Homemade masks

Homemade masks – How to make them

With the Coronavirus pandemic spreading all over the world, there has been a surge in demand for protective masks. Sadly, the supply for best protective masks is limited and most of these are reserved for health care workers who are in the frontline and more vulnerable to the spread. The good news is that there are still some stores where you can find masks. However, that doesn’t mean that you can just relax. You have to be prepared for anything.

When stores are out of protective masks for Coronavirus, you can make one of your own. All you have to do is follow the process mentioned in this article and make your own mask. A DIY homemade mask can be made by anyone even when the person doesn’t have a background in medical science. 

In this article, we are going to explain the various types of homemade masks and how you can make them.

Essentials for Homemade masks

There are many different ways to make masks. The type of mask depends on the materials used and the process of making it. To make a mask at home, you need some basic items which are readily available at home. The most common items you can use are:

Fabric (preferably cotton) Rope elastic or tie Sewing machine
elastic sewing machine

Once you have these items with you, you can start working on the procedures which we have explained below. We are going to explain the ways to make two different kinds of masks. The methods are slightly different. 

Homemade masks: Elastic and Ties

There are basically two ways to make face masks at home. The basic materials used in both these methods are the same. The only difference is the use of elastic in one of the methods and the use of ties in the other one.

Method 1 – With elastic

Requirements:

  • Cotton fabric
  • Rope elastic
  • Thread
  • Scissor
  • Pin/Paper clip
  • Sewing machine

Process:

  • Cut the elastic in 7” in length.
  • Cut the fabric into two pieces 9×6” in dimension. (7.5 x 5 for children).
  • Start sewing from the center of the 9” side of the fabric. Sew till a few inches towards the first corner and stop. 
  • Insert the elastic and sew towards the end of the fabric with the elastic.
  • Turn and sew till a few inches from the next corner on the 6” side. Insert the other end of the elastic at the corner and sew till the edge.
  • Now, sew across the other 9” side of the fabric and stop till a few inches from the corner. Insert the next elastic and sew it.
  • Turn and sew till a few inches from the next corner on the other 6” side. Insert the other end of the elastic at the corner and sew till the edge.
  • Now, sew the first side of the fabric and stop at least 2” from the center. This way, you will have a gap to turn the fabric inside out to its original form.
  • Turn the mask inside out and pin three tucks on each side, making sure that the tucks are in the same direction.
  • Sew around the edge of the mask on all sides twice. Your mask will be ready.

Method 2 – With ties

Requirements:

  • One piece of 8×14 inch cotton fabric
  • Two 1.5 x 34 inch strips
  • Thread
  • Scissor
  • Pin/Paper clip
  • Sewing machine

Process:

Preparing the ties:

  • Fold the piece of clothing in half and press (3/4 inch). Open tie back up.
  • Fold each edge in to meet at the center (3/8 inch/0.375 inch) and press.
  • Fold in half again. Secure raw edges inside and press. Each tie has to be approx. 3/8inch in width.

Preparing the mask:

  • Wash and dry the piece of fabric. 
  • On the 8 x 14 inch fabric piece, holding the right sides together, sew ¼ inch seam, forming a tube shape.
  • Turn the right sides out and press the seam and fabric.
  • Taking the help of pins, prepare three pleats, each 1” in size. 
  • Secure the pleats by sewing ¼ inch seam on each side of the mask
  • Trim seam allowance. Your mask will be ready for assembling.

Assembling the mask:

  • Arrange the center of the tie with the side of the mask. Open the tie and make the edge of the mask fit snugly inside. Pin it.
  • Sew the tie to mask, making sure not to attach the whole mask to the tie.
  • Repeat this process for the other tie and the other side of the mask.
  • Sew the edges of the tie while securing the raw edges inside. 
  • Repeat the process for the other tie and the other side of the mask.
  • Trim any extra fabric. Your mask will be ready.

Getting the most effective materials is crucial when you are making a mask at home. However, you DO NOT have to go out to get any of these from the stores. You can use whatever material you have at home to make your mask. If you do not have some of the materials, you can work your way around and figure out other alternatives for making DIY masks at home.

If you do not have a sewing machine at home, you can refer to the following video to learn how to make a mask without a sewing machine:

If you do not have cotton fabric, you can use any available fabric. You can even use the fabric from these cloth items:

  • Old T-shirts
  • Handkerchief
  • Shirts
  • Jeans

How effective are these masks?

While it is certain that these masks are not replacements for virus protective masks, you can still use them as a precaution. Some protection is better than no protection. Having no face-covering makes you more susceptible to the virus spread. Therefore, you have to make sure to get one made for yourself, no matter what kind of fabric you get it made from.

Homemade masks are certainly not close to the effectiveness of N95 masks. But, you may just save yourself and a thousand others by being careful, following the protocols and wearing these masks.

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