Easy, NO SEW 5-Minute DIY Face Mask Using Shop Towels & Hot Glue

The moment that I heard that COVID-19 was hitting our area of New England, I started sewing cloth masks for all of my nurse friends and local first responders. (Thank you Home Ec and 4-H for teaching me to sew back in the day!) I’ve recently learned that blue shop towels are much more effective than cotton for filtering out virus particles. Since I am a consultant for AdTech (#1 hot glue company in the USA), my first thought was putting together a mask using hot glue instead of thread. It worked! Here is my easy method for making a very effective disposable face mask. I hope it helps keep you all healthy and safe!

Making this DIY face mask out of shop towels is very simple and only takes a few minutes. You can watch my video tutorial, or follow the blog post below.

Supplies needed:

The links below point to products I’m using in my tutorial. They may be affiliate links where I earn a small commission and they DO NOT increase your cost at all. Thank you!

  • 2 blue shop towels
  • a hot glue gun
  • hot glue sticks 
    • I’m using these: https://amzn.to/2VJM1kC
  • elastic banding (up to 1/4″ width works)
  • a flat twist tie 
    • I’m using something like these: https://amzn.to/3eDDt7x


Step 1: Cut Your Towels to 9″ x 6″

The easiest way to do this is to make a rectangular template out of card stock and use it as a cutting guide. Remove 2 shop towels from the roll. Don’t detach from each other. Fold at the seam. Place your 9″x6″ template at the seam and trace around it.

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Cut along the lines with sharp scissors.

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Step 2: Add The Twist-Tie and Hot Glue The Sides

Now, you’re going to “sandwich” the twist tie in between the 2 layers along the top. Open up the two layers and place so that the seam is laying horizontal in the middle. Using a glue gun, hot glue the twist tie to the center top of the lower layer, just under the seam. This will be the part that fits over your nose. (See the video at 1:46 if this isn’t clear enough.)

Next, lay hot glue from one side to the other – over the twist tie. Leave about 3/4″ of space from each end without glue! (This is so you have space to add the elastic loops later.)

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Step 3: Seal the Sides

Using your glue gun, run a line of hot glue in between the two layers along the remaining sides. Don’t put glue in the corners! Leave about 3/4″ free of glue in the corners.

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Step 4: Make Pleats

Starting at the bottom, make a small pleat by pinching the towel and pushing downward. Use your glue gun and tack teach pleat down. Repeat to create 3 pleats.

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Step 5: Glue the Back

Turn the mask over and hot glue the back pleats in the same manner.

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Step 5: Add Elastic to Side Corners

Cut two 7-inch pieces of elastic cord. If your elastic is the thin jewelry-making type, it’s best to tie a knot in the end so it doesn’t slide out as easily.

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Place one of the ends of your elastic into an upper corner between the 2 layers and hot glue into place. Make sure you use a fairly generous amount of glue, but not so much that it oozes all over the place. Repeat on the lower corner of the same side to make an ear loop, then repeat on the other side.

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Step 6: Try on Your Face Mask

Here’s the finished face mask!

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

Place the elastic loops over your ears and then pull the top and bottom of the mask to expand. Push the twist tie against your face and nose for a better fit.

DIY Shop Towel Face Mask

I am really excited to bring this project to you and I hope you enjoy it! If you do, please comment, share and pin!

Pin me! 🙂
Easy NO SEW face mask tutorial! Make a disposable face mask out of shop towels and hot glue in about 5 minutes! Click for tutorial and video.

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