How to Make Ear Savers with Free Cricut SVG Template

Learn how to make flexible Ear Savers with your Cricut cutting machine and my free SVG template. Cut this free Ear Saver pattern with your Cricut Maker, Explore, or Joy!

cutting plastic ear savers on the Cricut Joy

Ear savers, also called mask extenders or mask mates, help prevent ear soreness from wearing medical face masks with elastic loops. Ear savers are worn around the back of your head, which takes all the pressure off the back of your ears.

You can make a batch of ear savers for yourself, your family, or to donate to healthcare professionals, teachers, and essential workers in your community.

Make Ear Savers with Cricut

If you have a Cricut or other cutting machine, you can cut ear savers from thin plastic folders or inexpensive vinyl placemats.

Plastic ear savers are great because they are easy to wear and easy to clean. They are lightweight, fit a variety of head sizes, and make wearing face masks much more comfortable.

Cutting machines like Cricut and Silhouette make it possible to cut large batches of ear savers in a short amount of time. While you could cut them by hand, using a Cricut will make the process much faster.

cutting plastic ear savers on the Cricut Maker

Don’t have Cricut?

If you don’t have a cutting machine, it’s certainly possible to cut this design with scissors and a bit of patience. Print the template, and trace it onto the plastic sheet. Then, use scissors or an X-acto blade to cut out the template.

If this Ear Saver cut file isn’t what you were looking for, check out these other ear saver patterns instead:

Best Materials to Cut Ear Savers

I like to cut ear savers from heavy-duty plastic folders. When you are shopping, look for a plastic folder that will be stiff enough to hold the elastic loops of the face mask. Here are some of the materials that work the best.

Plastic folders. I’ve had the best luck cutting ear savers from the plastic folders that you find in the Office or School Supplies section.

To prepare a folder for cutting, cut off the front and back sheets from the spine. Then, cut away the pockets. You should be left with two large flat pieces and two smaller pocket pieces.

Thin plastic or vinyl placemats. I’ve also seen people make ear savers from the inexpensive plastic placemats you can find at dollar stores. I haven’t done this myself, but many people seem to like them.

Thin plastic cutting mats. Since these are thicker, they are the trickiest material to cut. In my opinion, these may be more trouble than they’re worth. Plastic folders cut a lot more easily, and still work great!

use a brayer to fix plastic sheet to the Cricut cutting mat

Machine Settings for Cutting Plastic

When you work with alternative matierals like plastic folders, you often need to adjust the Cricut machine’s cutting settings.

Many variables affect which settings you should choose. Factors include the type of material you choose, material thickness, intricateness of the SVG design, and your machine blade’s sharpness.

Make a Test Cut

I always suggest making a test cut when working with new materials. That way, you save yourself the trouble of wasting material or cutting into your Cricut mats.

Here’s how I tested material settings for my plastic folders.

  • First, I drew a small heart shape with the Shape Tool in Cricut Design Space.
  • Then, choose material settings to test. I started with 300 pressure and 2 passes. The test shapes cut cleanly with these settings.
  • But, when I tested one ear saver shape, I found that I needed a total of 4 passes to cut it out cleanly. (You will often find that more complicated shapes need more passes. )
setting a custom material cut setting in Cricut Design Space

Custom Material Setting

If you will be making a lot of these ear savers, it’s worth the trouble to create a Custom Material Setting. Here’s how to do that:

  1. If you have an Explore, turn the dial on your Explore to Custom. If you have a Maker, you don’t have to turn a dial.
  2. Load the SVG into Design Space, set up your mat, and click Make It.
  3. On the next screen, click “Browse All Materials”, then “Material Settings”, and then scroll to the bottom to select “Add New Material”.
  4. Name your custom material and save. You will then be able to edit the other material options.

For the plastic folders I used, I created a custom setting with 300 pressure, 4x passes, with the Fine-Point Blade.

Other Cutting Machines

Do you have a Cricut Explore? You can make these ear savers. You don’t have to make any adjustments to the pattern. Just be sure to turn the dial to Custom so you can select a custom material setting.

Do you have a Cricut Maker? You can make these ear savers. You don’t have to make any adjustments to the pattern. Just be sure to select a custom material setting.

Do you have a Cricut Joy? You can still make these ear savers. With a small cutting mat, Cricut Joy can cut up to 6.25 inches. With a larger cutting mat, Cricut Joy can cut up to 11.75 inches.

Since this file is 6.5 inches wide, you will need to resize it to fit on the smaller Cricut Joy mat.

cutting an ear saver with the Cricut Joy

To make this on the Cricut Joy, there are a couple of extra steps to remember:

  • First, cut out a piece of plastic to fit the smaller-sized Joy mats. Use blue painter’s tape around the edges of the plastic to affix it firmly to the mat.
  • Then, once you’ve loaded the SVG into Cricut Design Space and clicked “Make it”, confirm that the Material Load Type is “On-Mat.”
  • After that, change the material settings as described above.

