No Sew Face Mask. (To Be Used to Protect Others)

A no-sew face mask.  If you have a napkin, 2 elastic bands and ears you can make it right now. A simple cloth face mask will not protect you from anything.  It will however, protect those around you if you’re sick.

Karen Bertelsen wearing a white napkin turned into a no-sew face mask for blocking some particulate matter.

I’ve been waiting to post anything like this.  I didn’t want to for a variety of reasons, the number one being that these types of homemade masks do not protect you against anything. What a simple face mask will DO however is 1) help keep you from touching your face and 2) they can minimize the chances you’ll infect someone else if you’re sick.

And everyone knows that you can be a carrier and not show any symptoms of being sick at all. Some of you reading this right now  have the virus and don’t don’t it because you don’t have any symptoms. Everyone knows that. Everyone but the Governor of Alabama at least.

With CDC regulations in the United States now recommending that if you go out, you should wear some form of mask I am finally posting a DIY mask.

I didn’t want to do a mask you had to sew because so many of you don’t sew and wouldn’t make one immediately because it would be a pain. I sew (granted it’s not  my favourite thing to do) and even I have put off making a face mask for a couple of weeks. 

Instead I have this.  I did not come up with the idea, but I do think it’s important to share it.

Also – If you would like to buy a pre-made, form fitting face mask, as of this moment these are the highest rated form fitting face masks available on Amazon.

 

I want to REITERATE that this isn’t something you can throw on and feel safe. You know that right? I figured you knew that but just for my own peace of mind I had to say it out loud.   Again.

No Sew Face Mask Tips and Facts

  • This is NOT a medical mask. It only blocks a small amount of particulate matter.
  • A face mask should feel slightly difficult to breath through due to its thickness. (N95 masks for instance can only be worn for about a half an hour before you start feeling like you need to take it off to breath properly)
  • Any elastic will work but it needs to be fairly stretchy to not pull on your ears.
  • The mask should be as tight against your face as possible. Breath out heavily and if you can feel air coming up towards your eyes, that’s germs that are escaping.  Either reposition the mask or …
  • If you have a pliable piece of metal you can clamp that over the face mask at the bridge of your nose to help make the mask tighter to your face.
  • No napkins or bandanas on hand? Blue shop towels work surprisingly well at blocking particulate.
  • I am working with a 16″ x 16″ napkin here but use what you have.
  • Wash your mask daily and let it dry in the sun if you can because the sun acts as a germicide.

I will use this mask only until I can buy or sew a proper face mask that fits tightly around my whole face.

No Sew Face Mask. (To Be Used to Protect Others)

No Sew Face Mask. (To Be Used to Protect Others)

Active Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Estimated Cost: $0

One face mask out of a napkin and elastic bands.

Materials

  • 1 napkin
  • 2 elastic bands

Instructions

  1. Lay the napkin flat in front of you. Grabbing the top of the napkin fold it down to the middle of the napkin. Do the same with the bottom, folding it up to the middle.
  2. Flip the napkin over so the side with the seam is now touching the table.
  3. Repeat the first move, folding the top down to the middle and the middle up to the centre.
  4. Flip the napkin over again.
  5. Slip an elastic band over each end of the folded napkin being careful to keep the napkin flat and not letting it bunch up. Each elastic should centred, spaced approximately 6" apart.
  6. Fold the flaps of napkin that extend past the elastics towards the centre. You will now have a rectangle shape.
  7. The mask can now be worn, with the loose folded side towards your face and slipping the elastic bands over your ears.

Notes

  • This is NOT a medical mask. It only blocks a small amount of particulate matter.
  • A face mask should feel slightly difficult to breath through due to its thickness. (N95 masks for instance can only be worn for about a half an hour before you start feeling like you need to take it off to breath properly)
  • Any elastic will work but it needs to be fairly stretchy to not pull on your ears.
  • The mask should be as tight against your face as possible. Breath out heavily and if you can feel air coming up towards your eyes, that's germs that are escaping.  Either reposition the mask or ...
  • If you have a pliable piece of metal you can clamp that over the face mask at the bridge of your nose to help make the mask tighter to your face.
  • No napkins or bandanas on hand? Blue shop towels work surprisingly well at blocking particulate.
  • I am working with a 16" x 16" napkin here but use what you have.
  • Wash your mask daily and let it dry in the sun if you can because the sun acts as a germicide.

Again, to buy pre-made face masks from Amazon, click here.

 
 Back to the regularly scheduled hilarity tomorrow.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

 
 

No Sew Face Mask. (To Be Used to Protect Others)

53 Comments

  1. Renee Anthony says:

    Thanks for the tutorial for those without sewing ability. More importantly, THANK YOU for your clear and correct communication about the (minimal) benefits of the cloth face coverings. The media on the US says to use these if you can’t distance by 6 ft, which is incorrect. Please still follow physical/social distancing recommendations if you are wearing these. They help a little, but mostly in your head , not your lungs. Thanks!

  2. Clem says:

    Thanks Karen
    Great idea
    Stay safe

  3. Sadie says:

    Can we see a side view of the mask?

  4. Nancy says:

    Rude.

  5. Paul says:

    If you’re a big guy the hair ties won’t go around your ears.
    If they do go around, I guarantee they won’t stay in place.

  6. Alena says:

    I wondered why you were folding the napkin so many times but I got it at the end. That’s a pretty inventive way for an emergency face mask.
    I made mine with 3 pleats (to allow it accommodate my 3D face) from a fabric that is probably as old as I am, or close (I am 60). I remember as a child we always had it at home and some of it Mom saved as my ‘dowry’. It’s a fabric that is used when making comforters from goose down, the fabric is extremely densely woven so that the down cannot easily pierce it (those of you who have worked with down will know what I mean).
    I had nothing stretchy at home but I had a ribbon that used to be in the waistband of my pajama pants (sometimes, the hoarding comes handy). So I just tie mine behind my head/neck like shoelaces.

  7. Peggy in MN says:

    This is wonderful, Karen! Thank you! I had a few cheapo masks for when I have to spray-paint stuff, so I have been wearing those for several weeks. While I would not like to get this virus, I am plum horrified by the idea that I might unknowingly spread it, so I’m happy to mask myself. It’s a very small thing we can do for each-other in this time, and who knows? It might make a difference to even one person, so it’s worth it.

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