Advertisement

Make your own mask

Make your own mask
Getty Images

While wearing face masks are mandatory in some parts of the world, in other places it is highly recommended when taking public transport, grocery shopping or in other places where social distancing is a challenge. Most face masks offer some level of protection and may even help curb the spread of COVID-19, even if they are not the approved N-95 mask. While disposable masks are handy, wearing a reusable mask is much cheaper and better for the environment, so many people are now making their own masks. Here’s our guide to a DIY face mask using common items in your home.

These 10 facts will help convince you to wear a face mask. 

What you’ll need:

What you’ll need:
The Family Handyman

Materials:

For the mask

Two pieces of fabric about a 24cm square each.

For the strap

Cloth

Ribbon

String

Shoelaces

Stretch-band material or rubber bands

Sewing thread

Tools:

Long ruler

Tape measure

Scissors and/or utility knife

Iron

Sewing machine or needle and thread

Learn how to handle social distancing rule breakers. 

Choose and cut fabric

Choose and cut fabric
The Family Handyman

A Cambridge University study shows that antimicrobial pillowcases, cotton-blend T-shirts, and dish towels filter a higher percentage of particles, but any lightweight washable fabric will give some level of protection. The thinner your fabric, the easier your sewing.

It’s best to choose different types of fabric so you can tell inside from out when putting on the mask. We found some leftover material from a Space Girl party dress (that was a wild party!) and some plain white muslin. Lay your two fabrics over each other and cut out a 24cm square.

Edgestitch No. 1

Edgestitch No. 1
The Family Handyman

With your two square pieces of cloth layered over each other, fold over two parallel edges about 1cm and iron them flat. Many plans we looked at called for hand pinning folds and pleats for edge stitching, but if you’re not a seasoned seamstress you’ll find ironing far easier.

Once your edges are folded over, stitch those same two edges. On our mask-making night, my partner assembled a half-a-dozen masks on a sewing machine in the time it took me to stitch one by hand.

Here are some rules for staying safe while grocery shopping. 

Create pleats

Create pleats
The Family Handyman

A pleated mask will provide the best universal fit. Keeping the stitched edges top and bottom, iron in three pleats, leaving a total width of about 7.5cm.

Edgestitch No. 2

Edgestitch No. 2
The Family Handyman

Keeping the pleats in place, stitch the short edges.

Advertisement

Choose straps and cut to length

Choose straps and cut to length
The Family Handyman

Strap design can vary depending on what you have on hand. It can be any ribbon, string, shoestring, stretch-band or fabric less than 1cm wide. The two predominant strap styles are tie straps or ear loops.

Tie straps should be cut to about 45cm long. If you do have stretch band material, best to cut the ear loops at 20cm long. If you decide to use fabric, cut an 18 x 2cm strip, fold and iron the edges to its middle, then do a zig-zag stitch up the centre.

Attach straps

Attach straps

If you’re making ear loop straps, attach them perpendicular to the mask at the corners. With string or any strap material less than half a centimetre wide, best to make a small loop or knot when you stitch it to the face mask.

Tie straps should be attached at a 45-degree angle in the corners of the mask. If you make tie straps, you can tie loops in them and integrate rubber bands. This tip makes for a snug fit on the face and gets around the awkward task of having to tie the mask on behind your head.

Wearing a mask

Wearing a mask
The Family Handyman

For full effectiveness make sure your mask fits snugly. Despite the inconvenience of tie straps, I find it best for getting a good seal on my face. Avoid touching the mask while using it and sanitise your hands after handling it.

Be sure to wash your mask regularly to keep it germ-free. It’s not a bad idea to have two or three for yourself and keep them in rotation in your laundry. It’s best to wash in hot water with regular detergent and dry on a high heat setting.

Always sanitise your hands after handling and do not touch your face.

Stay safe and healthy

Stay safe and healthy
Getty Images

Much of what we know about this coronavirus is changing day to day, yet one fact has remained constant: It is primarily transmitted through the nose and mouth. So it makes sense that wearing a mask may slow the spread of the virus.

While the medical effectiveness of a DIY face mask can be debated, it best to decide for yourself if a mask makes you feel safer. After all, we’re all just looking for a little peace of mind in these difficult times.

Next, check out these household products that kill coronavirus.

Sign up here to get Reader’s Digest’s favourite stories delivered straight to your inbox.

Source: RD.com

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: