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DIY: Three-Ingredient Disposable Face Mask

Photo by Zilpha Young

Photo by Zilpha Young

Now that the CDC has recommended everyone in the nation to wear face masks as a precautionary measure when leaving home and entering the public sphere, you may find yourself wondering how you can get ahold of face masks, since they can be elusive in stores. This do-it-yourself will show you how to make a disposable (single use) face mask out of a few items that you likely already have around the house.

Materials:

Paper Towel

Facial Tissue

Rubber Bands

Hole Punch

(Optional) Wire (like a grocery tie) and tape

Step 0:

Wash your hands and clean your workspace and tools with alcohol or hand sanitizer.

Step 1:

Layer your pieces. Make a “tissue sandwich” by placing a folded (or cut to size) tissue between two half sheets of paper towel.

Step 2:

Fold the bottom of the long side of the stack upward by about an inch. Flip the whole thing and fold again, repeating until you reach the top and have a “fan” of paper towel.

Step 3:

Place holes. Pinch the end of the fan flat and place a hole one half inch from the edge. Repeat on the other side.

Step 4:

Push one end of the rubber band through the hole, and then pull that first loop through the other side of the rubber band to create a knot. Repeat on other side

Step 4.5 (Optional):

Place a short piece of flexible wire, like a grocery tie at the top of the mask on the outside where the bridge of your nose will be and press a piece of tape down over it to hold it in place. When it’s on your face you can squeeze the wire to conform to your nose and get a better seal and improve comfort.

Step 5:

Unfold and wear! Loop the rubber bands behind your ears and you’re ready to go! Keep in mind that this isn’t going to stop 100% of particles from escaping if you should cough or sneeze, so you still need to cover your coughs and wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching or fidgeting with your mask after you leave the house.

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