How to Make Your Own Mask (From Things You Probably Already Have at Home)
Now, down to the making.
You will need:
A piece of fabric (ideally cotton or some other material with a fine weave), 16 x 8.5”
Two 6.5” pieces of elastic
Filter material: Non-woven fabric preferably, such as Vilene, but you could also use a coffee filter paper, kitchen paper, even a panty liner
Fold the material in half lengthwise, right sides together and seam the end pieces, leaving a four inch gap in the centre. So stitch 2 1/4″, gap of 4”, stitch 2 1/4″.
Press the ‘circle’ of fabric flat, with the seam in the centre and then fold each cut edge of the seam in half down its length and run a zig-zag stitch along each one. This help to finish the edges either side of the gap section, which will be used to turn the fabric right-side out and through which the filter is inserted at the end.
Now insert the two pieces of elastic, so that they are laying between the fabric on either side and pin the edge of the elastic in place at the top and bottom of each side (the fabric may pucker a little at this point). Sew a 5/8” seam along each side, reversing back and forth when stitching over the elastic, to hold it in place securely.
Take a piece of wire/pipe-cleaner, fold each end over 1/2” to avoid any sharp points and then insert it inside the upper section of the mask and secure in place by stitching around it. This will help to hold the mask securely in place over your nose.
Turn the fabric inside out through the gap, so that the right side is now facing. Press with an iron. Fold a pleat, approx 1/2” in the centre, pointing downwards.
Now fold and pin down a further two peats, one above and one below the first one. Pin in place to hold.
Stitch along each side, over the pleats and remove pins. The finished mask now measures approximate 3 1/2” deep and can be expanded to fit neatly over your nose and chin.
Place filter material through gap and press it flat inside the mask. You are now ready to venture outside! Don’t forget to place it in a plastic bag after use and wash (removing filter first) as soon as you get home. You may need to make two or three!
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