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Arts & crafts

Making face masks.

(57 Posts)
Witzend Wed 08-Apr-20 10:50:35

I’m not at all sure how effective homemade ones are - better than nothing I suppose - but dh so clearly wanted one that yesterday I found a pattern online, on the crafty quilter website, and made him one out of 2 layers of an old pillow case - very high thread count satin cotton.
It didn’t take long at all, and luckily I had thin elastic for the bits to go round lugholes.

After asking dds and their blokes whether they’d like any, I now have 4 more to make - 5 if I do one for me, too.

I’d been pleased with myself for using up out-of-date gluten free flour and yellow split peas - never thought I’d be using up old pillowcases too!

Charleygirl5 Fri 10-Apr-20 14:43:13

A face mask should be worn once and disposed of appropriately. Unless it is removed correctly you can infect yourself. I would not bother except occasionally to wear a scarf and wash it on my return home.

It is caused by droplet and not aerosol

Rosiebee Sun 19-Apr-20 12:57:51

If washing our hands with soap and not water destroys the virus, surely a normal wash in the machine would be enough for the face masks or even a soak overnight in soapy water? I don't know, just wondering. I was thinking of making a couple and liked the idea of the iron on vilene.

Rosiebee Sun 19-Apr-20 12:58:43

That should be soap and hot water.

vegansrock Sun 19-Apr-20 15:53:04
This pattern has been updated and contains a pocket for a filter and a nose wire.

ExD Sun 19-Apr-20 17:01:55

There are groups in most towns now, making masks and sewing scrubs for the NHS. They may only be used once but if they help .....
I offered to sew gowns (those terrible things with tape ties that leave your behind exposed to anyone and everyone) but was turned down because my machine doesn't have an overlock function.
I am able to make bags though - I have no idea what they are used for - but making bags from old scraps of material apparently helps - so bags it is!

Calendargirl Sun 19-Apr-20 17:05:10


I think the bags are for nursing staff to put their uniforms in when they go home if they are not allowed to wear them outside the hospital?

dontmindstayinghome Sun 19-Apr-20 17:07:38

they use the bags (or pillowcases) to put their used 'scrubs' in after each shift. The pillowcase is then put straight in the washing machine on a hot wash when they get home.

NotSpaghetti Mon 20-Apr-20 08:48:26

The pillowcase/bag and contents can all go straight in the washer.

Alexa Mon 20-Apr-20 09:30:52

People wear face masks either 1. to protect themselves from virus, or 2. to stop themselves infecting others.

Home made masks would be for purpose 2. to stop you infecting others. You could be infectious without feeling ill or having a bad cough. Home made masks are like holding a handkerchief to your mouth and nostrils all the time , hands free. You wash the masks like you wash your handkerchiefs.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 29-Jun-20 18:51:54

They are compulsory in Germany in shops and on public transport.

Any old non-stretch cotton will do and there are plenty of patterns online.

Even surgical masks don't really protect you, they protect others from our germs.

vegansrock Mon 29-Jun-20 19:19:30

Countries that have insisted on masks early on have tackled cv much more effectively than those countries that have shilly shallied like ours.

Callistemon Mon 29-Jun-20 19:57:34

I think 3 layer masks have been recommended in Wales. After making a few I did see some which were two layers but a layer of disposable kitchen roll or other suitable in-between lining could be inserted.
I found a pattern called The Olson mask and have made one so far.
I used round elastic and found it better if made longer so it goes around the head instead of behind the ears.

jacq10 Mon 29-Jun-20 20:11:31

I have been wearing masks made by a dressmaker friend. They are made from fairly stiff material and I had read material ones are effective if you cannot not blow a candle out while wearing one and tested them out doing that. The advice for washing them is to do a 60degree wash but I wash mine straight after wearing by putting it in my small middle sink and pour a kettle of boiling water over it and leave to cool before hand washing with anti-bacterial Dettol hand wash.

SewnSew Fri 28-Aug-20 10:50:37

If you get sore ears from the elastic ear loops, try this: take a piece of 25 mm ribbon, 12.5 cm long, fold over the cut ends twice and sew on large buttons over the folds. Then attach the elastic ear loops to the buttons instead of having them over your ears. Can also be a strip of fabric, crochet or knitting. (Obviously the ribbon goes behind your head lol) I've made a lot of these for medical staff as well as friends.

Blossoming Tue 29-Sep-20 10:23:03

I made some out of fat quarters as quilting fabrics have a high thread count and I have a bundle. There are loads of patterns online.

I’m ready for Hallowe’en 😄

Callistemon Tue 29-Sep-20 10:27:54

Make the elastic long enough to go round the back of your head - one strand above and one below your ears.

I've just made some pleated ones and think they are more comfortable than the duck face masks but they could take a long time to dry as we need the 3 layers here.

Callistemon Tue 29-Sep-20 10:28:49

I bought some fat quarters too, Blossoming.

Lexisgranny Tue 29-Sep-20 10:44:01

I made a dozen masks for my husband and myself from fat quarters that I already had, some pleated, some duck face, . The duck face one have bridges made from straightened paper clips and have three layers. Each has a polythene bag and is kept in his and her boxes by the front door because they are different sizes. When we come in, the masks are soaked in Dettol washing liquid squeezed to remove excess water and wrapped in a towel for a couple of hours, then dried off in the usual way and returned in fresh bags to the box. May all seem like a bit of a fiddle, but after months of self isolating, we take no chances.

Callistemon Tue 29-Sep-20 11:01:25

The pleated ones I'm making have a folded down inch at the top which can be pulled up to form a 'nose bridge'.

I haven't worn one yet of that style.

MamaCaz Tue 29-Sep-20 11:08:48

I read that three-layer homemade masks are reasonably good, whereas things like bandanas or scarves pulled up over the face are worse than useless.

Callistemon Tue 29-Sep-20 11:12:15

3 layers are compulsory in Wales although I can't imagine anyone pulling one off to examine it!

Westcoaster Tue 29-Sep-20 12:11:05

I've made ours using an easy free to download pattern from Burda. I've used up some fabric I already had and lined one half with interfacing to make the 3rd layer. I found a pack with elastic and the bendy nose bits on Amazon for a few pounds.

Need to get making many more though as I keep leaving the house without one even though I hang them on a clip on the front door so as not to forget!!! confused

ginny Tue 29-Sep-20 12:13:21

I have made a lot of these.

Maggiemaybe Tue 29-Sep-20 12:56:18

I’ve used the free online Burda pattern with a pocket for a disposable filter. We’re doing fine with three each now we don’t get out much. Mine are made from pure silk left over from a Christening gown I made years ago, because it’s a good barrier and kind to the skin, and because I am of course very posh. smile

SuzannahM Tue 29-Sep-20 15:32:04

Mine have a silk layer too maggiemaybe - ours are made from old cotton pillowcases with a layer of silk made from an old skirt that I haven't worn in years smile

Took me ages to get the measurements right so that they are comfortable to wear and not tight over the nose. I made a pattern for each of us from another old pillowcase and we now have five each. I also made the sides longer so they go almost to the ear. It was worth it though, it makes it much easier to breathe during shopping trips.