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7 Ways to Make Adjustable Ear Loops & Straps for Face Masks

When I was making face masks for others, a BIG problem I had was getting the ear loops the perfect size (hint: it never happened).

This is when I came across DIY adjustable ear loops and straps, and it changed everything. This is the best way for wearers to get a custom, perfect fit, and you don’t have to stress about getting custom measurements for each person.

I’m going to show you 7 simple ways to make adjustable ears and head straps.

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diy adjustable ear loops for face masks

Contents list:

  1. Adjustable ears with only elastic (method 1)
  2. Adjustable ears with only elastic (method 2)
  3. Adjustable ears with fabric straps
  4. Adjustable ears with pony beads
  5. Adjustable ears with silicone adjusters
  6. Adustable ears with wire adjusters
  7. Adjustable head straps/ties with beads

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How to make ear loop adjusters with only elastic (method 1)

Materials you’ll need

No extra materials or tools are needed.

Just use whatever elastic you’re already using for the ear loops. Skinny elastic will go around the ear easier. I would not use anything wider than ⅜”.

Pros of this method

  • No extra materials are needed.
  • It’s quick and easy to do.
  • You can do this to a mask that has already been made or is store-bought.

Cons of this method

  • Watch out for elastic that frays in the wash. This will make the ear loops less durable and messy-looking.
  • If you tie your knot too tight, the adjuster won’t move.
  • If you tie your knot too loosely, it will go over the stopper knot and fall off.
  • It doesn’t look as neat and pretty as the method with beads. It’s basically just knotted.

How to make ear loop adjusters with only elastic (method 2)

Materials you’ll need

No extra materials or tools are needed.

Pros of this method

  • It’s really simple to do. You’re just using a slip knot to make the ears adjustable.
  • No extra tools or accessories are needed.
  • You can do this to a mask that has already been made or is store-bought.

Cons of this method

  • If you make the knot too tight, it will get stuck and stop moving.
  • It’s not the most durable method. You have to keep the knot quite loose so it can move.


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How to make adjustable ears with fabric straps

Skip to 5:03 to see how the adjustable ears are made.

Materials you’ll need

No extra tools or materials are needed. Just cut strips of fabric that you’re already using for the mask.

Pros of this method

  • It’s an easy method.
  • No extra tools or accessories are needed.

Cons of this method

  • It takes a bit longer to cut and sew fabric ties.

How to make ear loop adjusters with pony beads

Skip to 5:20 to see how the adjustable ears are made.

Note: she’s using 1/4″ elastic.

Materials you’ll need

You can’t use any beads for this method. You’ll need pony beads because they have a hole that’s big enough for elastic. You can get them from Amazon.

The Youtuber is using regular sized pony beads that kids use for jewelry. The diameter is about 0.8 cm.

Pros of this method

  • It’s simple to do.
  • It creates a neat finish.
  • Unlike elastic or fabric ties, you don’t need to worry about fraying.
  • Pony beads are easy to buy. They’re widely available in craft stores, online shops, and Amazon.

Cons of this method

  • You need to buy pony beads. These normally come in bulk packs of 50-1000 beads, so if you only need a few it’s a waste.
  • If you’re buying them online, shipping often costs as much as the beads themselves. That’s why I recommend buying them with your normal Amazon shopping to get free shipping.

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How to make adjustable ear loops with silicone adjusters

Note: the Youtuber is using 1/4″ elastic.

Materials you’ll need

Pros of this method

  • The end result is neat and professional-looking.

Cons of this method

  • The Youtuber doesn’t say how to stop the adjuster from falling off if it’s pulled too far. I recommend tieing a “stopper” knot at the end of the elastic, after you’ve got the adjuster on.
  • It’s tricky getting the silicone adjuster on. The Youtuber had to use a crochet hook (Amazon link). She agrees that it’s hard to do: “I had difficulty attaching them to the elastic so my husband came to assist me.”
  • You need to find silicone adjusters. They probably won’t be sold at your local stores, but you can find lots of options on Amazon.
  • Silicone adjusters are normally sold in packs of 50-1000. If you only need a few, it’s a waste.

How to make adjustable ears using copper wire

Note: you could achieve something similar with bra strap sliders (Amazon).

Materials you’ll need

Pros of this method

  • If you’re already using wire to make adjustable nose pieces, this is a good use of the leftover wire.
  • The end result looks neat.

Cons of this method

  • It’s not the easiest option you have.
  • You need to have wire and wire cutting tools on hand.
  • Make sure the ends of the wire aren’t sharp.

DIY adjustable head straps with beads

Top tip: if you’re struggling to feed the straps through the bead, put masking tape around the ends of the straps. This will make them go through the bead more easily.

Materials you’ll need

  • Pony beads (Amazon). You need regular size, not mini.
  • Leftover fabric to create long fabric ties.
  • Optional: masking tape (Amazon).

Pros of this method

  • It’s simple to do.
  • Pony beads are easy to buy. They’re widely available in craft stores, online shops, and Amazon.

Cons of this method

  • Fabric straps take a bit longer to cut and sew.
  • You need to buy pony beads. These normally come in bulk packs of 50-1000 beads, so if you only need a few it’s a waste.
  • If you’re buying them online, shipping often costs as much as the beads themselves. That’s why I recommend buying them with your normal Amazon shopping to get free shipping.


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