How To Make Rubber Band Hand PPE Gowns

Like wartime efforts, it's time for companies to step up.

As we all know, Covid-19 is overwhelming healthcare systems all over the world. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers and workers lack access to the necessary equipment to keep themselves safe.

As this crisis progresses, many businesses are wondering how they can join the fight to minimize the impact of COVID-19. Much like wartime efforts, businesses, non-profits, and individuals will all have to work together to support our healthcare system.

At SCW, we decided one of the ways we could do our part would be COVIDMobilize to start handcrafting and selling PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) gowns. We will use a “pay what you can” pricing system. If you can't pay at this time, send us an email at, and we will get you the gowns you need.

These are also fairly simple to make yourself. We used this guide to start making gowns in the SCW warehouse. Our process is very similar, however, we worked with a local doctor to maximize efficiency and make the design safer.

How is SCW's process unique?

1. Instead of using the markered guidelines for our heat gun seams, we cut out a large piece of cardboard to lay on top of the plastic to keep it flat and to act as a guide for the heat guns

2. We are sealing rubber bands (there's a global elastic shortage) to the ends of the sleeves, so they have an elastic cuff to fit snugly at the wrists

What materials will I need?

HDX Painter Plastic from Home Depot - 12 ft x 400 ft
Razor Blade
Heat Gun
Rubber Bands.
Table - 8 ft wide and 5 ft high.

What are the exact steps?

1. Pull plastic across the length of table (8ft)

2. Cut plastic with scissors when pulled to length

3. Measure 1 ft from top of plastic for first cut

4. Once measured cut only the top layer across the length of table

5. After you've cut, separate the 2 sheets - this will make 2 gowns

6. Set one layer to the side for later use

7. Take your one sheet of plastic and lay it out covering the width of table 8 ft

8. Fold that layer from right to left overlapping itself

9. Rotate folded piece to where the opening is at the bottom

10. Line the top part up with your table and stencil

11. Place stencil over the top of plastic

12. Put your heat gun on a low heat setting and melt the plastic around your stencil on both sides

13. Use razor blade and cut roughly 2 inches away from stencil along the outside of melted area

14. Cut out the neck hole of gown with razor blade

15. Lift stencil and remove gown

16. Rotate gown to the side where the sleeve faces you

17. Insert cardboard into sleeve

18. Wrap rubber band around sleeve and cardboard

19. Fold plastic over rubber band roughly an inch on both sides

20. Heat plastic to seal rubber bands

21. Remove cardboard and repeat steps for other sleeve

How can my business help?

We are excited to announce that we are partnering with COVIDMobilize , a free platform aimed at building bridges between nonprofit organizations who need help and the for-profit companies who can support them. Right now, there is a huge need for face masks, shields, ventilators, hand sanitizer, and other medical supplies. In our local community of Asheville, distilleries have begun making hand sanitizer for businesses and hospitals. Additionally, several other outdoor gear brands have turned their factories into PPE manufacturing machines. The needs for this crisis are changing daily, and every business is going to need to do their part. We want to encourage anyone interested in joining the fight to visit COVIDMobilize and fill out a form. Someone from their team will be in touch with you to create a plan to match your services with an identified need.