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Mask Lanyards for the Whole School

Mid summer we found out that we would be in fact going back to school in the Fall!  This greatly excited me.  I know it is a hot topic right now on whether or not we should be sending the kids back to school or if we should start the year with elearning.  I'm not sure if its the right thing to do or not, all I know, is I'm eager to get things back to normal.  I feel like at least trying to send the kids back, even if it's under different terms, at least we're going a step in the right direction.  We'll never know if we can go back to "normal" if we don't start somewhere, right?
Anyways, at our school, the kids are going to have to be wearing masks a lot.  The only times that they won't have to wear them is when there is lunch, pe and recess.  The rest of the time, they'll have to wear them.  So they'll be coming on and off, and on and off throughout the day.  With having three kids of my own, I was nervous about my youngest two dropping their masks on the floor, or even losing them.

I was talking with my husband about how I wanted to create something that could hold the masks, kind of like how people have things that hold glasses, so that they can have them handy to put on and off.  I started brainstorming.  I had to go to Joannes to get something for a crochet project I was working on, and headed over to the jewelry making area.  I came home with paracord and breakaway clasps.  

After a while of playing around with it, and brainstorming with my husband, this is what I came up with.  

I showed my principal, and she asked me to show it to the rest of the staff at our next zoom meeting.  My principal wrote me the next day and thanked me for the idea and asked me if I wouldn't mind making one for each of the students and staff.  Luckily I work at a small private school!  

In total, I would need to make about 350 mask lanyards.  

I went on to Amazon to buy the items in bulk (covered by my school).  

This is 1,000 feet of Paracord.  I had some difficulties, that I'll mention further on, so I needed even more then this.  I think I ended buying another 200 feet.  I had to make sure I bought the 325 size, so that it would fit into the holes of the breakaway clasps.  

I also had to buy these breakaway clasps.  I had to buy more than I actually needed, in order to get the number of lanyards needed for my school.  The problem with these was, once I had them attached to the lanyard, fire melted and all, I then found out that not all of them would connect.  The ends sometimes weren't always compatible.  So I then had to go through and find another set that would work with it, cut off the pieces I already melted, and reattach.  I still ended up with a lot that I could never find matches for.  Although I had issues, I would still continue using these because they work the best for the paracord that I was using. 

I started off by measuring my paracord.  I had to cut them all to about 30" each.  This was probably the quickest part of the whole process. 

Next I had to attach the clasps to the paracord.  One on each side.  I threaded the cord into the clasp and then tied a tight knot. 

Next I took a lighter and melted the knots on each side.  This way I knew that the knots wouldn't come undone.  This took a little while, and, because it was me, caused a few burns on my hands.  Ouch!

Finally I had to test that they would fit.  The snaps are a little hard at first to connect, so that also hurt my hands some.  There were so many to do, so I enlisted my daughter for help.  I told her for every one that she connected, she would get a quarter.  She made $14 and then gave up.  But hey, every little bit helps!  

I eventually got them all done and handed out the day before we went back to school.  It's. been over 3 weeks, and so far, everyone has loved them!  My principal has told me a few times how much she loves it.  It just makes everything so easier, not having to worry about where the masks go when we have to take them off for a bit.  I've had other teachers, parents and even students come to tell me how great they are.  

So, even though they took a bit to make, the thanks I have gotten for them has made up for all of that.  I'm so glad I was able to help out my school, to make this crazy time just a little bit easier.  


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