Medical-grade masks are hard to come by nowadays, and it's completely understandable if you want to reserve stocks for front-liners and essential workers. Thanks to the numerous confirmations from reliable sources regarding homemade facemasks' effectivity, everyone can now make some (or a lot) at the comfort of their homes!
This guide is for those keen on making DIY face masks and provides you with a few suggestions of the supplies to get, such as fabrics, elastics, filters, and sewing kits. We've picked out the best items on Amazon and made an easy-to-follow list and a buying guide to help you look for other supplies you might need.
We've taken a good look at the essential supplies you will need to get started with your DIY face masks and picked out the best ones on Amazon, based on those who've actually used the products for face masks. You can find all the materials you might need in the top 10 list below.
Set of 3
|Details||22 x 22 in., 100% cotton|
Set of 20
|Details||4.7 x 2.95 in., activated carbon, non-woven and melt-blown filter cloth|
|Details||Over 100 pieces in PU leather case|
Set of 100
|Details||4 x 0.2 in., polyester|
Set of 100
|Details||3.5 x 0.2 in., aluminum|
|Details||Runs on batteries or power supply (neither are included), comes with sewing accessories|
|Details||4.9 x 3.1 in., activated carbon, non-woven and melt-blown filter cloth|
Set of 6
|Details||16 x 12 in., 100% cotton|
|Details||27 stitches, easy needle threader and drop-in bobbin, 6 quick-change feet; 25-year warranty|
|Details||55 yards of 1/4 in. white elastic, 100 aluminum nose bridges, 100 cord locks|
Handmade Soft Bandanas
Activated Carbon Filters
Elastic Band Cord With Buckles
Nose Bridge for Mask
Handheld Sewing Machine
PM 2.5 Filters Activated Carbon Filter
DIY Face Mask Kit
Ultra-Soft and Breathable Bandanas
A Face Mask Filter for Outdoor Activities
A Useful, Premium-Quality Sewing Kit
50 Pairs of Flexible Ear Band Cords
The Must-Have Nose Bridge for Masks
Your Handy and Portable Sewing Kit
PM2.5 Filters in Bulk, Shipped From the US
100% Cotton Cloths Good for Face Masks
A Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine for Bulk Production
An Entire DIY Kit for Face Masks
|Details||22 x 22 in., 100% cotton||4.7 x 2.95 in., activated carbon, non-woven and melt-blown filter cloth||Over 100 pieces in PU leather case||4 x 0.2 in., polyester||3.5 x 0.2 in., aluminum||Runs on batteries or power supply (neither are included), comes with sewing accessories||4.9 x 3.1 in., activated carbon, non-woven and melt-blown filter cloth||16 x 12 in., 100% cotton||27 stitches, easy needle threader and drop-in bobbin, 6 quick-change feet; 25-year warranty||55 yards of 1/4 in. white elastic, 100 aluminum nose bridges, 100 cord locks|
If you wish to continue your search for other DIY face mask essentials, do give the buying guide below a look through. It contains information on what you'll need to make a face mask, how to create one, and some homemade face mask do's and don'ts.
Making a face mask has with two goals: protection and comfort. The fabric and elastics work hand-in-hand to give you both if done right. Here are a few tips to remember when choosing the material and elastics.
The first and most important aspect of making a face mask is having breathable and comfortable fabric to use as layers. You want something to help keep viruses and bacteria out, while ensuring you can still breathe comfortably.
Examples of recommended fabrics you can work with are bandanas and other tightly-woven cotton fabrics such as sheets, quilting fabrics, t-shirts, and pillowcases. Go for those that are 100 percent cotton for breathability and comfort.
Look for tightly-woven materials because these offer more protection from particles that could get through the layers of loosely-woven fabrics. It's also imperative to have two or more cloth layers with a thread count of at least 180 to increase effectiveness by providing multiple finely-sewn barriers.
The elastics are an equally important part of a face mask because it can make or break the entire thing when it comes to comfort. You can use durable rubber bands or elastic hair ties as an option for quick, no-sew masks.
