How to Make a DIY COVID-19 Cloth Face Mask.
Right now, in 2020, we are being asked to do things that most of us have never had to do before. Things like social distancing and self-isolation are things that are completely foreign to most people but are also necessary to help “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of this deadly coronavirus.
Another new thing that many of us are now doing to help out is wearing face masks out in public. Face masks many not being readily available in many places so a lot of people are making their own. Here is everything you need to know about making your own DIY face mask.
Why We Need to Wear Facemasks
During this global pandemic, it is important we all stay home as much as possible but there are times you will find yourself needing to go out. Whether it is to the grocery store or to pick up takeout to support a local business or go to the doctor’s office for something, you need to protect yourself and others when you go out. The CDC recommends some sort of cloth face covering. They say this will protect us from catching coronavirus and from being asymptomatic spreaders if we do have it.
Why We Should Make Facemasks (Instead of Buy Them)
If surgical masks or N95 respirator masks are still available to purchase in your area there are still many reasons to make your own protective facemask. The best and most important reason right now is that these masks should be saved for medical professionals and other essential personnel who need them badly right now.
What Are the Best Materials to Make DIY Face Masks?
You can make face masks from many materials but there does seem to be one material that works better than others. When you consider the fact that you need a fabric that is dense enough to stop particles from escaping your nose and mouth area yet breathable enough for you to breathe through in a relatively normal way, the best material seems to be cotton, hands down.
To make a small number of masks, for yourself and your family, you want to find lightweight breathable cotton. And, it doesn’t hurt if it is inexpensive and looks nice too. These 100% cotton muslin receiving blankets are the perfect product to make homemade DIY cloth face mask with.
How to Make DIY Facemasks
There are two basic kinds of DIY mask. These are sew and no-sew masks. If you have a sewing machine and no how to use it, sew masks are great because they will fit better and last longer. However, no-sew masks are quick and easy to make and basically just as effective. The CDC has some helpful guidance on their site on how to make both these types of masks.
For each of these masks, you need 2 6” x 10” rectangles of fabric. These 100% cotton muslin blankets come in a perfect 33” x 51” size which means you can get 5 squares per blanket. You will also need two 6” pieces of elastic (rubber bands, string, cloth strips, or hair ties), and a sewing machine or needle and thread.
Once you have all the supplies, you fold the two-piece of material together around the edge ad sew them together a ½ inch from the edge. This will leave a space where you can loop your elastic through to form the ear loops.
There are a few different ways to make no-sew masks. You can use a pattern to cut one out or, the best way is to combine a 20” x 20” piece of fabric and a coffee filter to make a replica N95 mask. The 40” x 40” receiving blankets are perfect for this and you can get 2 per blanket or 6 in a pack.
Start with a triangular coffee filter cut in half. Then, fold your piece of blanket in half. Place the filter in the middle and fold over both ends, top, and bottom. Loop 2 elastic bands or hair ties about 6” apart then fold each end to the middle and tuck. You should then be able to wear it like a normal mask.
Removing Your Facemask
After you have made your DIY protective facemask, the last thing you need to know is how to take it off. If you grab it by the front, you have effectively made the whole thing useless as you may now have particles on your hand. To remove your facemask, grab the ear loops and remove it that way.
After you have taken the mask off, you can put it directly into the washing machine to be cleaned and used again. One more benefit of making your own DIY mask is that it is reusable and therefore more eco-friendly than disposable masks.
PS: If you are local in Virginia, and we will happy to donate some flannel sheets if you are willing to pickup. We can also ship you one pack free if you provide us Padded Flat Rate Envelope label, send to info (at) gozatowels dot com.