With the progression of the coronavirus in the world today, the United States is seeing a shortage of medical face masks. Medical professionals and first responders need the manufactured face masks to do their job and help affected people. However, the CDC might soon recommend that the general public also wear face coverings. Homemade face masks can be an option to help keep you safe while giving the medical community access to the resources they need. The increase in medical waste during this time makes it even more important to practice sustainable living. Creating your own mask is more sustainable than using several disposable masks and you can use any materials found around your home!
While experts say that homemade face masks are not as effective as other kinds of masks, like surgical masks or N95 masks, they can help slow the spread of viruses. For the most effective face mask, it is recommended that you make a mask using 3 layers: a silky outer layer, a tightly woven middle layer and a soft cotton inside layer. However, a one layer mask works as well!
Materials you will need:
- A piece of cloth 9 inches x 7 inches. This can be any kind of clean cloth you find in your home. You can also find information on what types of materials are the best for filtering the air you breathe through the mask.
- Elastic bands or hair ties (optional- there are some versions without)
- A sewing machine or needle and thread
There are also several videos online that show you exactly how to create a mask:
DIY Fabric Tie Face Mask – If you do not have elastics or hair ties, this video shows you how to create ties with fabric!
How to Make a Face Mask – This is a longer video that gives clear step-by-step instructions.
No Sew Face Mask – Finally, a tutorial that does not require sewing!
Stay safe and stay sustainable!
Written by Olivia Giovannini-Dolan, Class of 2020.
Photo Credit: 5minutesformom