Take Cover

DIY Face Masks That Can Be Made On The Fly

New CDC guidelines call for all of us to take cover with a face mask when heading out in public places to slow the spread of the virus and help silent carriers from transmitting it to others.

Although simple cloth coverings are deemed suitable to protect others, variations in fabric and whether or not you choose to use a filter can affect their ability to filter incoming viruses and germs. This presents a bit of a challenge in creating a more effective cloth mask as medical professionals advise selecting a fabric that is dense so as to contain viral particles, while breathable and wearable.

Adding a filter to the mix can help you to maximize a homemade mask’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, some of the suggested filtering materials you might find online consist of fibers that are dangerous if inhaled. A coffee filter serves as a harmless option that can be inserted between a double-layered DIY cloth mask. Here are a few simple DIY mask ideas – no sewing required! Don’t forget to wash your mask with hot water and detergent after each use and use your clothes dryer on the hottest setting to dry it completely.

Cover Up Right

Tips for Using Your Mask Properly

Your cloth face covering should:

  • Fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of your face 
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Be breathable
  • Be washable and able to be placed in the dryer

No sewing skills? No worries!                                                                                   

Simple No-Sew Options

Tee Shirt Method: Cut off the bottom of an old tee-shirt about 8 inches from the edge. Begin to cut a slit along the top edge moving lengthwise, enough to create one of the straps to hold your mask in place. End this slit about 6-7 inches into the mask. Repeat along the bottom edge and then turn your scissor, creating a rectangle cutout through the center of your two lines. Cut each strap at its center so your mask can be tied at the top of your head and at the base of the head. 

Simple Scarf Covering: Tie the fabric so it completely covers your nose and mouth, leaving no gaps between your face and the fabric. Once tied, your scarf or bandana should be tied tightly until you get home and can remove the covering to be washed. Be sure to wash your hands afterward! 

Bandana And Hair Elastics With Filter: Tri-fold a bandana lengthwise, inserting your coffee filter securing between folds if you are using one. Slide a hair elastic a few inches onto each end of the folded bandana with the open end of the fold face up on your table. Fold each end of the bandana in toward the center, over the elastic. Carefully strap your mask over your nose and mouth securing the hair bands around your ears. 

*You can also find a step-by-step instructional for the bandana mask with  no-sew mask on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, as well as a video on making masks with rubber bands and fabric you might have around your home.