Sunday, April 12

Home Made Face Masks

Hello crafty reader!  I hope everybody is enjoying time at home with family, at the same time staying safe for everybody.  My post today is about home made face masks.  I am not sure about other countries, but where we are in the US, it is advised to wear a mask when out and about to get necessities.  Since the start of the pandemic, I couldn't buy masks anywhere.  I have even traveled a few hours away from us, and still no luck.  Now that we are supposed to wear masks outside, I had to make them for us, and extras to give to family and friends who can't sew.  Eventually, donate more to our local hospital.

Before I proceed about my latest project, I want to stress the following about home made masks:

  • Do not microwave the masks, unless you're sure there is no metal of any type in it.  Wash them instead.
  • If you use origami vacuum bags, make sure the material doesn't have fiber glass or any material that could be harmful to the lungs.
  • Use the right type of material for your home made masks.  There is a very good article about it by the New York Times (click here to see).  If you are making masks, might as well do it right so it can serve its purpose - protection for you and the people around you.  I found this too, which refers back to the NY Times article I just mentioned.

I have 100% cotton quilting fabric at home (tried to be a quilter... but didn't work!).  I also found flat elastic in one of my drawers.  I'm good to go.  But I was thinking what would make my mask better.  I thought of the pillow protectors that are hypoallergenic, protects against dust mites, pet dander, pollen and other allergens.  So on my Walmart run last week, I looked through their selection of pillow protectors.  Since I will use it for my mask, it has to be breathable.  I bought just one of this to try.

I decided to have 3 layers for my mask.  Two of the quilting fabric, with the hypoallergenic fabric in between.  Since this is my first try, I used the $1.29 Fat Quarter (18" x 22") 100% cotton fabric from Joanns, which I got on clearance a long while ago.

I followed this guideline in making masks from the Deaconess Website, which also includes a video tutorial.

Out of the many tutorials out there, I used this one because it seems to be patterned after the N95 masks used at the hospitals.  Also, I like that it covers most of the face.  

I also adhered twist ties so you can secure the mask on the bridge of the nose.  Others used pipe cleaners or chenille stems. I use my favorite Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive by Beacon to do this after sewing around the edges the first time, leaving an opening.  You can see in the picture below the hypoallergenic fabric is still showing on the outside.  The next step is to turn this inside out via the opening I left during sewing.

Here, the hypoallergenic fabric is now inside and can't be seen.  I only made 2 pleats instead of 3 from the tutorial, making sure they are all in the same direction.

I was able to make 9 masks with the flat elastics. 

When I tried it on, it was loose so I just tied a small knot and it fit just fine.

I ran out of the flat elastics, so I looked around my stash and I found this.  

I cut the elastic and sewed the ends in the corners, the same way I did the others.

I also found that it helps to pin the pleats in place before sewing.  The masks look a lot better in the end. 

With this type of elastic, I was able to make 10 masks (2 kids sizes)

I also made a couple of masks with a side pocket to insert filters.  It's more work, but I like the end product.

With one hypoallergenic pillow case, I was able to make 21 face masks.  Not bad at all.  I have used one of the masks when I went to town this week.  It fit comfortably and I was able to breathe just fine.

I made a mistake of buying the Aller Ease mattress protector.  Turned out it's not breathable.  DH got me a couple of the pillows so I can start on my second batch of masks soon.

Stay safe and have a fun and productive time at home, everyone!

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