Make Your Own Mask (no sewing required)
By Laura Laughead
Photography By Laura Laughead
HOUSTON — Whether on your doctor or your neighbor or even your own face, masks are everywhere since the CDC urged Americans to wear them at all times in public last week. But stores have been sold out for weeks as healthcare workers face mask shortages across the country.
Here’s how some Houstonians are getting creative to protect themselves and their families. You can make your own doctor-approved face mask at home. No sewing required.
“Anyone can make one. A piece of fabric, two hair scrunchies and a coffee filter,” exercise therapist and personal trainer Leigh Sun told Reporting Texas TV.
Sun has been making masks to give away through her local church in Houston, Texas. She says you can use any type of cloth around the house to make your masks from dish towels, bandanas, cut up sheets or even old bras.
“I saw a video online to show us how to do a little different (mask-making process) that didn’t require any sewing,” Sun said.
When her gym shut down, she had to get creative to keep her business alive. She started going to homes to do one-on-one therapy with her clients — 6 feet apart.
But now her therapy sessions aren’t just keeping her clients healthy and fit. She’s also teaching them how to make their own masks at home without lifting a needle or thread.
Here’s how the process goes: First, take your cloth and spread it out. Then, lay a coffee filter in the middle, and fold the cloth in thirds around it. Tie each side with hair ties or rubber bands. Tuck each side in. The bands go around your ears, and you have yourself a face mask.
However, it’s not enough just to make your mask. Doctors emphasize that you have to wear it the right way.
“It’s important especially now to wear the mask properly,” Dermatologist Dr. Esta Kronberg said.
She added to beware of this common mask-wearing mistake.
“A lot of people wear their mask under their nose, and that defeats the whole purpose. You need to cover your nose and your mouth,” Kronberg said.
And after wearing it, be sure to wash it to kill any germs you could be bringing home.
“I just wash mine in hot soapy water,” Kronberg said.
While Kronberg also said that the masks aren’t “perfect” or the caliber of the medical-grade N-95 ones you see in hospitals, your homemade mask is good enough to keep you from catching —and spreading— germs in public.
At the onset of the pandemic, like many, Sun, who is a single mother, was worried about how she would stay afloat.
“I have two little boys that I support. I had some fears, some doubts on what I was supposed to do,” Sun said.
But she emphasized that she’s comforted that she can help others during this difficult time.
“Even though we all have been in a compromised situation…we all can still give back,” Sun said.