How to create a homemade face mask

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Photo Courtesy of Inbrampton

Over the past month, you have been told to wash your hands, practice extreme social distancing and simple things like don’t touch your face. Recently, the CDC recommended that everyone wear a face mask when going anywhere. Although we already have such a short supply, the face masks are being sent directly to a nearby hospital for healthcare workers. To pass the time during quarantine, making homemade masks for extra protection could be something to start doing. You can use them for yourself or you can donate them to your local hospital. Realsimple.com provides an easy way to make a face mask:

Gather your supplies

  • Ruler
  • Scissors 
  • Pen
  • Washed cotton fabric
  • Elastic cord, cut into two 7 inch lengths, knotted at the end
  • Pipe cleaner or picture hanging wire
  • Vacuum filter (if you have access to one) or coffee filter

Measure, Cut and Sew

  • Cut fabric into a 9 by 15 strip. Fold the fabric in half widthwise and mark the 3 inch and 6 inch spots on the folded strip along the top. Sew from the outer edges to the 3 and 6 inch spots. The fabric should now be a loop.
  • With the right sides still facing out, place the elastic cord in the loop. Make sure the knotted end of the elastic cord is a little outside of the fabric. Pin ends of the elastic at the top and bottoms of the fabric, so the elastic can stay in place. Stitch over the top of the elastic for extra security so it won’t fall out of place. After stitching the top, move to the sides of the fabric, and the bottom– making sure the other part of the elastic stays in place. After finishing this step, you should have one elastic ear loop. Repeat with the other side.

Turn the mask right side out

  • Turn the mask right side out by pinching your fingers into the top slot, and press for clean cut edges. 
  • Sew a thin ¼ inch strip 3 inches in from each side. Make sure to keep from stitching too high, because the wire for the bridge of your nose will be placed above the strip.

Mark Pleats

  • Create six marks every inch on each side of the mask with a pen

Pin Pleats

  • Pin the pleats on each side. Pin the first mark to the second mark and so on, repeat on the other side. Sew pleats in place. 

Adding Picture Wire and Coffee filters

  • Cut a 14 inch length of a picture wire and fold it in half. Make sure to fold over the sharp edges. Cut the coffee filter into a four by seven inch rectangle and slide wire into the strip at the top of the mask. Slide the filter into the slot. 

After each use, remove the filter and wash, then replace the filter.