DIY-ing my own face shields

August 15th was the start of the “no face shield, no mask, no entry” on public transportation. Then for us in back-to-GCQ zones, it was the 19th (also Quezon Day), with the rule expanding to other establishments. I was thinking of getting the locally made bamboo frames from Bambuhay, but they were still on pre-order and I needed one ASAP.

So I scrounged around the house for materials and created two quick DIYs.

(That is such a vlogger title, but alas I am a blogger through and through. So… “welcome back to my channel and don’t forget to subscribe, like, share, comment, and hit that notification bell for the latest updates. Now let’s get to it!”)

Version 1: Clear book insert + Headband

Inspired by the tutorial of Something’s Cooking With Alpa

DIY clear book insert + headband face shield

Since the plastic insert already had punched holes, you only need to thread your headband through them in an alternating fashion. It has to be thin enough to fit in the holes, but you can probably improvise with either larger holes or other material, like string. It’s the shape of the headband, though, that makes the shape.

Verdict: the plastic sheet I had was textured and not clear enough, so it’s not good for visibility; not to mention it was a bit soft so it may not feel like a legit shield. The headband is the MVP here; it holds the whole thing together and adds that customizable touch.

DIY clear book insert + headband face shield

Version 2: Clear folder + Scrap Fabric + ID lace

Inspired by the tutorial of CreativityWindow

DIY clear folder + fabric + ID lace face shield

The idea is to line the forehead area with cloth or foam, and then thread an elastic string through punched holes at the ends to round it up (I used one from the tons of conference IDs lying around).

I didn’t put washi tape or cut rounder edges, so I’m not sure if that helps in reinforcing how it curves on the lower part, but the tutorial did a super cute job about that.

Verdict: I was pretty pleased about how this turned out and as someone who gets aches from too-tight headbands, this was a preferable option.

DIY clear folder + fabric + ID lace face shield

Actual usage: not the best experience

Using the 2nd DIY in a vehicle, things started to go downhill. My perspiration immediately fogged up the upper part, and felt a tad too close to my face, so I had to reposition it so I could see better.

I don’t have pictures, but this is an accurate depiction of how I felt:

Hou Ting in Legend of Korra
COVID-19, the Philippine government, and 2020 have also aged me this much.

I’m not sure if it was the temperature, lack of air circulation, my mask already feeling too thick to breathe, or maybe I have some minor claustrophobia / anxiety, but yeah, the face shield was a significantly worse experience than just wearing a mask. At least with the one I made.

I definitely want one that’s:

  • easily adjustable
  • quick to wear
  • lightweight
  • not tight on the head
  • fog-proof
  • far from the face

For the most part, my DIY face shield will do. But for longer wear, it will definitely be uncomfortable. I dread the idea of spending hours in the mall, supermarket, or any poorly-ventilated space, trying to function normally with it.

I’d have to try other professionally manufactured ones to get a better analysis, but really: the face shield regulation is just another thing in our country’s special flavor of pandemic theater. ¯\_()_/¯

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