DIY Face Mask

DIY Face Mask

Face masks are in high demand right now, especially among hospital staff and caregivers. While the N95 mask is the only one known to provide protection against viruses such as COVID-19, any coverage is better than no coverage. In fact, hospitals around the country are asking crafters to help by providing homemade face masks. Here's what you need to know to make your own DIY face mask.

The Best Instructions for Making a Face Mask

While the virus is still new to humans, a fast response has allowed health officials around the world to make observations that can inform everyone on ways to recognize and control the spread of the disease.

A quick Google search shows various instructions on how to make a face mask. To be most useful, especially to hospital staff, you'll want to choose instructions that include ties for fastening it. According to a call for help on invisibleventura.org, elastic will break down in hospital laundry autoclaves. "They are assuming that these masks will be used for 5 months, so they need quality over quantity for healthcare workers…"

Joann Fabrics has a popular step-by-step video showing how to make a face mask that covers your mouth using elastic. We suggest if you follow those instructions that you substitute fabric ties. Another set of easy-to-follow instructions for how to sew a face mask created by a nurse can be found here.

Important Notes Regarding DIY Face Masks

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) study is clear that a DIY face mask or even a proper surgical mask only gives partial protection against diseases like COVID-19. “N95 respirators have 2 advantages over simple cloth or surgical masks; they are >95% efficient at filtering 0.3-μm particles (smaller than the 5-μm size of large droplets—created during talking, coughing, and sneezing—which usually transmit influenza) and are fit tested to ensure that infectious droplets and particles do not leak around the mask.”

While some people may find them useful reminders not to touch their faces, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend face masks for those who are well and are going out in public. Instead, they should be reserved for those who are caregivers for the sick or those who are sick. An article by USA Today reminds everyone, "Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. The patient does not need to wear a face mask while isolated.”

The best way to avoid catching COVID-19, the flu, or other respiratory illnesses is to practice good hygiene by washing your hands well and often, staying at least 6 feet away from potentially infected people, avoiding any contact with those who are sick, and avoiding touching your face. People who are sick should self-isolate to avoid spreading the disease.

Another proven way to stay healthy is by breathing clean air at home. Change your HVAC air filters regularly and use the best-rated filters you can find. Our MERV 13 air filters filter out tiny particles that trigger allergies and asthma – helping keep your immune system strong.