As coronavirus continues its worldwide spread, it's important to stay inside whenever you can. However, if you need to venture outside to pick up groceries or other supplies, it's a good idea to protect yourself with a face mask. While it's true that it can be hard to get your hands on a manufactured face mask, you can improvise using materials you have around your house. And it's a good idea to leave the available surgical masks for people who really need them, like doctors and nurses. Read on to learn how to create a DIY face mask to keep yourself protected and healthy when going outside.
Turn a Fitted Sheet into a Face Mask
There are a lot of tutorials online about how to make face masks from materials you may have lying around, but some of them require items that may be hard to come by. However, if your house has a bed, it most likely has a fitted sheet as well! All you need is a sewing machine (though they can be hand sewn if you don't have a machine), and you can easily and quickly turn your fitted sheet into a comfortable mask that will cover your nose and mouth. If you use old fitted sheets, they'll be soft and comfortable, but if you're using brand new sheets, be sure to wash and dry them so that any shrinkage is taken care of.
To start, gather your materials: a cotton or poly-cotton fitted sheet, pins, a tape measure or ruler, scissors, thread, a sewing machine, an iron, and an ironing board. You can also add a wire to these face masks to ensure that they hold their shape. Florist's wire works well in this case, but any thin, flexible wire you have laying around will work. You may also want to consider using two different colors of fabric on your mask so you can tell which side is the inside of the mask. You don't want to inadvertently put the exposed side to your mouth, so it's important to somehow mark the inside and outside so you can tell the difference.
When sizing the mask, you'll want to cut your fabric to best fit your face, but for adults, a nine by eight-inch rectangle works well. Remember to make children's masks a bit smaller. This includes an allowance for a half-inch seam. Cut four nine by eight-inch rectangles from your sheets. You'll also want to cut two seven-inch pieces of elastic from the elastic in the fitted sheet. The elastic will create straps that fit around your ears. In a pinch, you can also use large, sturdy rubber bands and regular sheets instead of fitted ones. It all comes down to what materials you have handy.
Now you're ready to sew your mask together. Check out this video to get more detailed instructions on how to sew the mask to create pleats and straps for your ears.
Stay Safe at Home and Outside
While it's a smart idea to stay at home whenever possible, when you do need to go outside, be sure to check the latest updates about government recommendations regarding wearing masks, social distancing, and other prevention tips. Information and recommendations have been changing rapidly, so you want to make sure you're doing the right thing.
And when you do need to stay at home, make yourself comfortable! Replace the fitted sheets you used for your masks with a cozy new sheet set from Lifestyle Marketplace. We offer high-quality, comfortable, and affordable bedding that can help you get a great night's sleep, no matter what's happening in the world.