DIY Cotton Face Mask
How to make an easy face mask at home?
The current situation worldwide demanded that we make not only fun crafts and DIYs but also essential equipment such as DIY fabric face masks. It has been a few weeks since the coronavirus outbreak in Chinese province Hubei, precisely the city of Wu-Chan. Since then, this silent and invisible threat spread to almost all countries across the worls, causing severe restrictions and quarantine in attempt to decreas the number of victims and patients.
Apart from China, places such as Italy or Iran have been sweapt by the virus and killed as many as 700 people in 24 hrs. Despite the similar symptoms, koronavirus is hardly a bad flu. It affects lungs aggressively and does not respond to regular treatment. Thankfully, up to 80% of young and healthy population will get through the infection with mild symptoms, a small number without any signs entirely.
On a positive note despite the fear, uncertainty and economic drops there are many bright consequences to focus on! We have been reminded to value our healthcare staff, teachers, elderly and sick. We’ve been shown that freedom to travel, enjoy nature or even study or shop for groceries are not a matter of course. We have been given a chance to reflect on our standards of beauty where with all of our faces covered, it is the character that counts the most. We’ve been given an opportunity to show selfless solidarity.
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How you can protect yourself?
The one most efficient way to protect yourself from the virus is prevention. This includes self-isolation, avoiding all affected areas, regular and thorough hand washing, avoiding coughing openly or into a hand or wearing protective equipment such as gloves or face mask. With the current massive demand worldwide however, it is proving difficult to find these for purchase because the stock is mainly aimed at those working in the frontline. But this should not stop us from protecting ourselves and others by wearing a face mask!
Face mask catches mechanical, potentially infectious droplets coming out of a mouth of those who wear it. Equally, it helps to filter breathed-in air. If we all use face masks, not only we will stop the droplets from landing onto various surfaces where they live for hours, but we also reduce the amount of droplets in the air around us.
If there is a lack of face masks in your area – luckily you can make your own! Here is a tutorial about how to make your own two-layer pocket face mask. It comes in two sizes – adult and child – on FREE printable pattern!
DIY Cotton Face Mask
Making time: 15-20 minutes each face mask
- FREE Printable Face Mask Pattern (kids option HERE)
- 100% cotton fabric of your choice
- sewing thread of your choice
- non-woven cloth (optional)
Adult Cotton Face Mask
Begin by printing out the FREE Printable Face Mask Pattern. This design is intended as a two-layer pocket cotton face mask which can also hold an additional changable layer for further protection. Despite three layers the mask is still comfortable for normal breathing.
Wash the cotton fabric at 60 degrees for initial cleaning and shrinking of the material. Iron the fabric, lay it down double in two layers and place the cut-out cotton face mask pattern on top. Trace the pattern with a soft pencil onto the fabric, including the markings on the sides. Cut the drawn piece out – with a double layer you should have two identical pieces to work with. If you need to, use scissors to cut the markings slightly for better visibility when folding later. The two square shapes will form the mask.
Take one of the squares and fold the top. Fold again to create a hem and iron over the hem to secure it. Do the same at the bottom as shown on the images. Then use the side markings to form three folds facing downwards on the right side of the fabric. Begin at the top by pinching about two centimetres of the fabric, folding it so it points downwards. Iron over to secure the fold and continue with the second and third fold.
Do the same with both pieces. At this point you can also stitch across the top hem of each piece with a sewing machine. Then place both ironed pieces wrong sides facing each other and secure the bottom ironed hems with pins. Sew over these hems to stitch them together. Then stitch on the sides approx. 0.5cm from the edge to create a ‘pocket’.
You will also need two more pieces to make the ties. Draw a long rectangle on a double layer of cotton fabric, measuring 3 x 90 cm. Cut it out and fold the sides inwards lengh-wise, securing the fold with an iron as shown on the images bellow. Work along the entire piece. Then fold the ironed piece one more time in half and iron again. Do the same for both pieces of the fabric. You now have two long ties to attach to the face mask pocket.
To attach the ties, pin the middle of the stitched face mask poket side and the middle of the ironed tie piece. Then attach the two pieces at this point and secure with pins. Sew all along the tie, over the attached pocket part, all the way to the end. Repeat for the other side as well.
The last step is to insert a non-woven piece of fabric. This is optional but should add extra protection efficiency to your face mask. The non-woven fabric would be a thin synthetic surface wipe, thin hoover filter and such. This layer functions as a filter and should be thin enough to not compromize the breathing.
Cotton face mask is reusable and should be washed at 90 degrees after each use. Ideally, iron the face mask after the wash as well for further desinfection. Any extra layer inserted into the pocket should be thrown away and changed each time. After use avoid touching the face mask excessively, espeacially the outer side of the mask. Mask should be removed by undoing the ties, carefully pulling the insert out and put directly to wash/alternativelly into a boiling water on a stove.