A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Your Own Face Masks at Home
You don't even need a sewing machine!
(SPOT.ph) In case you missed it, wearing face masks is now required when leaving the house, according to an announcement by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on April 2. While supplies for face masks are still scarce, local brands have been stepping up and producing their own reusable masks so we can all reserve surgical masks for healthcare workers who urgently need protective equipment.
In case you’re interested in making your own face masks, local brand Maison Metisse’s founder Adrienne Charuel uploaded a helpful video that teaches you how to do it with items you can find at home. We break it down in easy steps that you can follow. First, here’s a list of what you’ll be needing:
- Ruler or tape measure
- Tailor’s chalk (a pencil or crayon can be an alternative)
- Elastic (old shoelaces, elastic bands, cotton ribbons, or strings can be alternatives)
- Fabric (from an old shirt, pillow case, bedsheet, et cetera)
It’s important to note that ideally, the fabric you choose for the outer layer is water-repellent, while the fabric for the inner layer must be absorbent. To check if the fabric you’re using is water-repellent, see how long it takes to absorb a drop of water. According to the Maison Metisse’s founder, if it takes longer than 30 seconds to absorb, it’s most likely water-repellent. If it takes shorter than 30 seconds, it means the fabric is absorbent. But if you don’t have water-repellent fabric, no worries because the mask you will be making will have an inner pocket where you can insert filters for an extra layer of protection.
Check out this guide on making your own face mask:
Cut your chosen fabric according to size
A typical adult’s face mask measures 20 centimeters in width and 30 centimeters in height. On the other hand, a kid’s mask measures 17 centimeters in width and 25 centimeters in height.
Double-fold the top and bottom edges
Fold the top and bottom edges about .5 centimeters and sew. If one of the edges already has a fold, there is no need to sew it.
Fold the fabric in half
With the right side of the fabric facing out, fold it in half down the middle. The top and bottom seams should be touching.
Mark the center of the fabric
Using your tailor’s chalk (can also be a pencil or a crayon) and your ruler, mark the center of the fabric, then measure 2 centimeters above and below the center line, and mark, making a total of three parallel lines.
Fold and pin the pleats
Following the lines you just made, fold the bottom line towards the center line and do the same for the top line. Then, take your pins and secure the pleats on both sides.
Fold the upper half and bottom half towards the center
Take the upper edge of the mask and fold it towards the middle. Then, take the bottom edge of the mask and do the same. Make sure that the bottom edge is on top of the upper edge. The pleats should also be at the center of the fold.
Make the straps
Take your elastics or whatever material you’re planning to use for the straps. Make two 38-centimeter long straps then cut the two straps in half.
Position the straps into the masks
Open the bottom fold and place one of the straps on the left side, just on top of the crease. Take another strap and do the same on the right side. Repeat the process on the top fold.
Fold the upper half and bottom half towards the center once again
When doing this, make sure that the upper fold is below the bottom fold and that the pleats are still centered. Then, pin the corners 2 to 3 centimeters from the edge to make sure that the straps stay in place as you begin to sew the edges. Pin the straps in the middle to keep them in place, too.
Sew the edges of the fabric together
Take your ruler and measure 1 centimeter from both edges. Sew the edges using a backstitch, making sure to use smaller stitches once you get to the straps to secure them well.
Turn the mask inside out
After sewing both edges, you are now ready to turn your mask inside-out! But before doing this, trim any fraying threads. Then, hold your mask by the opening and turn inside-out.
Tie the ends of the straps together
Flip your mask over and start knotting the ends of the straps. Adjust the knots as needed for a comfortable fit. You may also trim the ends of the knots if they bother you, but doing so means you won’t be able to adjust the fit anymore.
Insert filters into the opening
Use at least three layers of filters for added protection. Make sure the filters you choose are made of non-woven fabric for effective filtration. Tissue paper works fine, but you can also try using other materials like felt paper or the water-repellent material used in eco bags.
Then you’re done!
Before using your face mask, make sure you wash it and have it dry under the sun. Always replace the filters after each use and wash the mask immediately.
Check out Maison Metisse’s video: