DIY Face Mask

Face Masks are now compulsory on public transport in the UK. If you are leaving the house or returning to work, you may prefer to wear one. When September hits and schools open things are going to change.

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we have been amazed to see the amount of creativity that has come from all people of all walks of life, and it warms us to see people using a creative outlet to deal with a very strange and stressful time.

Talking of creativity, these DIY Face masks don’t cost a lot of money and you can use fabrics that you have around the house, just make sure they are breathable so cotton is perfect. These are also washable so no need to throw them away. You can get the children involved in picking their own fabrics and teaching them to sew them themselves.

Making Your Own Face Masks

Now, these are not medical PPE masks but they will offer you some general protection.

In March I visited Japan where people wear face masks frequently. The Japanase custom is to cover the face when you are ill and don’t wish to infect more people, how great is that. Because lots of people work together in large buildings, you are also encouraged to work from home or take time off sick. Although not the custom in the UK, going forward I feel like this is how things are going to be.

Now yes this is a lot easier with a sewing machine, but if you don’t have one then you can just use a needle and thread instead. This is a great project to get you back into sewing.

Before you get started run an iron over your fabric. When sewing any project it is always best to work with nice freshly ironed fabric. Then turn this inside out and iron it will give a soft edge which will sit comfortably on your nose.

Now you may not need a sewing machine but you will need an iron, it will help you create a nice crisp fold. Folding is definitely the trickiest bit.

Folding, you don’t have to be precise and if you are planning on making a few them then you will naturally improve. To fold in one direction the fold needs to be longer, then shorter, longer, then shorter repeat until you have five folds. This will give you nice neat folds. If you do this on the ironing board it will save you going back and forth just be careful of little ones.

DIY Face Mask starting to come together

Elastic time

Now if you don’t want to use elastic or you just don’t have it, then you don’t have to. You can use long scraps of fabric or ribbon although this can be a pain when you tie it and worse when trying to untie it. Simply sew the elastic in to the sides of the mask. You only need a few stitches just to secure it in place. You can further strengthen this by adding binding (although this is optional).

Now you have a very basic mask. If you need to neaten this up you can use binding or if you have any offcuts jut cut and iron them into shape. If this is the first one you can just make it work.

Secure elastic with a few stitches to keep in place

Binding (optional)

Making you own binding can be fiddly but you simply just measure a thin strip and iron it in. You can also iron in the edges if you want them neat but for this project you should be okay. Treasurie have an amazing blog on how to create the perfect binding tape, and we recommend following their steps: https://blog.treasurie.com/how-to-make-bias-binding-tape/

Neatening up your face masks

If you have binding then just cut it to the length you want it. For a neat edge just iron a few millimeters in on the top and bottom then open it out so the middle is facing you and sew down the rise. Fold it over and sew again creating a nice neat line.

Repeat on the other side.

Binding is optional but can help strengthen your mask

So thats it.

Your first one may not be the best, so we recommend not using your best fabric for the first try, but the more you create these DIY masks, the better you will get. Most importantly, don’t be hard on yourself. It’s a really strange and stressful world at the moment and we’re all doing the best we can.

Stay safe.

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