Here are step by step instructions for how to make face masks, the new accessory now that we all want extra protection against viruses (or any sickness).
Face Masks are the new accessory.
As I was writing this post last night, I received a news alert on my phone that I share below. Los Angeles may be one of the first states urging people to wear masks, but it won’t be the last. Many people are already opting to wear masks. Like it or not, it really will be the new accessory for 2020 (along with latex gloves). The good news for those who are fashion conscious~you can make a mask that fits your style and personality. Look at the cute ones in the photo above. The possibilities are as endless as the fabric choices. I’ve even seen game day face masks, which might be the new accessory at crowded sports events when folks want extra protection.
My friend Cindy made this post possible.
I have zero skill or knowledge of sewing. Thanks to my friend Cindy, I can pass this mask making info along to those of you who do (or know someone who does). Cindy is an accomplished seamstress who is currently making myriad masks daily for local hospitals. Cindy is an old and dear friend; I’ll share a photo of her for those who like to have a face with a name:-)
What if you can’t sew?
If you (like me) can’t sew, find a friend or relative who can, and share this with them. He or she will likely be happy to make a mask for you. If you find someone, you’ll want to gather and pay for all the needed supplies. Those of us who are blessed with someone to help us in this way can pay them back with a gift of some sort. In these times, friends help friends, and we all help each other as best we can.
These masks are protective but not medical grade.
Cindy and the team of volunteers who are making this particular mask are distributing them to two local hospitals. They are being given to those working in areas such as NICU, the pharmacy, respiratory therapy and other areas. They are not medical grade, but they do offer some added protection. These masks would be good for those of us who want extra protection during this pandemic, and also for those of us who have a sick family member in the home.
There are many ways to make non-medical grade masks.
As more people opt to wear masks, you’ll see myriad “recipes” for making them. With some supplies sold out or in low supply, modifications will have to be made. It is important to note that masks are NOT super power items that can filter out all viruses. They should be viewed as an extra layer of protection to go with the safe practices of social distancing.
Supplies you’ll need to make these masks.
I am including all of this info in the exact form that Cindy sent to me via text and email. Since I know NOTHING about sewing, I want to share this just as she sent to me. The texts are real, the instruction list is hers exactly. Cooking is my expertise~not sewing. So please forgive the “no professional” way that I am sharing all of this:-)
Fabric for mask portion.
The best fabric is 100% cotton that is a good weight and that has a tight weave. Pattern and color don’t matter. Have fun with this and choose something you don’t mind wearing and that brings a smile to your face.
Elastic, bias tape or pipe cleaners to keep mask on face.
You’ll need 1/8 or 1/4 elastic. If you can find it. If not, you can try to find bias tape. You can also use non-slip athletic headbands like these that I purchased today. Cindy offers tips for how to tweak the instruction if you have to use bias tape instead of elastic. At last check, elastic is hard to find or marked ridiculously high. Notes on using bias tape are below.
This mask pattern used coffee filters cut to size for insertion into the mask. Please note the following guidelines for using coffee filters:
- Filters are disposable and should not be used more than once. Cindy cuts 50 per time for convenience.
- Remove filter after each use. Wash mask on sanitize setting of washer and/or dryer.
- Insert a new filter each time, and insert into a sanitized mask only.
The size and type of coffee filter is in the photos below. And I am sharing a text screenshot of more tips from Cindy on cutting the filters and adapting the process if using bias tape rather than elastic.
Coffee filter is approximately 8” diameter. You’re cutting top and bottom “curve” off and about a 1/2” on the sides.
Written instructions for making face masks.
I am sharing the exact instruction sheet as Cindy texted to me. Since I know nothing of sewing, it is better for me to pass this along unedited.
Snapshots of face mask making process.
Cindy sent these photos of some of the steps for making these masks. I put them in the order that she sent them to me. Again, I have no clue what is happening in each picture, but I am sure some of you who sew will understand completely.
Masks are secondary to the MOST important safety precautions.
Masks can only offer added protection and should be used to complement the following.
- Stay home during specified times for your city/state.
- Social distance~6 feet.
- Wash hands~20 seconds with warm/hot water.
- Do not touch your face.
More resources on managing the coronavirus pandemic.
- How to make clorox wipes and hand sanitizer (and advice from a doctor).
- The best things you can do to keep your home virus free.
I hope this is helpful to you all. Feel free to leave comments if you have questions (I’ll get them to Cindy) or suggestions (if you are a skilled seamstress). Blessings and prayers to you all.