Ok, here’s the deal…the Covid 19 virus isn’t going away anytime soon. We are still under self-isolation, and the CDC has now declared that everyone should wear a face covering when going out in public or around other people. At least for another few weeks.
I ran across some simple no-sew options for face masks, but I’ve sat on these ideas for awhile because of a few anticipated rude comments from nay-sayers and I tend to take rude comments personally. However, I think everybody knows by now that any of these homemade masks options will not protect us 100% from the virus, not even 50%. But as some of the top health professionals are stating, “any protection is better than none at all”.
These are for personal use only. They are NOT for medical personnel!
Rumor has it that a lot of us are cleaning out closets and drawers while in self-isolation, so this is a great way to re-purpose some of those clothes.
So anyway, with elastic being so hard to come by, and some people not having a sewing machine available, I wanted to to share these ideas with you. These masks aren’t just an option for the current crisis, but will help through cold and flu seasons too. As a reminder, there is an on-going need for the sewn version (linked below) for children’s hospitals and cancer patients.
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5 No-Sew Face Masks
This CDC webpage discusses the use and care of fabric masks and has directions to make the same mask I wrote about here that requires a sewing machine. They also gave directions for two no-sew masks. The CDC specifically suggested t-shirt material for it’s tight weave plus breathability, but it’s also wonderful because the cut edges don’t ravel.
(The following two photos are examples from the CDC webpage linked above.)
Face Mask Warnings
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Source
T-shirt Face Mask
This mask is super easy and you could probably get 3 masks out of each shirt. I think rectangles of fabric could be cut from the chest and upper back area of the shirt the same size as the middle face part of the mask, and attached to the inside with fabric glue or iron-on fusible hem tape along the bottom and 2 ends of the added piece to make a filter pocket for a tissue or napkin. (Wal-Mart has very similar products)
The ties make for a much better fit on the mask. If the ties are long enough, tie the top ties a little lower on the back of the head, and the lower ties pulled up higher on the back of the head.
This mask is cut across the bottom of a t-shirt and is 7″- 8″ from top to bottom and looks to be about 15″ across with a fold on both ends.
Bandana Face Mask
The mask below is made with a bandana and rubber bands or hair bands. There are also directions how to use a coffee filter for added protection.
This is a simple cotton bandanna or 18′ square of cotton fabric, folded in 4ths.
Sock Face Mask
The guy in the following video demonstrates how to cut a sock to make a no-sew face mask. He also shows using a tissue as an additional layer of protection.
This is a super cheap idea and a quick need–at-the-last-minute mask. I had a pair of ladies size white cotton socks similar to the one he used and I cut one to make two masks.
Now this was a pretty nifty idea and was actually pretty comfortable, but I discovered that the ear loops needs to be about a 1/2″ wide, or they will ravel away to nothing. It’s a great way to make use of stray socks.
These would be adorable for kids using bright colorful socks. I’ve seen bundles of 6 to 10 pairs for about $5 at Dollar General. I don’t think the fuzzy socks would well though.
Ninja Face Mask
This next homemade no-sew face mask would be awesome for kids, because it’s kind of like a ninja mask, and when not wearing it on the face, it could be pulled down around the neck and be less likely to lose.
Perfect for men with beards, too, to help keep the virus gremlins from attaching to the beard. It has kind of a more tailored look and if you use a masculine color or their favorite team’s colors, they shouldn’t fuss too much.
I haven’t tried this one on, but it looks to be the less restrictive, yet provides full coverage.
First try on the t-shirt with the sleeve over the face to make sure it fits properly. Note: I am only demonstrating on this shirt because it did not have a stretchy trim or hem on the sleeve end, so it would not work.
Starting with a short sleeve T-shirt, cut off the sleeves an inch or two on the neck side of the armhole seam. Slip it over your head with the top edge of the sleeve in the center front of your face (because it’s longer) and the armpit edge to the back to use as a mask. The hemmed edge would go across your nose with the wider part of the sleeve down around the neck. I think that if the two sleeves were wore one on top of the other, that a tissue or napkin could be placed between the layers. You could use the fabric glue or fusible hem binding to secure the cut ends of the two sleeves together.
Another T-shirt Face Mask
Bouncing off of the sock mask above, I cut a 9″ x 6″ almost rectangle shape out of the front of the t-shirt with rounded corners. Next cut two long narrow ovals a 1/2″ in from each 6″ high sides, about 2″ long. You could probably get 6 or 8 masks out of a large t-shirt.
This mask was the most comfortable by far! It was snug and form fitting without being too tight.
To make a “pocket” for a tissue or napkin, cut the fabric 12″ x 9″, then fold in half to 6″ x 9″. Finish with cutting the long narrow ovals for the ear loops. Maybe add a little fabric glue or fusible hem binding in between the two layers in front of the ear slots to form a pocket.
To wear, just put the tissue or napkin between the the two layers.
Like most people with underlying health issues or lung disease, I get a little anxious whenever I have any little symptoms that could potentially be Covid 19 virus, as well as any number of things besides the Covid 19 virus, so I tried this online symptom checker. It is simple to use and asks a bunch of questions, then will tell you what you should do. Mine said stay home.
Please share this post so others can make their own masks!
Update: If you do sew or know someone who does, I shared Homemade CDC-approved Medical Face Mask. Make these for medical personnel, your family and anyone else that needs them.
Thank you all for reading. Stay healthy and safe!