I was flipping through a magazine before the holidays when I saw a list of gift ideas. One suggestion that caught my eye was a faux pearl face mask chain. I thought it looked really classy- but beyond that, I thought it was incredibly practical. The one I saw in the magazine was $40. So I (as most crafters will do) had the thought, “I can totally make that for much less.” Turns out that this time I was actually right. Below is an overview of this quick, easy, and inexpensive project. Keep reading for instructions on three ways to make a face mask chain.
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Whenever I run errands, I am constantly taking my face mask on and off. This is true at work as well. I don’t wear a mask in my private office space but must wear it whenever I am in the public areas of my office. By hanging my face mask on a chain around my neck, I always know where it is. I also think they look really cute. They kind of give off a librarian vibe.
While I am not an infectious disease doctor, my research on face mask chains suggests that they are safe. As long as the chain does not alter the function of the mask, it promotes increased use and potentially decreases the contamination that can occur when we place them on other surfaces or in our pockets. I am primarily a fan because of the convenience and see the decreased risk of contamination as a great bonus.
Making a face mask chain is incredibly easy. You only need a few supplies. I made three different styles: a beaded version, a traditional chain version, and a more masculine version made of parachute cord.
I first attempted to make a beaded chain mask like the faux pearl version I had seen in the magazine. I purchased some faux pearls and transite (a clear beading string with no stretch). To start, I tied the end of a piece of transite to one lobster clasp. I made several knots and then started adding beads. I was able to hide the knots and the end of the string by sliding beads over them.
It took several attempts at laying out potential bead patterns before I ultimately chose one that was made up mostly of smaller pearls. I found that I like the smaller beads the most because the larger ones were a bit overwhelming. Once my chain was about 24” long, I knotted the second lobster clasp to the end. I tucked the loose end of the transite into the final few beads so it was hidden. And that was it. I didn’t really need any special tools or skills. I completed the project for under $10.
- Beads of your desired color and size; I used faux pears (I recommend choosing smallish beads because larger beads might be too heavy and alter the fit of your mask.)
- Transite or other stringing material such as silk thread
- Lobster clasps
- Crimp beads (Optional) – not needed if you use a material like transite, but recommended for silk thread or other slippery stringing materials
The simple chain mask was much faster to make. First, I cut a piece of the gold chain I purchased to size (about 24”) using wire cutters. I then used my jewelry pliers to open a jump ring, attached the chain and lobster clasp, and then closed the jump ring. Finally, I repeated this on the other end of the chain and I was done. I finished this one in about two minutes.
- Chain in your desired color and size (Links to the ones I used are here and here)
- Jump rings (I used 6mm)
- Lobster clasps
- Wire cutters
- Jewelry pliers (or any clean pliers)
Parachute Cord Version
After making several chains for myself, I offered to make a more masculine version for my husband and father-in-law. With their input, I purchased black parachute cord and some gunmetal lobster clasps. As I had never worked with parachute cord before, I had to do a bit of research. I found a video that demonstrated how to make knots and found that we liked the look of the ‘snake knot.’
We cut the parachute cord to about 28″ to leave room to tie the knots. We then burned the ends to prevent fraying. Next, we attached the cord to the lobster clasps using the snake knots we had learned from the video. The online tutorial we watched suggested making more than one knot to ensure they are secure, so we added two on each side. This version is also very easy!
This project was well worth the time and effort. I use one of my face mask chains every time that I leave the house. I have received many compliments and really enjoy the convenience of having my mask around my neck.
Have you made or used a face mask chain? Let me know what you think of this project!