To keep yourself and others safe, Alachua County requires face masks to be worn in public when entering businesses. Since surgical and N95 face masks are only meant to be used by medical staff, it’s time to get crafty and make your own DIY Quick Sew Face Mask! This easy face mask can be made using a sewing machine or by hand, and you can use any fabric that you want! Keep the community safe by making and wearing your own face mask!
- Fabric: Use a fabric that is slightly thicker but isn’t too rough on your skin. To know if your fabric is thick enough, hold it up to a light. If you can see through it, it is too thin.
- 1⁄4 inch elastic
- Optional: Sewing machine
- Before you begin, iron out your fabric. This will make it easier to measure and cut.
- Measure and cut your fabric. Use the measurement guide to help you choose the size of your fabric. You can adjust these measurements depending on the head size of the person wearing the mask. After you decide on your measurements, measure out your square of fabric using a tape measure or ruler, and cut it out.
- Sew a 1⁄4-inch hem on the top and bottom of your square. To do this, turn the fabric over and fold down 1⁄4 of an inch of fabric from the top of the square. Pin this fold in place with pins and hand-sew or machine-sew a running stitch down the hem. Repeat this with the bottom side of the square.
- Create three accordion-style folds in your fabric. To do this, pinch the fabric in the middle of the square and fold
it down, pinning the fold into place. Repeat this two more times, once above the first fold and once below the first fold. When you have three folds that are even and pinned in place, sew a running stitch down the sides of the mask to secure the folds in place.
- Next, fold in the sides of your mask by 1⁄2 an inch to create a 1⁄2 inch hem on either side of the mask. Pin down the 1⁄2 inch hems on each side of the mask, and sew a running stitch down each side. When you are sewing this hem, make sure to make your stitch close to the raw edge of the fabric because this hem will become a “tube” for you to thread your elastic straps through. In other words, make sure there is a space that is at least 1⁄4 of an inch inside the hem on the sides of the mask.
- Get your elastic and cut two pieces long enough to fit your head size (see table for elastic sizing). Next, thread one piece of elastic through one side-hem of the mask, and do the same on the other side. Tip: Use a paper clip to thread the elastic through the small hems of the mask by hooking the elastic on the paper clip and pushing it through the “tubes” or side-hems of the mask.
- Tie the elastic together to make a loop on each side of the mask, and pull the knotted elastic around into the hem of the mask to hide the knot. Try on your quick sew face mask to make sure that it fits snugly on your face and that the elastic doesn’t pull on your ears.
Can this face mask be made by hand without a sewing machine?
Yes! Just use a needle and thread to make a running stitch. If you don’t have a needle and thread, you can also use fabric glue to glue down your hems, but make sure the fabric glue is machine washable.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “cloth face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.”
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