It has no doubt been the Year of the Mask for Australia. From the devastating bushfire crisis earlier this year to the current COVID crisis that has seen face coverings become mandatory for all Victorians, there is no doubt that masking up is now a feature of everyday life for many of us.
Whether you are required to mask up by law or choose to wear one for health reasons, there are a number of options available should you need to find a mask. However, you don’t necessarily need to queue at Bunnings or buy one online for an exorbitant price – you can make your own!
Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services has released a handy guide to help you make your own cloth face mask at home. Not only can these masks be washed and re-worn, they are also a great way to stay safe in style.
You will need:
- 1 piece of 25cm x 25cm water-resistant fabric for outer layer of your mask – materials such as polyester and propylene, which are commonly found in clothing and reusable cloth shopping bags, work well.
- 1 piece of 25cm x 25cm fabric blend for middle layer – cotton polyester or propylene blends are an accessible choice. Again, you can utilise old clothing or reusable cloth shopping bags for this layer.
- 1 piece of 25 x 25cm water-absorbing fabric for inner layer – cotton is a great fabric of choice for this layer.
- 2 pieces of elastic, string or cloth strips to act as ear loops – think shoelaces, strips of old clothing…whatever you have lying around!
How to make your own cloth face mask:
- Cut the outer, middle and inner layer pieces into the required 25 x 25cm size.
- Lay the outer layer on the bottom, middle layer in the middle and inner layer on top.
- With the inner layer facing up, fold over 1cm of the three pieces of material for the top and bottom edges. Stitch at the borders either by hand or with a sewing machine.
- With the inner layer still facing up, fold over 1.5cm of the material for the side edges and stitch.
- Thread a 20cm piece of your ear loops through the wider edge on each side. If you are struggling to feed the thread through, use a safety pin or large needle to help.
- Knot the ends tightly or stitch them together to secure.
- Put your mask on with the outer layer facing away from your face. Adjust as needed to make sure it sits tightly over your nose and mouth – you may need to twist the ear loops to create shorter strings.