You may not think you have what you need to make a face mask, but there are two common items most people have in their homes that can be used to create one. With just a t-shirt and some rubber bands, you can construct a no-sew mask that you can wear again and again. No matter how little you DIY, anyone can do this easy project. It's incredibly quick too, and before you know it you’ll have a covering made in less than 10 minutes from start to finish.
Equipment / Tools
- 1 t-shirt
- 2 rubber bands
Cut Up Your T-Shirt
Lay your t-shirt down on a flat surface and smooth out all the wrinkles. Cut out a 20” x 20” piece out of your t-shirt. Avoid cutting out any part of the t-shirt that has stitching or hems. Cutting out the front or back of the t-shirt is usually the best way to do this. When you’re cutting out your t-shirt fabric, you may notice that the fabric slightly rolls. Don’t worry about the rolling, it won’t affect your finished mask.
Prepare the Fabric
Lay your t-shirt fabric on the table and smooth it out with your hands. If there’s a patterned side of the fabric that you’d like to have on the outside of your mask, make sure that side is face down on your table.
Fold the Fabric
Take the top edge of the fabric and fold it down until that edge reaches the middle of the fabric. Repeat the fold with the bottom edge of the fabric. You’ll now have the two edges meeting each other in the middle.
Create More Folds
Repeat step 3 by folding the top and bottom edges once more to meet each other in the middle.
Add Your Rubber Bands
Slip a rubber band on to each end of the folded fabric, leaving a few inches of fabric sticking out the sides of the bands.
Make a Final Fold
Take one of the edges of the t-shirt fabric that is sticking out beyond the rubber bands. Fold it into the middle of the fabric, so the rubber band now forms a loop on the outside of the rectangle. Repeat with the other side. If you’d like, you can tuck one end inside of the other end to further secure it and keep everything tidy. This isn’t necessary, but it will keep your mask more together as you wear it.
Finish Your Mask
Your mask is now finished! To wear, put each rubber band over an ear and cover your mouth and nose with the t-shirt material.
These face masks work best with cotton so if you have an old shirt that’s made out of cotton, make that your first choice. If you only have out jersey knit fabric, that will work as a second best.
Alternatives to Rubber Bands
If you don’t have rubber bands around your home, you have a few other options available. Hair ties or wraps work perfectly for this, just simply use them as a replacement for the rubber bands.
You can also cut off the stretchy part of the legs or feet of panty hose, leggings, tights, or even socks. These little loops can be used instead of the rubber bands.
Caring for Your No-Sew Mask
Your no-sew mask can be washed with your regular clothes. It’s recommended to wash the mask after each use.
How to Wash a Cloth Face Covering. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 May 2020