These simple ear savers are made to help protect the ears from chafing when wearing a face mask with elastic.
If you’ve been sewing fabric masks, you may want to make these ear savers to go with them. A mask is fine for an hour, but when you have to wear it all day, it can chafe behind the ears.
My sister is a hospital nurse and one of the biggest discomforts she has faced is chafing around her ears because of the elastic straps on the face masks she is required to wear. Some kind souls donated ear savers to her hospital and she’s been so grateful that she suggested I post a tutorial to show you how to make some.
These ear savers are great whether you’re making them for yourself or to donate to hospitals.
Because most of us can’t (and shouldn’t) run to the store to buy supplies, I tried to come up with a simple way to make them with supplies most crafters and sewists would probably have on hand.
With this design, each ear saver only takes about 5 minutes to make, so you can have plenty for everyone in the family in just an hour or so.
And if you’d like a fun way to personalize masks, check out my Sharpie Tie Dye masks. They turn out so cute and there’s no mess involved.
- Sturdy Ribbon (1 inch or 1.5 inches wide)
- Large Buttons
- Needle and Thread
- Lighter or Candle
- Clear Nail Polish, Fray Stop or Fabric Glue (optional)
Step 1: Cut the ribbon to length. I made several different sizes to accommodate different sized heads. About 8 inches to 10 inches seems to be a good range.
Step 2: Use a lighter to melt the ends of the ribbon. This prevents fraying, which is important since these will need to be washed after every use.
Step 3: Sew buttons on to each end of the ribbon.
Step 4: Add a small dab of clear nail polish to the thread to help keep the knots from coming undone. This step is optional, but it only takes a second and I feel like it’ll help the ear savers hold up better in the wash.
And that’s it! So simple to make!
To wear the ear savers, just put on your face mask like normal, then place the ribbon across the back of your head and slip the elastics over the buttons.
My sister prefers to wear a low bun and place the ribbon above the bun to help keep it in place.
To make the ear saver fit multiple people without changing the measurement of the ribbon, you could sew a second button onto each side so that nurses could choose which button fits most comfortably. I’ve also considered adding the scratchy side of Velcro dots on to the underside of the ribbon to help it stay in place in the hair. If your ear saver slips a lot, this could be a good solution.
I’ve also seen headband style ear savers. Just buy a stretchy headband from the dollar store and add buttons!
EASY DIY EAR SAVERS VIDEO TUTORIAL
Please take a moment to pin the image below so others can join in our efforts to support the healthcare workers who are at the front lines of this pandemic.
And be sure to visit my post about DIY Fabric Face Masks to learn more about making masks. It’s a treasure trove of good information.