I’d lost my heart for publishing new recipes after the COVID-19 crisis stopped us all in our tracks. After all, who wants to shop when shopping is somewhat risky, and who wants to spend money not knowing how long they’ll have any income coming in? However, yesterday our governor said that everyone should start wearing a face mask anytime they’re in public. Do you have a face mask? I didn’t think I did, and I’m not a good seamstress, so I was thrilled when my brother sent me a link to how to make an easy, no-sew face mask. NOW, I thought—this is a recipe worth sharing!
One No-Sew, Washable, Reusable Face Mask
1 washable cotton handkerchief (other fabrics can work; the tighter the weave, the better)
2 hair ties
Step One: Flip the scarf or square of material over and fold the top quarter over so that it comes to the middle (center) of the cloth.
Step Two: Bring the bottom quarter of the material up so that it meets the top quarter in the middle. You now have a double layer of material.
Step Three: Carefully flip over your scarf so that the folds are on the bottom and the surface facing up is one smooth piece.
Step Four: Repeat the folding process exactly as you did in Step One, folding down the top 1/4 of the material so that it reaches the center line.
Step Five: Fold up the bottom quarter so that it reaches the middle. You should now have four layers of material.
Step Six: TURN THE CLOTH OVER (so that when you’re done, the front has no openings and is one piece with pleats).
Step Seven: Put one of the hair ties over each end of the material, about 1/4 of the way, although you can adjust this as needed to make it larger or smaller, depending on the size of the child or adult you’re trying to fit.
Step Eight: Fold over the left side of the mask toward the middle and smooth it down as much as you can. (It won’t really stay flat unless you have silk or something very thin.)
Step Nine: Fold over the right side of the mask so that they meet approximately in the middle.
Step Ten: TURN THE MASK OVER, so that the front (which you will wear away from your face) has pleats but NO open spaces.
Adjust the mask to your face, using the hair ties to secure it around your ears on both sides. Try to place it as far up on your nose as you can without interfering with your vision, and make sure it’s snuggly under your chin. You may wonder if the mask will slip off. I think this is a possibility with very thin material. The heavy cotton material that I used does not seem to slip at all and stays in place nicely, although it doesn’t really fit tightly around my nose.
Because my husband has asthma, he has to use masks to keep out dust and fumes when he’s doing some types of yard work, and thankfully I found a couple left over from last summer. They aren’t the really good ones (N-95), but they’re better than nothing, and they have a metal strip to pinch around the top of your nose to help keep out dust. I’ve read that you can also use certain types of vacuum cleaner filters that are certified to keep out 99% of dust and are antibacterial. If you have some, you could carefully cut them apart to make an extra insert into your face mask.
We don’t have such. BUT, if you have anything extra as a more protective shield, I would recommend that you use it!
If you have any type of dust/face mask, fit that on UNDER your washable, reusable mask. This will really make a tighter, more protective fit, particularly around your nose.
After fitting any inner mask (if you have one), adjust your reusable mask over it, and you’re good to go. Or at least, as “good” as possible. Obviously, the paper masks or filters are NOT washable. I’m hoping that as long as they don’t get directly exposed, they might be reusable for at least a few shopping trips. So far, we’ve not ventured to a grocery store since lock down, but I’m sure it won’t be too long before we run out of something pretty essential. BTW, some of my kids are going to the grocery store twice a week. If you can, please limit your shopping to once a week or less, and I’ve read that in Asian countries, they’re only allowing one family member to shop at a time.
“Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake” (Daniel 9:17).
Here is the link where I learned how to make the no-sew mask. It has a video to help you visualize the process: http://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and-hair-tie