Although I realize I cannot save the world, try as I may, I am a firm believer that every small gesture plays a bigger part in the whole picture. I wholeheartedly believe that kindness is a chain reaction and in a time like this, I'm especially all for it. Every. Bit. Of. It.
I should probably mention that these obviously do not take the place of N95 masks. They are made to be worn over them as an extra cover, possibly even extending the life of the real ones. It was also suggested that if everyone was to wear a mask, it could help flatten the curve. Regardless of what you believe, I tend to lean towards that "something is better than nothing" mentality.
This DIY has an opening at the top where you can slide in a paper towel, or coffee filter, etc. as an extra "filter" I've also read that you can cut up a vacuum bag for a middle filter layer.
Face Mask Items Needed:
- 1 piece of 8" x 14" cotton fabric
- 2 pieces of 6" elastic (I use 1/8" but 1/4" and 1/2" will work)
1. Machine serge both of the 8 inch sides of the fabric. (If you don't have a serger, simply skip this first step and move on the step 2.)
2. Fold over the two 8 inch sides approx. 5/8" press, and stitch.
3. Next, on the right sides of the fabric, on one of the 8" sides that you just stitched, put elastic in place and stitch to secure.
4. Now fold up the other 8" side with right sides together.
5. Once pinned in place, you will make a stitch down the folded 14" sides 3/4 of the way down making sure to leave the last section open (In other words, don't go all the way down to the fold; leave about 1.5 inches open.) Make sure you are backstitching at the beginning and end of these stitches. do the same on the other side.
6. Now you can flip the "pocket". You will see that you left small openings at both folds and there will be a little "hole" at both bottoms. This will be where you will feed the other side of the elastic through.
7. Now press, making sure that the unstitched bottom is even with the rest of the stitch.
8. Pin 3 pleats to allow for a good fit. Do the same on the other side, making sure that they line up.
9. Slide in the other end of the elastic at the unstitched opening at the bottom and pin in place. Make sure to slide in elastic at least 1/2" to make sure it will catch in the final stitch. Then do the same to the other side.
10. Stitch both sides 1/8" from the end. I backstitch a few times at elastic to make sure it is really stitched in there. Do the same to the other pleated side.
11. Lastly, you will stitch the top closed on both sides, leaving an opening in the middle to slide in a "filter" layer. I've divided the top in 3 even sections. You can modify however you'd like depending on what you are putting in the center. Stich both sides starting at ends and stopping at pins, making sure to backstitch.
That's it! You have your mask.
Be safe and take care of each other.