Elastic string or bands made specifically for crafts can be purchased online too, some with cord locks included to make them adjustable for a tight fit. Ensuring that you have a soft and unobtrusive material for your ear hook helps you keep the mask on for extended periods without irritating you.
Next, you want to get a filter for added protection against pollutants, viruses, bacteria, and other particles that could be detrimental to one's health. Lung protection is now a priority more than ever.
Some people use coffee filters, paper towels or tissue paper as makeshift disposable filters added in a homemade face mask. Coffee filters have been tested by experts and were found to be highly effective in blocking out virus-sized particles. However, they might not be breathable enough for many users.
It's advised to test out the material before using it regularly in a face mask. The same applies to any other makeshift filter, such as facial tissue paper. While the goal is to make it difficult for aerosol droplets to get in and out of your nose and mouth by adding extra barriers, it's also equally important to check for breathability.
One readily accepted alternative is getting a PM2.5 activated carbon (charcoal) filter that blocks up to 95 percent of airborne particles.
These are commonly used as protection against dust, pollen, gases, and other chemicals. They come in pad form and can be easily inserted into a DIY face mask. Do ensure to follow the recommended frequency of usage and dispose of the filter accordingly.
Now that you have your essential materials ready, it's time to create your face mask. You have three options to consider: sewing with a machine, hand-sewing, or going for the no-sew route. Each has its perks, illustrated below.
When making a face mask, you can get a sewing kit and sew it with a machine or by hand. When looking for a sewing kit, search for one with durable quality thread and premium accessories like needles, pins, and threaders. A quick look at reviews can give you the feedback you need regarding the durability and quality of a particular sewing kit.
Going the machine route would be dependent on your experience and background using sewing machines. There a lot of respected brands such as Singer and Brother which specialize in making fully-equipped sewing machines that are still beginner-friendly. If you're looking for a more straightforward tool, then perhaps a handheld one can give you more control.
Choosing the features of your sewing machine would depend on your needs, for example, one that could do 800 stitches in a minute and is capable of more stitch patterns allows you to produce more intricate face masks in larger quantities.
The no-sew face mask option is for those who don't know how or are too busy to sew. Or perhaps you need one for an emergency and don't have time to get sewing.
The same concept applies when it comes to the materials, but the outcome is more makeshift and temporary.
A nose bridge is a thin strip of metal typically made of aluminum. It's used to close the gap usually formed around the nose area when wearing a face mask, thus boosting protective measures. Nose bridges are lightweight and bendable to conform to the shape of your nose when wearing a mask.
This nifty invention improves comfort because it lessens the strain of the mask's fabric that's touching your nose by manipulating the angles accordingly. They're also great for people who wear glasses to reduce fogging.
Nose bridges come with adhesive tape and can be easily attached or sewn into position. They can be purchased in bulk, too.
When it comes to cutting your fabric or elastic to the right specifications, you will need a reliable pair of scissors to ensure a clean cut. It's recommended to go for craft scissors just to be sure they're capable of cutting fabrics.
If you're looking quick and easy help getting started on a DIY face mask, we've got you covered. Here are two tutorials on making a face mask: sewn and no-sew versions.
For more detailed information, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website!
When working with DIY face masks, do remember to wash the mask after every use. Also, do ensure the mask covers the nose and mouth area well to provide sufficient protection. Nothing should be able to get in through the sides as well, so if your nose tends to stick out, make a mask with a bit of extra room for it.
Don't reuse filters that can't be reused! Use filters according to their shelf life. Paper towels or coffee filters need to be disposed of after every use, while PM2.5 filters can be changed every other day with heavy use.
No one wants to get sick or get others sick. In these uncertain times, little things can make a huge difference. Take a look at these other articles for advice, and remember we're all in this together!
Making DIY face masks is now more accessible than ever, given their growing necessity. The materials and guides are available with a click of a button, leaving us with minimal excuses not to wear one wherever we go. Protect yourself and others with something homemade and reliable!
Author: Hana Otsuka
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