Months have passed since the Coronavirus outbreak, but most countries are still suffering from a lot of casualties. Continuous number of new cases are being reported daily. Despite the recoveries, it still shows that the virus is still present.
The current pandemic is causing tons of problems already. What made it worse was the people hoarding products and trying to take advantage of others. People panicking over food, medical, essential supplies (such as toilet papers, diapers, alcohols and many more) and even on appliances made the situation even more maddening. They do not have self-restraint and compassion, to say the least.
One of the main struggles is the supplies of “Personal Protective Equipment” or “PPE”. Ever since the crisis, the world had suffered from a PPE shortage. During the first months of the outbreak, you probably did not get enough facemasks or alcohols for your family. And if you are lucky enough to get your hands on them, you possibly spent more than the regular price, maybe twice, or even quadruple times more expensive. Which is totally unfair, because you just want to protect yourself and protect others from you.
In able to protect yourself and help contain the virus, there are still alternative options that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Today, I am going to share with you a simple DIY project focusing on disposable facemask alternatives. Here are the steps on how to create a DIY cotton mask.
THINGS YOU SHOULD REMEMBER FIRST
Help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide! I know it sounds difficult, but you can do a lot of simple things to help flatten the curve. Maybe you are wondering how? Well, except for practicing social distancing and staying at home you can do so much more. And why you are at home, might as well take that as an opportunity to create some cotton facemasks. This is a good way to prevent picking up viruses but it is not as effective as using medical masks such as n95, disposable facemasks, etc. Yes, it may not be as powerful as them, but it sure is much better than not wearing one at all. But you must remember some of these first:
- Cotton face masks are not substitute for medical grade face masks, but rather alternatives
- Your DIY cotton face masks must meet the CDC guidelines.
- Your cotton face mask is not enough, so you should still follow other preventive measurements.
PREPARE YOUR MATERIALS
Gather up your scissors and get ready your sewing materials. You will need these things so make sure you prepare all of it before you sew.
- You will need cloth. Choose between a tightly woven cloth or cotton poly fabric. The tighter the weave is, then much better. To check it, you can put or hold it up to the light to see whether it is tight enough or not. You can do two different prints of the same fabric, or just one. It is up to you but you need two pieces because it is one of the requirements.
- Prepare your scissors and wire cutters
- Pieces of soft wires for the nose bridge, if you do not have one, pipe cleaner can work too.
- Elastic cords or garters are also needed.
- Ready your pins, needles, threads and fabric markers as well.
- Preferably use a sewing machine.
KNOW YOUR PATTERN
You are reading this article because this is your first take on a DIY cotton mask. You are probably thinking on how are you going to measure the cloth and the mask itself? There is nothing to be worried about. Printable patterns are available on the web, and there are so many of them. You can access them for free, and all that is left to do is cut and follow the pattern, then start sewing.
- Adult patterns require fabric cut by 8 by 12 inches while;
- Children’s patterns need a fabric about 6.5 by 12 inches.
These will still depend on the pattern you are following so make sure to read the description before you print them. You do not want to end up with something too small nor too big.
(Photo Credits: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/)
Now that you are done with prepping your materials and printing your patterns. It’s time for some action. Follow these steps, and you will be on the right track.
- Cut 4 pieces of fabric using your pattern. Once you are done you should have 2 sets of mirrored images.
- Place the cut-out fabric together (facing together), then pin the sides. Make sure it is properly aligned.
- Sew the edges, but leave a 1.5 inches space on one of the sides.
- Turn it right side out, and press it using an iron.
- Now, slide your wire through the turning side and place it nicely along the curve.
- Sew around the wire you just placed so it would not move when you are washing it.
- Now, do a top stitch around the entire mask to finally seal all the sides. Be careful, alright?
- You are almost done, lay your mask on a table then fold 1 inch on both sides of the mask towards the middle, and sew it. This is going to be your elastic channels.
- Insert your elastics and cut it on the length you want and tie them up nicely. Do this for both sides, one for each ear.
- Find the end of the elastic (the one with the knot) and place it inside the elastic channel so it won’t be visible. And that is it, you now have your own DIY cotton face mask.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR COTTON MASKS
After successfully making your own cotton face mask, make sure that you take good care of them. It’s also recommended that you make at least three masks per person. Wash and disinfect them right after using it.