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DIY Masks
27. 05. 2020

DIY Masks

In the last post, I reviewed some women-owned businesses making masks and using philanthropic ventures to help the public. This article will have a slightly different focus. In the second part of this three part writing series, we will be discussing how to create masks out of common household objects.

Supporting small businesses is a privilege many people in this new economy cannot afford. Many have been laid off, left with less hours, or have experienced other extenuating circumstances that make purchasing basic necessities difficult. And for better or worse, face masks (for some of us in California) have become borderline mandatory.

However it is my disposition that if you are able to wear one — please do. There have been studies conducted that show wearing masks does slow the transmission rate. Below you will find instructions and examples of these homemade masks I hope you will enjoy. Most of these designs will be simple, not require a sewing machine, and are made from common household items.

DIY #1

I was really keen on showing this example because it requires very few materials and does not take a ton of time or skill. Additionally, this mask has been shown to work just as well if not better then an N-95 mask (article linked below). This design does not require a sewing machine. What you’ll need: aluminum wire, scissors, tape (we used Gaffer’s tape), and Tool Box Brand Shop Towels.
The Tool Box brand paper towel is the focal point of this design allowing for filtration and breathability, and can be found at most hardware or automotive stores. Even just inserting this paper towel into a regular cotton mask filters up to 93% of particles. An ordinary cotton mask only filters 60% of particles. So if you are an at risk person, I highly recommend this mask. First, you cut a big enough area of paper towel to fit around your mouth and nose.
Next you’ll wrap the wire around all four sides of the mask, sealing the wire to the mask with tape, and you’ll repeat the process until all the edges of the mask have this wire seal. Next use tape to secure head straps.
Any material can be used to make the straps, such as recycled scrap material or an old shirt, but we used felt. This example was created by Matt Adams @argusmundas on Instagram.

DIY #2

This next example will require a sewing machine, however it is a very simple pattern. Additionally, this mask can be made from scrap material. The creator of the pattern, @normallynude, has a link where you can find directions and the pattern in her bio or as seen below.

There are more detailed versions on how to sew the material in her profile. They have cleverly created masks out of lingerie elastic and old cotton from t-shirts. Materials suggested to make the mask should be sturdy natural woven fabric. The example provided below was made from old curtains using the pattern seen below by Mia Teller @digitalmia.

DIY #3

Lastly I’ve created a mask using an old sock. I used an old Nike sock but if I had any socks with cool patterns I was willing to spare I could see that being a look. All that’s required to make the next mask is a sock, scissors, and some string or shoe laces. First, you will cut the bottom of the sock as seen in the picture. Then, you will cut the remaining top section down the middle, so that it is more rectangular.

Thread shoelaces through the sides and it’s ready to wear. This took me around 10 minutes and probably would have worked better had I owned fabric cutting scissors, but, alas, I did not have any on hand. And this is a DIY article about making masks with things around your house, so c’est la vie, I did what I could. Additionally, this scraps from this socks can be up cycled. You can use the bottom part of the sock as a dust rag to clean furniture. Once it becomes dirty throw it in the wash and continue to re-use it.
So if you’re in need of a mask, concerned about your health, and unable to afford one in these financially tight times, look no further and give one of these options a try. Feel free to innovate and try out different materials, there’s never been a better time to sit down and come up with new solutions, and while your at, it why not up-cycle some unused household items?

Written by: Kahley Hickman