With a whole pandemic taking the spotlight in our lives today, it’s important to do our best to abide by the new norms for the safety of ourselves and everyone around us. A mask is the simplest yet most effective part of this norm. No matter where you go or who you meet, it’s important to prioritize wearing a mask. In a time where no one knows how and when and where you might catch a hold of this disease, personal safety is crucial to minimise chances of getting infected.
According to CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), wearing a face mask in places where social distancing is not possible is a strong recommendation for safety. Many countries around the world have asked their citizens to wear face masks when out in public, or even in enclosed spaces such as supermarkets and public transport. In countries like England and Scotland, it is mandatory for you to wear a face mask on public transport as well as in shops. One must also remember that while wearing a mask is a strong precaution, social distancing and restricting group meetings are still the best ways to protect yourself.
However, having to keep buying masks may get tedious, not to mention, the disposable variety can be harmful for our environment. So, while we are at it, why not make a fashion statement out of it too? Making a mask is way easier than you’d think, and we have got 3 different ways in which you can make one for yourself!
While two are extremely simple, the other one requires a little bit of sewing. As for the fabric you can use any design or pattern you’d like. The best part of making your own mask is that the creative freedom is all yours.
A bandana or scarf
2 x elastic or rubber bands, or hair ties
A coffee filter, paper towel or kitchen roll (optional)
This, by far, is the easiest method for making your own face mask, and the quickest. You can utilise this method when there’s an emergency and you find yourself without facemasks. This method is as simple as folding a bandana or a scarf into the right space. Remember to be careful of the bandana or scarf you choose in order for it to be most effective and also allow you to breathe properly. You can do this by holding your material up to the light and see how see-through it is. The less you can see, the better; if the material is too thin then your face mask won't be as effective. Tightly woven, 100 percent cotton is the best material for you to opt for.
To make this face mask, you have to fold your bandana in half, and then fold it again twice lengthwise from both, the top and the bottom. At this point, you can also add a square piece of coffee filter or a paper towel which you can keep changing. You then have to place your chosen rubber bands around the strip of the material, further folding the material towards the middle and if possible, tucking the ends into each other. And now you’re all done! All that’s left to do is put it by placing the rubber band around your ears, grab your sanitizer and head out the door!
Coffee filter or paper towel (optional)
Now, we know this may sound weird but just bear with us, this concept also works and is accredited via the CDC. This is your chance to use any T-shirt you have no use of anymore and don’t mind tearing it up. Make sure that you don't use a really old T-shirt, especially, if they have any holes in them or are worn through. Again, try to use a 100 percent cotton T-shirt that is as opaque as possible. To start off, you need to cut your T-shirt to make the ties for your face mask, making a sort of elongated C-shape. The length should be around 6-7 inches (15-17 cm) for this. Next, you have to cut your t-shirt in strings so that you can tie them around your head to hold your mask. For this, adjust until you get a snug fit around your nose and chin. At this point, you can add a coffee filter or paper towel to your face mask, and secure it with a safety pin.
Cotton fabric (10-11-inches or 25-28cm in diameter)
2 x 6-inch (15 cm) pieces of elastic or rubber bands, hair ties or strips of cloth
A plate, or something round to draw around
Needle and thread
Jewellery wire or similar (optional)
For this method, you can use a simple needle and thread or even a sewing machine if you want to show off your skills. This face mask method will give you a slightly rounded mask. You first start by placing your chosen material face down on a flat surface. Make sure it is opaque and ironed. After this, put a plate of 10-12 inches or 25-28 cm in diameter, on top of it, and draw around it on the cloth. Then cut out your circle shape and fold it twice. This will give you your four curved triangles on top of each other. You then have to cut down the sides of your triangles, so you have four separate shapes and place one shape face up, and another face down on top of it, so the wrong sides of the material are on the outside. Do the same with the other two shapes. Then, all you have to do is a running stitch along the curved edge of your fabric with a needle and thread (or a sewing machine). See to it that you don't leave any gaps between your stitches. Once you are done stitching, unfold your triangles, and you will get a sort of dome-like structure. Place the domes on top of each other with the front sides together.
At this point, you can insert some sort of wire into your face mask (this is useful for stopping your glasses from fogging up), if you’d like. Insert it now by placing it along the nose (or middle) section of the top side of your mask and folding down the material. Then sew along the top edge of the mask, encasing the wire into your face mask. The next step is to pin your mask in place and sew around the edges of your face mask, leaving a small gap at one end. Pull your material through the gap till you have the front sides of your material on the outside of your face mask, and then stitch up the small gap. All that’s left for you to do now is insert your ties into your face which you can do by folding one of the pointy edges of your mask over itself, and then sew it down on both sides. Then you have to insert your elastic or ties, using a safety pin or needle to thread them through the hem, tie up your elastic and you are all done!