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4 Easy DIY Face Masks You Can Make at Home

You don't even need a sewing machine.

On top of social distancing, the CDC has officially recommended that we all wear face masks when out in public to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It can be hard to find any in stock right now, but you can try a few simple ways to make them at home instead.

Some follow CDC guidelines better than others, but if you’re in a pinch, it’s good to have options. Even without sewing supplies or skills, you likely have the tools you need right at home to make your own mask. Take a look below for four DIY face mask options you can make at home.

DIY Sewing Mask 

Deb Gross

This easy-sew face mask uses cotton fabric and bias tape. Deb Gross is a freelance artist and illustrator in Wisconsin, and she’s been making masks for weeks now to donate to area hospitals. She put together a simple step-by-step tutorial for others who want to make masks that align with hospital standards. You’ll need five pieces of fabric total. After you piece it together, you’ll pin the fabrics to create pleats. 

If you’re looking to sew masks to donate, Deb recommends connecting with others who are doing the same. She says there are lots of Facebook groups online to join that have been great for giving patterns, donating supplies, and coordinating drop-offs to places that have the most need. 

You can also click here for a sewing tutorial from the CDC

Handkerchief Face Mask 

No sewing skills? No problem. You can use the tutorial above from Tiny Bandit (click through the slides for a video guide) to make a mask out of an ordinary handkerchief. 

To make this mask, lay out the handkerchief and then fold it several times to create more protective layers. Then loop hair ties (rubber bands would also work) through the two ends, and it’s ready to go over your face and around your ears. If you don’t have a handkerchief to do this with, try using a dish towel, hand towel, or cutting up an old t-shirt you don’t mind saying goodbye to.

Coffee Filter Face Mask 

Here’s one more option that just requires a trip to your kitchen to grab a coffee filter. The photo here features a Starbucks worker who made their own. (Starbucks has since supplied all workers with face masks.) It’s definitely a creative way to repurpose items you likely already have in your home. 

For this mask, start by layering two to three coffee filters together. To help them stay in place, staple or tape together. Using a hole punch or the end of a paper clip, poke two holes each on the right and left sides. Thread some string or twine through the holes to create the two loops that will hook around your ears. Before you tie it off, check for overall fit and adjust as needed.

Another approach to this face mask is using tape, a stapler, and rubber bands. You can see a quick YouTube tutorial for it here. No matter which approach you do, this breathable mask is easy to recycle and make again as needed.

Scarf Face Mask 

If you’re in a pinch and have a scarf sitting around, you might have just what you need to create your own face wrap, like the Instagram user @MaryBox did. She writes that she’s planning to create a more secure face mask soon, but for now, this is a great option for coming and going. 

To create this, you have a couple of options, depending on the size of your scarf. You can either fold it similar to the handkerchief design, using hair ties to secure it behind your ears. Or with a longer scarf, you can fold several layers and then wrap it around your face and tie it. 

These DIY face masks don’t require a lot of time or materials, so they’re great to have either as your go-to mask or as a backup. You might even make a couple of extras to share with friends or neighbors who are in need. Even though it takes a little time getting used to wearing a mask, it’s definitely a great way to do your part.

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