Do It Yourself Face Masks ~ It’s Easier Than You Think

As the Corona-virus Covid-19 spreads, community guidelines become increasingly strict. The wearing of face masks in the general public is becoming more and more common. As a matter of fact, the CDC now recommends everyone where a face mask when out in public. Luckily, there are already a plethora of patterns and tricks to make face masks at home for the protection of yourself, as well as the general public.

It’s important to note that the face mask options will not be as protective as the coveted N95 masks. These special grade masks filter at least 95% of airborne particles.

Nevertheless, having a washable fabric face mask can still benefit you. With that in mind, I suggest checking out some of the patterns for face masks that are popping up everywhere. The patterns range from simple folded styles to full face coverings. There are even some that allow filters to be inserted for added protection. Remember, any pattern can be adjusted to utilize varying fabrics. Adjustments can also be made to secure the face mask in place; options include elastic bands, hair tie bands, or fabric strips.

Here are a few notable styles of face masks to make your search a bit easier.

Fellow blogger over at Japanese Creations has simple “do-it-yourself” options. One pattern is for a homemade face mask made from a folded handkerchief. This would come in handy in a pinch, or when you’re on the go. She also has as a pattern to sew your own fabric masks.

Here’s another simple do-it-yourself pattern for a more traditional style of sewn surgical masks. This pattern includes adjustments to make fabric ties in place of elastic bands.

If you’re interested in making a mask that some hospitals are requesting, YouTube has some options. Sew It Online has made a video tutorial with detailed visual instructions.

If you need to add filters, Daisy Multifacetica has a video with pockets to add filters. Her patterns are available here, and can be used with any fabric combination you choose.

So, now that you’ve decided to sew face masks at home. Here’s a bit more information to know before you start.

There are so many things to take into account! One thing you need to know is which are the best materials to use. Mask materials are not as simple as one might think. You need to account for its effectiveness for the desired need, or job it has to perform. Think about the breath-ability of the fabric chosen. Also, you need to know how many layers of material should be used, among other things.

I found this write up by Smart Air on the best materials for do-it-yourself masks. According to this article, the best materials for homemade masks are two-ply of 100% cotton t-shirt material or pillowcase material. The article also covers filtration capabilities of varying materials. And which is overall best to use. If you are going to make your masks, I highly recommend reading the Smart Air article in its entirety.

Per the Smart Air Article:

Bottom line: Test data shows that the best choices for DIY masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials.

These materials filter out approximately 50% of 0.2 micron particles, similar in size to the coronavirus. They are also as easy to breathe through as surgical masks, which makes them comfortable enough to wear for several hours.

Doubling the layers of material for your DIY mask gives a very small increase in filtration effectiveness, but makes the mask much more difficult to breathe through.”

Regardless of the style of mask or materials used, any mask would be more helpful than none at all.

I think we can all agree that having even the smallest added protection is better than none. And, in the days and weeks ahead, that little added protection may very well be what keeps us, and those around us, well.

Be Safe. Stay well.

And ~ Best wishes in your sewing adventures!


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