With the growing coronavirus crisis in the United States hopefully moving toward its predicted apex in the coming weeks in several major cities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that everyone use some kind of face covering going out.
The CDC recommendation to wear a face covering — but not surgical masks or N95 respirators, due to the dangerous shortage among health care workers — has left Americans wondering how they can make a protective mask from home.
The answer is: easily.
Here are three ways, with step-by-step instructions on how to make a mask, whether or not you know how to sew.
1. Bandanna/Shirt Face Covering (No-Sew Method) from the CDC
- Bandanna (or square cotton cloth approximately 20 by 20 inches)
- Coffee filter
- Rubber bands or hair ties
- Cut the bottom off the folded coffee filter. Keep the top.
- Fold your bandanna or shirt in half lengthwise.
- Fold the cut filter in the center of the folded bandanna/T-shirt. Then fold the bandanna top down and bottom up.
- Place rubber bands or hair ties around the bandanna or shirt about 6 inches apart.
- Fold the side of bandanna or shirt to the middle and tuck.
- Your face mask should be ready to wear.
2. Fabric Mask Without A Sewing Machine From JOANN Fabric and Craft
- 14 inches square of cotton fabric
- An additional piece of fabric cut into a strip 1.5 inches wide by 40 inches long.
- Six safety pins
The process to make the mask takes less than four minutes, and the full tutorial video is available on JOANN’s YouTube channel.
3. Sewn Cloth Face Covering From The CDC
- Two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric
- Two 6-inch pieces of elastic (or rubber bands, string, cloth strips or hair ties)
- Needle and thread (or bobby pin)
- Sewing machine
- Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Stack the two rectangles and sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
- Fold over the long sides a quarter-inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over a half-inch along the short sides and stitch down.
- Run a 6-inch length of one-eighth-inch-wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tightly.
- Lightly pull on the elastic so the knots are inside the hem. Gather the side of the mask on the elastic to adjust so the fabric fits your face.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that you routinely wash your face masks depending on the frequency of use. A washing machine should do the job to properly clean the fabric, and people should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing a face covering.