‘How do you make a face mask?’ is one of Canada’s most searched questions these last two weeks.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has raged on, more Canadians are looking for ways to make face masks at home.
It is recommended to wear a medical-grade face mask or face shield if you’re working in healthcare or are a part of an essential service and going out regularly.
That said, making your own face mask is something a lot of us everyday citizens can do to protect ourselves.
A homemade face mask isn’t going to be as effective as a surgical mask or respirator.
A homemade mask is better than nothing though. Here are 4 ways to make your own face mask or face shield at home.
Layering Cotton Materials
The material you use is key. You want something that’s going to be able to filter aerosols and droplets. A 100 percent cotton t-shirt works well. Cut one of these into pieces. Layer at least two pieces. Ensure that it fits snuggly on the face, sealing the mouth and nose areas. To get the string in, take it, fold the cotton material over it, sew it, and test it. Now you’ve got an excellent coronavirus face mask.
Cotton Face Mask with No Sewing Machine
If you do not have a sewing machine or can’t sew, you can still make a face mask at home. The next best thing is to use the same material but instead of sewing, use some fabric glue and an iron. Use the iron to fuse the fabric and glue together. The iron can also be used to create pleats in the fabric which will help thicken up your finished mask.
PET Plastic Face Shield
Chances are we all have a 2L soda bottle at home. The plastic can be cut and flattened. They can be taped together, forming a shield. Take a hole-cutter and cut out two holes on the sides where your string or stretchy band is going to go. You may also want to use some scotch tape around the edges so that you don’t end up cut from the sharp edges. This gives you a cheap, effective see-through face shield for COVID-19.
Bandana Face Mask
If you have an old bandana around the house, grab it. Find two elastic bands. They can be everything from elastics to hair ties. Lay the bandana out. Fold it in rectangles that will cover the mouth and nose. From there, loop the rubber bands around the ends. Fold each side of the bandana into the center and then towards the elastic. Once done, you can wrap the rubber bands around the ears and you’ve got a face mask to put over your face.