Be Creative While Protecting Yourself: DIY Mask Ideas

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At first masks were simply a tool to protect yourself and others against COVID-19. We saw the majority of people donning surgical-style masks as they went on their weekly grocery runs. Now that it’s clear we will be living the #masklife through the summer, many people are searching for ways to express their style through their masks.

And why not? Showing a little personality without compromising the effectiveness of your face covering can be a fun way to beat the mask blues. [Note: Make sure the material you use follows the guidelines outlined by health experts like the CDC. Common materials like tightly woven cotton can be used, however cloth masks should include multiple layers of fabric in order to be effective.

I am a huge fan of consignment stores. Buying vintage designer clothes, selling the outfits I’ve worn to death — I can’t get enough. Unfortunately, the majority of consignment stores are either closed or not accepting used clothing right now. Instead of letting that pile of tired threads sit under your bed taking up space, you can use this opportunity to give some life back to your unwanted apparel.

Remember your favorite red polka dot skater dress from fall 2018? Or the Celtics T-shirt that you stained with mustard while eating a hot dog at the game? Even the cute tropical-print cover-up that you bought in anticipation of the summer beach hangouts that will never be can find new purpose as a face mask.

Fabric Face Mask Step-By-Step

Once you have chosen the material for your new face mask, make sure it will effectively protect against COVID-19. You can do so by consulting trusted sources like the CDC, Mayo Clinic, and WHO websites.

Find a pattern online that suits the material and your sense of style. Pinterest is a great place to find sewing patterns, but a regular google search can serve you just as well. Remember, it is incredibly important each step of the way to be sure your mask will be effective against the transfer of COVID-19, so that means double-checking with trusted authorities when you find the pattern you wish to try. The one you choose will need to prevent your air particles from escaping as much as possible.

Next, grab your scissors and sewing machine or a needle and thread. Your pattern should indicate how big the fabric needs to be and how to cut it. Most patterns will also have step-by-step instructions on how to sew your mask together. If yours doesn't, never fear! YouTube can be a helpful resource for videos on how to sew your own face mask.

For those of us who are not so crafty, the CDC lays out directions on their website for no-sew masks made from common materials. Make sure to follow the steps to the letter in order to create an effective face covering.

Now when you go outside with your new face mask, you will be able to show off your fashion sense while still demonstrating that you care about the health of the people around you. What’s cooler than that?

Tags: DIY, Navigating the Pandemic, Overcoming Adversity

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Written By

Allie Nelson

Allie is a TV producer and writer with credits on Netflix, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, TBS, E!, & HGTV. See Full Bio

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