Now that face masks are being made compulsory in certain places, it's helpful to know how to make your own from home.
Making your own COVID face covering is surprisingly easy, uses minimal materials and can even be jazzed up using patterns of your choice. Follow the simple steps below to make your own face masks for the family and help stop the spread of COVID this summer.
These instructions are for a simple cloth face mask using hairbands or elastic, but there are a few other versions you can try such as the t shirt or bandanna method.
1. Cut two 10" x 6" rectangles from cotton fabric. The thicker the material the better - if you can see through it when held up to the light, your material is too thin.
2. Place the rectangles on top of one another with a sheet of kitchen towel cut to size and tucked between the two.
3. Fold the bottom edges in a 1/4 inch to create a hem, then sew along this line. Leave the top open to carefully remove the kitchen towel before washing (replacing it with a fresh one before wearing your mask again).
4. Place a hairband around each of the shorter ends with the fabric tucked just inside, then fold the fabric around the elastic to create another small hem.
5. These will be your ear loops - sew them in place along this fold.
6. If your hairbands aren't tight enough to secure your mask, you can snip them so you have two strands of elastic then retie into as tight a knot as you need so that your mask comfortably stays in place. Alternatively, you can start with two loose strands of elastic, sew the width-length hems in a straight line across these and then tie them in place around your ears.
Remember: Make sure that you can breathe comfortably in your mask but that it is not loose around your nose and chin.
Discard the sheet of kitchen towel carefully after each use, making sure to wash your hands afterwards.
Remove your face mask using the ear straps - do not touch the front of your mask.
Put your used face mask into a plastic bag until you can wash it. Homemade face masks can be washed with other items using your usual detergent.
It's a good idea to have more than one mask so that you swap them around whilst one is being washed.
Do not share your mask with others.
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