There is no getting around the fact that face masks are a requirement here in New Orleans. As we work together to help slow the spread of this disease in our city, many of us have been showing off our custom face masks, displaying our support for the city and our creative chops. If the custom masks you’ve seen have inspired you to learn how to make a homemade fabric face mask, here is a simple mask-making method.
Other than a needle, thread, and scissors, making a mask only requires fabric for the mask itself and strings, rubber bands, cloth strings, or hair ties for the ear loops. There are several types of fabric that one can use to make a mask, but for the sake of comfort and filtering air droplets, most recommend cotton. That means that you can potentially use T-shirt fabric. You can also add a layer of chiffon or silk for added protection.
Cut the Pattern
To begin, you will need to cut a perfect circle out of your fabric. Depending on whether the mask is being made for an adult or a child, the diameter will need to be between eight and eleven inches. A dinner plate, bowl, or a pot lid is an effective reference for drawing a perfect circle. You will then need to fold the circle into pie-shaped quarters and cut them out.
Combining the Sides
For a truly effective mask, you will ultimately be making two layers. Each layer will be made of two of the quarters of fabric. Layer two quarters on top of each other and then sew along the rounded side, then do the same with the other two quarters. After you have sewn them together, open them up like a book and you will have the two layers of your mask.
Once you have your two layers, layer them on top of each other with the outer pattern facing in. Sew along the outer edges, leaving a small corner on one side unsewn. Using that small section, turn the fabric inside out so the pattern of the fabric is on the outside. Press the edges with an iron, then sew up the edge you left open and press it.
For the ear loops, you will have to make a small fold on both sides of the masks, sewing it in such a way that leaves a small space to put your loops through. Then it is simply a matter of sliding the loops into the holes. Depending on if the mask is for an adult or child, you will need the loop to be between six and ten inches.
And voila! You now know how to make an effective homemade face mask. But a mask is only as effective as the way you wear it, so knowing how to wear a mask is essential. With a little creative energy,we can help bring health back to the Big Easy.