Welcome to the new normal! There is no denying that we are all stuck in this virus-ridden world, where the only adornments to be thrilled about are face masks, gloves, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, face masks are now mandatory in public places. However, getting a hold of one can be quite tricky. N95 respirators and surgical masks are critical supplies that should be reserved for first responders.
How cool would it be if you could make your own mask? Thankfully, you can! Today, we will look at how to make 3 types of cloth face masks with a varying level of difficulty. And the best part, none of them require a sewing machine.
Easy Bandana-style Cloth Face Mask
Let’s start with the easiest and quickest DIY mask. You only need a handkerchief or a bandana, 2 rubber bands, and a paper towel, kitchen roll, or coffee filter.
To make the bandana face mask, fold the fabric into half and then fold the top and bottom to the center. Place a square paper towel, kitchen roll, or coffee filter over the folds.
Next, thread the ends of the folded fabric through two elastic rubber bands or hair ties to create a pleated mask.
You can toss the bandana or handkerchief into your washing machine for a quick clean and change the coffee filters (or alternatives) after each use. Repeated use of a dirty mask will also affect your skin.
A tip to choose the best kind of bandana would be to hold it up to bright light and see how much light can pass through. The more opaque a fabric, the better protection it will provide.
Ideally, tightly woven 100% cotton fabric is best suited for this DIY project.
T-shirt Face Mask
If you have a t-shirt you do not mind cutting up, we can make masks from that too. All you will need is a t-shirt of your choice, a measuring tape, a pair of scissors, and some paper towels or coffee filters.
To begin, cut 8 inches of the t-shirt’s bottom half – this is the fabric we will use. Make the ties by cutting an elongated C-shape from the collected fabric (around 6-7 inches). Then secure a paper towel or coffee filter using a safety pin.
Adjust to find a snug fit around your chin and nose. Note that while using 100% cotton t-shirts are great for this project, you must refrain from using worn-out t-shirts with holes in them.
Cotton Fabric Face Mask
If you know basic sewing techniques and have access to cotton fabric, this method of making a mask might help attain a slightly rounded and more comfortable mask.
Apart from the cloth, you only need some elastic rubber bands, a plate, scissors, and a needle and thread.
Place a plate (roughly 10-12 inches diameter) on the cotton fabric, draw a circle outlining it, and cut out the shape. Cut this circular fabric into half and then further cut the semi-circles into halves to attain 4 cone shapes. Divide the cones into pairs.
For each pair, place one cone on the other to match the shape exactly (make sure the patterned front side of your fabric is facing one another) and sew the curved edges together.
When you unfold the cones, you will get a dome-like structure from each of your cone pairs. Next, place the 2 domes on top of each other, front sides together, and sew around the edges. Remember to leave a small gap at one end.
Slowly pull out the front side of the material through the gap, then stitch up the small gap. All that is left is to fold the pointy edges to create a hem, and then insert the elastic ties into the face mask.
These simple non-medical face masks are easy to make. Even if you are not accustomed to wearing fabric masks, these breathable masks along with frequent hand washing and social distancing will help lead a somewhat normal life.