you have no plans of making face shields in bulk. There's a huge shortage right now for the raw materials and it would be best if they get in the hands of those who need them the most.

Foam weather stripping

The weather stripping will serve as the point of contact between the wearer's head and the shield. This is a one-sided adhesive which makes it perfect for gluing the transparency film without using any glue or extra adhesives.

It's soft and comfortable enough so you can wear this for hours without experiencing any soreness.

It comes in variety of sizes. We suggest grabbing at least 1" wide by 3/8" thick weather strip. But any size works, as long as it creates enough padding between the forehead and the shield.

8.5 x 11 Transparency Film

Transparency films are a good alternative to PETG sheets(popular material for face shields).

The only downside is it attracts dust easily but you can clean it with windex or alcohol if it gets too dusty.

Alternative: You can also use cover binders as an alternative. They're much thicker than transparency film.


A stapler to staple stuff.

Note: Due to high demand, some of these materials might not be readily available or it might take awhile for them to get delivered.

Steps to make a DIY face shields

1. Cut the foam strip at 11"

Use a scissor or knife to cut an 11" foam strip. This is the same width as the transparent film.

2. Cut the elastic band at 11" - 12".

Depending on your head size, you can cut the elastic band around 11" - 12". Some elastic bands are less elastic than the others so take this into account. We bought an elastic band that doesn't stretch a lot so we had to cut it at 14".

3. Staple the elastic band onto the transparent film

We like to wrap the elastic band around the transparent film so it would create a natural curve once it's stapled.

Elastic band with the transparent film.

4. Stick the adhesive part of foam strip onto the film

We found that it's sticky enough that you won't need extra adhesives to glue it together.

In Conclusion

DIY face shields are a cheap and quick alternative to 3d printed face shields. Although they are much better than homemade face masks at protecting the wearer, we still cannot guarantee that it will protect you from COVID-19. You still need to follow the CDC guidelines and other preventative measures when it comes to protecting yourself from this virus.

If you're not a frontliner, we kindly ask you not to purchase these materials as they are already in shortage. You wouldn't need face shields at all if you're staying at home.

But if you're making these for our frontliners, then feel free to do so!