Do you have a Sihouette? You may be interested in this tutorial that talks about the best settings to cut plastic.

How to Make Ear Savers with Your Cricut

Here is the tutorial for cutting ear savers with a Cricut cutting machine.

Supplies and Tools

  • Plastic folders or thin plastic placemats
  • Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, or another cutting machine
  • StrongGrip Mat (You can also try the StandardGrip Mat)
  • Fine-Point Blade
  • Blue painter’s tape (optional)
resizing a file in Cricut Design Space

What Size to Make

This ear saver design is 6.5″ wide. If, when you import it into Design Space, it shows up as larger or smaller, you will want to resize it to be 6.5″ wide.

I designed it will three sets of tabs, so it should fit most adults. The wearer can choose which set of tabs to use so it fits comfortably.

That said, if you have a larger head, you can resize the design to be 7.5″ wide.

Kids and smaller adults can use the smallest set of tabs. If you are making ear savers for children, you might be tempted to make them smaller. But remember that if you resize them to be skinnier, they will be weaker and more prone to tearing.

cutting an ear saver svg file in Cricut Design Space

Note: If you don’t already have Cricut Design Space, you can download it for free. You can use the program on Mac, Windows, iOS (iPhone or iPad), and Android devices. You will also need to register a Cricut ID, if you do not have one already. Note: A Cricut ID is free, and different from membership to Cricut Access.


Instructions

  1. Cut flat sheets of plastic from the folders. Place the plastic on the StrongGrip cutting mat and use a brayer to affix it to the mat. Load the mat into your machine
  2. Upload the free SVG file to Design Space and add it to your Canvas workspace. If you want to make multiple ear savers, duplicate the design as many times as you’d like. (I was able to cut 8 ear savers from one side of a plastic folder.)
  3. Click Make It, and check the position of the ear saver on the mat preview. Click continue.
  4. Set custom material settings following the instructions above. Load the Fine-Point blad, load your mat, and press the Go button to start cutting.

Troubleshooting

Plastic won’t stick to the mats. If you plastic material is coming loose from the StandardGrip mats, you may need to switch to the StrongGrip mats. You can also try added blue painters tape around the edges of your plastic sheet to help hold it in place.

The design didn’t cut all the way through. This means that you need to adjust your material settings in Design Space. You might need to add more pressure, or you might need to add an additional cutting pass. Remember to make a test cut before cutting out a whole sheet of ear savers!

Mask loops are slipping off the Ear Saver. It might be that the plastic that you’ve made the Ear Saver from could be too flimsy to hold the tension form the elastic ear loops. Try making another set of ear savers from a stronger, thicker plastic.

How to Use Ear Savers

Here’s how to wear ear savers. First, put your face mask on your ears like normal. Then, place the ear saver strap across the back of your head. Hold the ear saver with one hand. With the other hand, pull one of the elastic ear loops back and slip the elastic over the tabs to secure it. Repeat with the other side.

If you wear a ponytail or a bun: Put your hair in a low ponytail or bun, and then place the strap of the ear saver above your ponytail to keep it in place.

If you want to make your own fabric mask, check out my pleated face mask pattern.

More Ear Saver Patterns

Be sure to check out these other ear saver patterns, too:

Get the free Ear Saver SVG file!

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    Ear Saver SVG for Cricut

    Ear Saver SVG for Cricut

    Yield: 1

    Materials

    • Plastic folders or thin plastic placemats
    • Blue painter’s tape (optional)

    Tools

    • Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, or another cutting machine
    • StrongGrip Mat (You can also try the StandardGrip Mat)
    • Fine-Point Blade

    Instructions

    1. Cut flat sheets of plastic from the folders. Place the plastic on the StrongGrip cutting mat and use a brayer to affix it to the mat. Load the mat into your machine
    2. Upload the free SVG file to Design Space and add it to your Canvas workspace. If you want to make multiple ear savers, duplicate the design as many times as you'd like. (I was able to cut 8 ear savers from one side of a plastic folder.)
    3. Click Make It, and check the position of the ear saver on the mat preview. Click continue.
    4. Set custom material settings following the instructions above. Load the Fine-Point blad, load your mat, and press the Go button to start cutting.

    Did you make this project?

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    What’s Next?

    Pin this post: Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards, so you can come back to it later.

    Leave a comment: I love to hear your feedback. Tell me in the comments below!

    Share on Instagram or Facebook: When you make this project, share it on social media and tag me @sarahmaker. I love to see what you make!

    cutting out plastic ear savers with the Cricut cutting machine

    3 thoughts on “How to Make Ear Savers with Free Cricut SVG Template”

    1. Thanks for the neat ear saver – been looking for something like this. I use a CPAP with the ear loops and my ears get so sore! I have crocheted some but sleep on my side so even felt buttons bother me.
      Also, I don’t have a Cricuit : ( .
      Thanks again!

      Reply

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