When the Covid-19 pandemic first began, the concept of wearing a mask became a first for many people. However, at the time, masks were incredibly short on supply and many people were asked not to get them. Now, more and more communities are making masks a mandatory thing. Many scientists have also said that the pandemic isn’t going to end any time soon. Thus, you might want to take some time to educate yourself on the various types of masks available to you while also allowing yourself to learn how to make your own. This quick guide helps to highlight the different aspects of masks while also helping you to find DIY tutorials so you can easily make your own.
1. T-shirt Mask
T-shirt masks tend to be one of the most commonly used masks for the younger generation. These masks are simply made out of the bottom of a shirt and attached to the face using a form of band to secure to the ear. T-shirt masks allow people to enjoy some fun styles while still keeping themselves protected. There are also a huge selection of mask tutorials online to choose from, so you can truly make the style your own. The thing with these masks is you do have to be very careful. You need to make sure you use at least three layers of cloth. You also have to cut the shirt with enough fabric to completely cover your mouth and nose. This mask doesn’t always offer the same protection as other options, but it will still help a lot more than wearing nothing at all.
2. Sewn Mask
When masks became a concern, many crafters took to their sewing machines to make masks for those in the line of danger. If you saw segments on masks in the news, then it was probably a sewn mask that was being discussed. These masks are incredibly easy to make and can be done in an assortment of designs. You can download a pattern online for these masks, so you have a lot of options to choose from here, too. When making these masks, you should still aim for using three layers of fabric, but you can use more if you choose to, as well. These masks are easily sewn by hand too, but if you want to make a lot then you might consider using the sewing machine. You also have a little more freedom when it comes to earpieces on these masks.
3. Dust Covers
A lot of people are using dust covers to cover their faces. These are good in a pinch, especially if you already had them lying around. The beauty of dust covers is they will block out a lot, but many are quite breathable, which means you are putting yourself and others at risk. A dust cover might be a better idea if you want something that is going to help hold your mask in place, as they won’t block your airway. However, if you know you’re going to be in a setting where people are 6 feet or more apart then a dust cover might do the trick. It just isn’t wise for crowded places like stores or in areas where there might be vulnerable people.
There are still many people who believe that bandanas work well, but this isn’t really the case. This material tends to be much thinner than other fabrics. However, if you plan on wrapping the material you will be in better shape. Bandanas can be transformed into masks in many different ways. This will allow you a little more freedom when you work. The most popular way to use the bandana is the same way you would a shirt. Simply fold the material and slip it through two bands that will rest on your ears. You should refrain from just tying it around your face though, as the single cloth won’t do much for protection when it comes to you or others.
5. Surgical Masks
If you’re looking for the best protection, you will probably want to invest in surgical masks. When the pandemic first began, people were advised not to purchase these masks because they were for those working in the medical industry or those with compromised immune systems. These masks are more readily available now as you can buy them in most department stores and online. Surgical masks do offer you more protection than your typical homemade mask, but you still need to throw them away after every use. You also need to keep social distancing rules in effect in order to protect yourself and others as much as possible. If you do purchase these masks, try to do so in bulk so you can save money on them.
6. N95 Respirator
When it comes to top of the line masks, the N95 respirator is one of the best on the market. Everyday people do not need a mask like this. In fact, you should try to steer clear of these masks so there are plenty for the people that do need them. These masks are an absolute necessity for doctors and nurses working on the front line of the pandemic. In some cases, these masks are also used for the extremely immune deficiency, like those suffering from cancer or immune compromising diseases.
7. Facial Shield
Recently, a lot of people have been toying with the idea of wearing a facial shield instead of a mask. They feel that this is less restricting, and it makes them feel more comfortable. A facial shield is a great idea if you are up close and personal with people that may be coughing or sneezing. These masks are typically designed for nurses and doctors who wear them with a facial mask. The point of the shield is to protect the entire face from getting potentially sprayed with germs via mucus or saliva. Thus, a mask is imperative to wear with it as the germs do scatter in the air. There are tutorials to help you make your own facial shield, but if you choose to go this route, please wear a mask too. Some people have suggested this idea for children that are too young to wear a mask though, which might be wise, especially with schools potentially being back in session.
8. Coffee Filter Add-In
No matter what type of mask you choose to wear, you might consider adding a coffee filter to the mix. A coffee filter simply adds an extra layer of protection and in most cases can be fit securely into a pocket in the fabric. Of course, you should dispose of the coffee filter properly after every use because it can truly spread germs if you do not. You don’t have to go with a coffee filter though. There are actual filters available for masks now, which can help you find better peace of mind. There are also other alternatives. If you’re having trouble with your glasses fogging up, then you might also consider using a tissue add-in. Simply fold the tissue and place it at the top of the mask to prevent condensation from ruining the day.
9. Back Attachments
One of the main problems with wearing masks, especially if you have to wear them throughout your work shift, is they tend to rub on the ears. There is a solution to this problem that might be easier than you think. One way is to simply create a piece of fabric that can fold around the two earpieces and then clasp. This will hold the mask in the back of your head, so you don’t constantly have the pressure on the ears. Of course, you do need to make sure the mask is secure though, or else it will be pointless. Many women are also adding buttons to headbands. They simply secure the earpiece to the buttons and they’re good to go. There are lots of other cool ideas too, so make sure you browse around online to see if anything works for your needs.
Speaking of earpieces, this can be a crucial part of any DIY mask. When you choose an earpiece, pick something that is not going to be harsh on your ears. Most people go with elastic bands as it does give some wiggle room when it comes to how your mask pulls on your ears. Some people are putting a softer cloth around the elastic to help make it feel a bit better. You can even add cotton or plush insert over the top to help with the issue. As long as the earpiece fits the mask securely to your face, you’re good to go. You should steer clear of string though, as it will rub the skin raw and cause severe pain.
Wearing a mask is simply the new normal, so it is important to know how to make a mask in a hurry or choose the best mask for you. You don’t have to spend a small fortune on the mask though as most of these options will help create a budget-friendly way to get what you need for you and your loved ones.