The US Centers for Disease Control now recommends that all Americans wear face masks in public to reduce transmission of COVID-19. If still needing a mask heres an inexpensive way to create one at home.
The T-shirt facemask:
- Start with an old T-shirt, preferably 100% cotton – anything will do, as long as it’s not too thin – and outline the pattern of the mask. The bottom line should go just beneath the armpits of the shirt. Make sure the part that goes on your face is large enough to cover your nose and mouth.
- Cut along the lines through both sides of the shirt so that your mask has two layers.
- Place a safety pin along the bottom and insert a piece of paper towel or coffee filter in between the two layers of the T-shirt. This acts as an additional filter, and rests on top of the safety pin.
- Secure the mask around the front of your face, covering your nose and mouth. Tie the top straps under the back of your head and the bottom straps at the top of your head. That will ensure a nice fit underneath your chin. By covering your mouth, you have now protected those around you, and the better the fit, the more you’re going to also protect yourself.
The handkerchief face mask:
- Start with a handkerchief and two hair ties. Rubber bands are okay as well, although they will be less comfortable.
- Fold the handkerchief in half, along a horizontal axis, and make a nice crease.
- Place piece of paper towel or coffee filter at the center of the handkerchief. Fold the top down and the bottom up, so that the coffee filter or paper towel rests in the fold.
- Place your first elastic about one-third of the way in from the edge of the handkerchief. Place the second elastic one-third of the way in from the other side. The two elastics should be about one hand-width apart.
- Fold the left side in toward the center and then fold the right side in toward the center, tucking the right side into the left-side flap.
How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
Cloth face coverings should—
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
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