With the CDC’s latest recommendation that everyone should wear a protective mask, people are eager to make DIY face masks to ensure the safety of themselves and their family when leaving the house.
While these simple cloth face masks aren’t as effective in preventing the spread of germs as N-95s and surgical masks, the shortage on necessary personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals means that if you do happen to find N-95 masks or surgical masks, it’s best to donate these to those on the front lines and instead make your own. Not so crafty with a needle and thread? Don’t worry, we’ve found DIY face mask tutorials for every level of difficulty.
It’s important to note that these cloth masks should be washed immediately after use in order to stay sanitary. According to the CDC, cloth masks shouldn’t be worn by children under 2 or those with preexisting breathing problems.
For an easy, no-sew option, this video from the Surgeon General shows how easy it can be to fashion a quick mask. Using an old scarf, a bandana, a hand towel or even a cotton t-shirt, fold it so the edges meet in the middle, creating an overlapped square. Repeat this motion, folding so the edges meet in the middle, creating an overlapped rectangle. Place two rubber bands near the ends, and then fold the ends into the middle again. Stretch the rubber bands over your ears and make sure the folds are tucked in. Click here for a video tutorial.
Following the same process as before, use a bandana or piece of fabric and fold it so the edges meet in the middle, creating an overlapped square. Repeat this motion, folding so the edges meet in the middle, creating an overlapped rectangle. Now, slip cloth-covered elastic hair ties over the ends, and fold so they meet in the middle. Using a simple stitch or safety pins, secure the fabric to the hair ties and cut off the excess. This video explains both versions.
For those with the time, skills and resources (now is not the time to run out to Hobby Lobby for fabric), there are many advanced mask tutorials. Elevate your mask with a wire trim that can form around your nose to fit your face, or create a filter pocket and use disposable filters when going out.