With the danger of the latest coronavirus outbreak expanding, it will be difficult to find a medical mask in stores. Occupational disease control organizations recommend N95 grade materials (which block 95% of particles .3 microns or larger), so there is no guarantee that less dense fabric provides protection, but you can still find yourself making your own mask .  Masks are a great way to contain your own bacteria if you feel under the weather – reducing the risk of spreading said bacteria to others – and many people wear masks to protect themselves from the germs of others. Also, these masks should not be worn by someone who is experiencing breathing difficulties as the presence of a mask can make the problem difficult. The most basic method is the classic folded bandanna, but you can get some more control by adding straps as described below.
Face Mask Method One: Use an Old T-Shirt
The first way to create your own face mask is to cycle an old t-shirt. This is a great way to reuse something you might otherwise get rid of to help you and others stay healthy! A cotton t-shirt is best for this project and it should be clean before the project is completed.
Step 1 – Measure your fabric
First lay the t-shirt flat and measure a piece that is eight to 12 inches in size. Mark it with a pen, chalk or marker.
Step 2 – Cut the fabric
Cut the fabric along the lines you selected. This will not be a nice end result, so don't worry if your cut is not completely straight!
Step 3 – Fold the fabric
Then fold the fabric into thirds.
Step 4 – Measure the laces or string
Use either the laces or any type of string that will be comfortable around your ears. When deciding on the string type, measure the length that conveniently fits around the ears. Cut the material to the desired length. You need two pieces that are the same length, so the laces are a good candidate for this job.
Step 5 – Insert the strand
Now insert the strand or string so that each end is fixed to one of the sides of the fabric along the short sides. Once sewn, they will slip over your ears to hold the mask to your face. If desired, you can also place each lace or string over the length and top of the mask so that the ends protrude so you can tie the mask around the head to wear it. This is based on personal preference.
Step 6 – Sew the mask cover
Sew the four sides of your mask closure, secure the string or laces in place. Again, this does not have to be perfect and can be in whatever color thread you have at hand.
Step 7 – Make additional masks
You may want to make additional masks so that you have backups when you wash a mask after wearing them. To increase efficiency, masks should be washed daily and every time they get wet.
Method two: Use a scarf
Another way to create a makeshift mask is quite simple. Again, there is no guarantee that this method will be as effective as a store-bought medical face mask, but it really can't hurt. Wear a scarf – preferably one made of some breathable fabric.
Place the scarf around the neck as many times as the length of the accessory allows. Pull the scarf up over your mouth and provide coverage similar to a traditional face mask. This is an easy way to work against the spread of sprouts without much work or the need for a visit to the pharmacy, which is a nice benefit.
Whether you use a store bought mask, make your own or simply use a scarf, staying healthy and free of bacteria is important for everyone. Do what you can to protect yourself and others, especially during times of increased illness that are going on in your community.