BY CAMILA FERNANDEZ
With the sudden surge in demand for face masks, stores are seeing shortages nationwide, if not worldwide. Face masks are critical for running errands during the coronavirus pandemic, especially to protect oneself and others. However, there are multiple easy and fun crafts you can try to make your own Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mask at home, even with regular household items.
The first DIY mask is relatively easy, and it can be made with an old t-shirt. Cut a straight line across your shirt at about seven to eight inches from the bottom. Now that you have a small strip of material, you can cut the strings for your mask by cutting horizontally six to seven inches. Make sure to leave an inch of fabric on the top and bottom. To use the mask, tie the bottom tie strings around your neck and the top tie strings at the top of your head.
If you have coffee filters and a bandana handy, they can also be repurposed to offer a colorful mask look. Take your coffee filter and fold it in half to make a semicircle. Fold your bandana in half as well, horizontally. Next, place the coffee filter in the middle of the bandana, and fold the bandana into thirds. Take two rubber bands or hair ties and place them around the ends of the bandana, about six inches apart. Fold the ends of the bandana towards the center over the bands. You can wear this face cover by placing the bands behind your ears.
If you do not have a bandana, coffee filters can serve as masks on their own. To make the mask more effective and thicker, stack multiple coffee filters inside one another. Make sure to trim any excess of the filters so the edges are even. Take one strand of elastic or fabric. Ideally, the strand should be long enough to create a snug yet comfortable fit around your head. Use a stapler to staple both ends of the elastic or fabric onto the coffee filters, just enough to pin it on the mask. Wear the mask by placing the coffee filters over your nose and mouth, then pulling the strand over to the back of your head. Viola!
The final DIY mask recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is slightly more complex. If you are handy or have a sewing machine nearby, the next mask is perfect for you! Stack two, evenly-sized rectangles of fabric. Fold the longer, sides of the fabric down and sew them together. Fold the shorter sides of the fabric over and sew at the edges, leaving a small space open for the elastic to loop in. Thread the elastic through the opening you left previously. Tie or sew the ends together. Tuck the knots inside the opening. Gather the short sides together and stitch the elastic into place. Wear this by placing the elastics behind your ears.
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Whichever mask design you choose, don’t forget to stay responsible and informed!
Videos by Anabella Garcia